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UFC FEATHERWEIGHT CHAMPION ALEXANDER VOLKANOVSKI AND BRIAN ORTEGA TO COACH THE RETURN OF THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER®

PREMIERES TUESDAY, JUNE 1 EXCLUSIVELY ON ON ESPN+

Las Vegas – The highly anticipated The Return of The Ultimate Fighter®: Team Volkanovski vs. Team Ortega will see UFC® featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski and No. 2 contender Brian Ortega coach men’s bantamweights and middleweights competing to make the UFC roster. Following the series, which exclusively debuts Tuesday, June 1 on ESPN+, the two coaches will prepare to square off for the featherweight title at a date that will be determined in the near future.

The Return of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF 29) will feature a dynamic cast of 16 ascending athletes in the men’s bantamweight (135 lbs.) and middleweight (185 lbs.) divisions, who have put everything else in their lives aside for the chance to pursue their UFC dreams.

The entire twelve episode season of TUF 29 will be available exclusively on ESPN+, with one episode dropping each Tuesday beginning June 1. In addition, UFC fans can re-watch all 28 previous seasons of TUF on ESPN+, the industry-leading sports streaming service, with entire seasons premiering on the service each week through the end of May for bingeable viewing.

The Return Of The Ultimate Fighter Coaches Interview
The Return Of The Ultimate Fighter Coaches Interview
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The Ultimate Fighter is the iconic reality television series that has introduced millions of new and die-hard fans to future UFC champions and top contenders. Those whose careers have been shaped by their participation in The Ultimate Fighter include: Kamaru Usman, Forrest Griffin, Rashad Evans, Rose Namajunas, Michael Bisping, Robert Whittaker, Nate Diaz, Tony Ferguson, T.J. Dillashaw, Matt Serra, Michael Chiesa, Al Iaquinta, Kelvin Gastelum, Uriah Hall and many others.

Undisputed UFC featherweight champion Volkanovski (22-1, fighting out of Windang, New South Wales, Australia) is unbeaten in almost eight years, including nine straight wins in the UFC. Volkanovski proved himself as one of UFC’s top pound-for-pound fighters with two title fight victories over Max Holloway, along with dominant performances against Jose Aldo, Chad Mendes and Darren Elkins. Volkanovski now hopes to experience the same type of success in his first opportunity as a head coach.

Ortega (15-1, fighting out of Los Angeles, Calif.) is determined to make 2021 the year his UFC title dreams become a reality. Two years removed from his first title challenge, Ortega hopes to apply the same skills that helped him defeat the likes of Chan Sung Jung, Frankie Edgar, Cub Swanson and Renato Moicano, to foster the careers of future UFC stars.

Below is a full list of competitors scheduled to compete in The Return of The Ultimate Fighter: Team Volkanovski vs. Team Ortega (name, age, professional record and fighting out of):

The Ultimate Fighter: Through the Years
The Ultimate Fighter: Through the Years
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Hosted by Forrest Griffin, this compilation special takes a look back on 28 groundbreaking seasons with incredible moments, fighters, and coach rivalries that have made TUF the longest running sports competition series in history.


MEN’S BANTAMWEIGHTS

Daniel Argueta | 27 | 5-0 | Chicago, IL

Brady Hiestand | 21 | 4-1 | Spokane, WA

Dustin Lampros | 26 | 5-0 | Deerfield Beach, FL

Vince Murdock | 30 | 11-6 | Sacramento, CA

Mitch Raposo | 22 | 5-0 | Fall River, MA

Joshua Rettinghouse | 31 | 16-5 | Spokane, WA

Liudvik Sholinian | 30 | 9-1 | Kiev, Ukraine

Ricky Turcios | 27 | 10-2 | Houston, TX

MIDDLEWEIGHTS

Aaron Phillips | 29 | 5-1 | Kotzbue, AK

Andre Petroski | 29 | 5-1 | Philadelphia, PA

Bryan Battle | 26 | 4-1 | Charlotte, NC

Ryder Newman | 25 | 3-1 | Las Vegas, NV

Tresean Gore | 26 | 3-0 | Decatur, GA

Miles Hunsinger | 30 | 7-0 | Las Vegas, NV

Kemran Lachinov | 30 | 10-3 | West Springfield, MA

Gilbert Urbina | 25 | 6-1 | Rio Grande Valley, TX

*All athletes are subject to change

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About UFC®

UFC® is the world’s premier mixed martial arts organization (MMA), with more than 625 million fans and 142 million social media followers. The organization produces more than 40 live events annually in some of the most prestigious arenas around the world, while broadcasting to approximately 900M TV households across more than 175 territories. UFC’s athlete roster features the world’s best MMA athletes representing more than 70 countries. The organization’s digital offerings include UFC FIGHT PASS®, one of the world’s leading streaming services for combat sports. UFC was acquired in 2016 by global entertainment, sports and content company Endeavor, along with strategic investors Silver Lake Partners and KKR. UFC is headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada. For more information, visit UFC.com and follow UFC at Facebook.com/UFC, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and TikTok: @UFC.