New York, NY, May 28, 2009 – Former UFC light heavyweight champions “Suga” Rashad Evans and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson will serve as coaches for Season 10 of “The Ultimate Fighter” premiering Wednesday, September 16 at 10:00pm, it was announced today by Dana White, UFC President. This season will showcase 16 heavyweights, the first time this weight class has been featured on “The Ultimate Fighter” since Evans himself was a cast member on Season 2.
In May 2005, Evans stepped into the UFC training facility as an unknown novice in the heavyweight division for Season 2 of “The Ultimate Fighter.” Four years later, the former UFC light heavyweight champion and winner of Season 2 returns to Las Vegas to serve as coach for a new crop of aspiring heavyweights. This season marks the second time the charismatic Jackson has served as a coach for “The Ultimate Fighter” as he opposed Forrest Griffin for Season 7 last April.
“The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights” will feature the two fan favorites coaching the best up and coming mixed martial artists in the heavyweight division. Two finalists will square off in a live finale on December 5 in Las Vegas with the winner being declared “The Ultimate Fighter” and netting a six figure contract with the Ultimate Fighting Championship, the premier mixed martial arts organization in the world.
Production on “The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights” begins in Las Vegas in early June and will last six weeks. The series will once again be hosted by UFC President Dana White.
“The tenth season of The Ultimate Fighter is going to be the most highly anticipated one in years, and with two of the greatest pound for pound fighters in the world today, both of which have personalities as large as their skill-sets, it promises to deliver,” said White.
A native of Niagara Falls, NY, “Suga” Rashad Evans was an all state wrestler in high school before moving on to Michigan State University, where he competed in the 174 lbs weight class. Shortly after graduating, Evans burst onto the mixed martial arts scene by capturing the heavyweight title on Season 2 of “The Ultimate Fighter.” He has since dropped down to the light heavyweight division, and, under the tutelage of Greg Jackson, compiled a stellar record in the UFC against some of the top competition in the world, including wins against Stephan Bonnar and Michael Bisping, and a vicious knockout of Chuck Liddell. The win against Liddell cemented Evans’ place as an elite light heavyweight, and earned him a title shot against another champion of “The Ultimate Fighter,” Season 1’s Forrest Griffin at UFC 92. Evans made the most of his opportunity, using his brutal ground and pound skills en route to becoming light heavyweight champion by defeating Forrest Griffin via TKO in the 3rd round. He lost his coveted title at UFC 98 on May 23 via a 2nd round KO at the hands of Lyoto Machida, but is eager to get back in the mix to reclaim his belt.
A native of Memphis, TN who trains in Liverpool, England with the Wolfslair Academy, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson is one of the most complete fighters in the UFC. An All-State wrestler in high school, Jackson made his UFC debut in February of 2007 and made quick work of Marvin Eastman. The victory earned him a title shot against Chuck Liddell, and a little over three minutes into the first round of their bout at UFC 71, Jackson won the UFC light heavyweight title with a stunning combination of strikes that caused the fight to be stopped. Jackson put his newly acquired title on the line against PRIDE champion Dan Henderson at UFC 75 on Spike TV, and won a grueling five round decision to unify the titles and become the undisputed light heavyweight champion of the world. He relinquished his belt to Forrest Griffin at UFC 86, but has since defeated longtime nemesis Wanderlei Silva via KO at UFC 92 and Keith Jardine at UFC 96 to put him in line for another title shot.
Craig Piligian of Pilgrim Films and Television, Frank Fertitta III, Lorenzo Fertitta, Dana White of Zuffa, LLC, and Kevin Kay of Spike TV are the show's executive producers. Brian J. Diamond, senior vice president, Sports & Specials, Spike TV is co-executive producer and Christopher Martello is executive in charge of production for Spike TV.
Spike TV is available in 98 million homes and is a division of MTV Networks. MTV Networks, a division of Viacom International Inc.