TUF 9 will utilize a USA vs. UK concept and will feature both welterweight and middleweight hopefuls.
The inclusion of welterweights on TUF 9 had been rumored for quite some time but the revelation that middleweights will be featured as well came as a surprise. Not only had heavyweight been rumored as the second weight class but the UFC and Spike TV just featured the 185 pound weight class during the seventh season of TUF.
Fighters looking to earn a shot at competing for the UFC will be able to apply through UFC.com and SpikeTV.com but will also have the opportunity to appear at open tryouts on Oct. 20 in London, England and then on Oct. 27 in Chicago, Ill.
Coaches have not been announced but with the revelation that a team comprised of British fighters will be on the show has prompted speculation that Michael Bisping, the light heavyweight winner from the third season of TUF, will be featured as a coach of the UK team.
Traditionally, the coach selections for each season of TUF have been utilized as a marketing vehicle for a match between the two coaches. One would think that if Bisping is selected that a high-profile U.S.-born middleweight would be selected as his adversary. Top middleweight contenders such as Dan Henderson and Nathan Marquardt might be ideal candidates.