5 current UFC fighters from The Ultimate Fighter
The Ultimate Fighter has been crucial to the success of the UFC. TUF’s first season exposed a lot of new people to the sport of MMA. The show’s finale ended with a brawl between Forrest Griffin and Stephen Bonnar, who both ended up getting UFC contracts. The show’s second season was set that same night in the arena parking lot and the rest is history.
The show has had a mad 28-season run and now, after a two-year hiatus, TUF returns with 145-pound Alex Volkanovski and Brian Ortega as coaches.
Many TUF contestants have had huge success in the UFC. However, there are some TUF fighters who are successful in the UFC but are generally not associated with the show.
Here is a list of five of those fighters:
# 5 Al Iaquinta
The first name on this list is former lightweight title challenger Al Iaquinta. “Raging Al” is best known for being a part-time real estate agent and for his commendable performance against “The Eagle” Khabib Nurmagomedov after fighting on 24 hour notice.
But what a lot of people don’t know is that Iaquinta was part of the 15th season of The Ultimate Fighter. ‘Raging Al’, who was part of Urijah Faber’s squad, fought Michael Chiesa in the show’s final but lost by submission in the 1st round.
# 4 Thiago Santos
Thiago Santos’ biggest claim to fame in the UFC is that he is the only fighter to suffer a shared decision loss with light heavyweight legend Jon Jones. Prior to that, Jones had never lost a fight on the One Judge scoreboard.
‘Marreta’ was part of The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 2. He was part of the team of former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum. Santos lost in the quarterfinals to Leonardo Santos, but since then the middleweight has more than made up for that by putting in impressive performances in the Octagon on several occasions.
# 3 Rose Namajunas
Rose Namajunas is one of the most beloved fighters on the entire UFC roster. “Thug Rose” recently became the only fighter in UFC history to win a UFC title twice when she knocked out Weili Zhang in the opening seconds of the fight.
The two-time champion’s journey in the UFC hasn’t always been so smooth. The Straw Weight was part of the 20th season of The Ultimate Fighter where she lost to Carla Esparza in the season finale via the Round 3 submission. The fight was for the Straw Weight Championship.
“Thug Rose” returned to the title race and eventually won the championship by knocking out former Strawweight Queen Joanna Jedrzejczyk.
# 2 Paulo Costa
Paulo Costa is one of the most entertaining fighters in the UFC today, both in and out of the Octagon. The middleweight contender was last seen in the octagon against current champion Israel Adesanya, who dismantled the Brazilian fighter in the first two rounds.
“The Eraser” was in The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 3 but his time there didn’t last very long as he lost in the playoff round of the series.
But this loss should not be taken as an indication that ‘Borrachinha’ is an easy fight for everyone. The Brazilian fighter has an MMA record of 13-1 with wins over veterans like Yoel Romero and Johnny Hendricks.
# 1 Robert Whittaker
Taking first place is none other than former middleweight champion Robert Whittaker. ‘The Reaper’ has arguably the most impressive resume of all the fighters on this list.
The Australian fighter was part of The Ultimate Fighter: Smashs where he defeated Brad Scott to become the winner of the show.
‘Bobby Knuckles’ is currently on a three-game winning streak, with many fans believing he should be next in line for the title.
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