First stop: Brazil. Next stop: Australia.
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) announced the second international edition of its The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) mixed martial arts (MMA) reality television franchise this evening, setting its sights "Down Under." Unlike its expansion into Brazil earlier this year, however, the Australia version will also feature a United Kingdom flavor.
In fact, the series has been dubbed "The Smashes," which is a "play on the 130 year-old cricket rivalry" between the two countries.
Marshall Zelaznik, UFC's Managing Director of International Development, had this to say about the latest international foray in a recent press release:
"Australia and the UK have a fierce, long-standing rivalry, and where better to settle the score than in the UFC's OctagonTM. The popularity of MMA has exploded in Australia and the UK, with gyms opening all over the respective countries. There is an athlete in one of those gyms who hasn't had the chance to show the world what he can do -- The Ultimate Fighter is going give to him that opportunity. We're going to discover the UFC's future stars, you can bet on it."
Live tryouts for TUF: "The Smashes" are scheduled for June 12, 2012, in Sydney, Australia, and June 15, 2012, in London, England. MMA hopefuls who weigh from 135 pounds to 170 pounds (61 kg to 77 kg), are between 21 and 35 years of age and have had at least three verified professional fights (having won two), are encouraged to audition for the show.
For more information Australian prospects should visit au.ufc.com/TUFForm (Aus), while those who hail from the U.K. should hit up uk.ufc.com/TUFForm for registration forms, rules and qualification criteria.
TUF: "The Smashes" coaches are unknown at this time; however, the list of possible candidates isn't very long.