Next season of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) will feature 16 middleweight fighters, which will provide the 185-pound division with some depth and perhaps some future stars.
Here's a snip from BloodyElbow.com:
"UFC matchmaker Joe Silva made an appearance at the Combat Sports Challenge in Richmond, VA this past weekend where he announced to the crowd that the next season of The Ultimate Fighter will focus exclusively on the middleweight class. No further details are available at this time. However, if ultimately true, this would be a boon to a comparatively weak division."
Middleweights who have participated on the mixed martial arts reality series have gone onto excel inside the Octagon -- Diego Sanchez, Mike Swick, Josh Koscheck, Chris Leben, Kendall Grove and Ed Herman all spring to mind. Those fighters, however, were not all on the same season.
The new format now focuses on just one weight class. For example, TUF 5 showcased lightweights, while the current season, TUF 6, is set to award a six-figure contract to one 170-pound contestant.
With a handful of premier 185-pound fighters in the UFC stable right now, the talent from TUF 7 might be able to provide a much-needed spark for the division. In fact, it's surprising the welterweight show came out before the middleweights.
There is no timetable for casting, filming and the debut of TUF 7 on Spike TV at this time. Early 2008 would seem to make the most sense -- just stick around for more details.