Thursday, March 15, 2007

The Ultimate Fighter Season 5 Update

LAS VEGAS - Sixteen of the best up-and-coming mixed martial artists in the lightweight division (155lbs) from around the world will be featured in Season 5 of Spike TV's hit original series, "The Ultimate Fighter," premiering Thursday, April 5 at 10:00 PM, ET/PT. Former UFC Lightweight Champion Jens Pulver and former UFC Welterweight Champion B.J. Penn will serve as coaches.

In a first for "The Ultimate Fighter" franchise, coaches Penn and Pulver will fight each other in the show's live finale in late June. The two fought previously in January 2002 at UFC 35, where Pulver won by a majority decision in a grueling 5-round title fight. The series is once again hosted by UFC President Dana White and was filmed in Las Vegas earlier this year.

The cast for Season 5 includes:

Allen Berube, Nate Diaz, Robert Emerson, Manuel Gamburyan, Brian Geraghty, Corey Hill, Joseph Lauzon, Gray Maynard, Brandon Melendez, Cole Miller, Gabe Ruediger, Marlon Sims, Noah Thomas, Andy Wang, Wayne Weems, and Matt Wiman.

During the 6-week Ultimate Fighter competition, the sixteen men endured a grueling regimen of jiu-jitsu, judo, muy thai, karate, boxing and wrestling. The intense competition between the fighters continued after they left the gym -- at The Ultimate Fighter House. These warriors were forced to live together, knowing that any day they might be forced to fight each other in the famed UFC Octagon(TM).

In each episode, opponents from each team are selected to square off in battle, officially weighed in and then, in front of their teammates, coaches and the Nevada State Athletic Commission, the two combatants face off in two five-minute rounds.

Over the first 4 seasons, the show has delivered approximately 2 million viewers each week, often beating the NBA, NHL, MLB and NCAA football and basketball head-to-head on Thursday nights with men 18-34.

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 is Senior Vice President, Sports & Specials, Spike TV and Co-Executive Producer.

Spike TV is available in 91 million homes and is a division of MTV Networks. MTV Networks, a division of Viacom International Inc.

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