Two of the top gyms in MMA – the Blackzilians and American Top Team – will square off on The Ultimate Fighter 21, UFC president Dana White announced recently.
The series will shift from Las Vegas to South Florida, as both camps are within miles of one another. Welterweights will compete from each facility, with $500,000 being handed out during the season.
A special two-hour season premier is set for FOX Sports 1 on April 22.
The gym vs. gym situation presents a unique twist, as the Blackzilians camp was created when four members of ATT departed to start their own gym. Also, instead of “coaches,” each fighter will still work with their respective gym while living in a house with the other castmates.
Some of the more notables expected to compete include former World Series of Fighting champion Steve Carl and Carrington Banks. Banks, 3-0 in his MMA career, is a former NJCAA national champion out of Iowa Central – the same community college that has produced Jon Jones, Cain Velasquez, Joe Soto and Colby Covington among others.
UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler, Rashad Evans and Vitor Belfort are among those who will be part of the program.
Here’s a list of the fighters expected to compete, according to FOXSports.com:
American Top Team
Marcelo Alfaya, Steve Carl, Nathan Coy, Michael Graves, Hayder Hassan, Sabah Homasi, Uros Jurisic and Steve Montgomery.
Valdir Araujo, Carrington Banks, Luiz Buscape, Jason Jackson, Vincente Luque, Andrews Nakahara, Felipe Portela and Kamarudeen Usman.