Ultimate Fighter Winners – List of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) Winners (Season 1-29)

The Ultimate Fighter is an American television show and mixed martial arts (MMA) tournament co-produced by Spike TV and the UFC.

The show follows a group of unknown professional MMA fighters that live together in Las Vegas, Nevada, as they train and battle for a valuable contract with the UFC.

The show has garnered 29 seasons with respective winners in each season going to to become UFC fighters.

Here is an exhaustive list of the winners who started their UFC career:

The Ultimate Fighter Season 1 Winner: Diego Sanchez

Diego Sanchez - tuf

Year: 2005

Weight Division: Middleweight Division

In one of The Ultimate Fighter’s most competitive seasons, Diego Sanchez defeated Josh Koscheck and Kenny Florian which are two fighters who would go on to battle in many UFC champion fights.

Sanchez would eventually win the Ultimate Fighter 1 middleweight tournament.

Sanchez is presently preparing for his next fight at Jackson’s MMA, the training facility for Jon Jones, Holly Holm, and Alistair Overeem.

The Ultimate Fighter Season 2 Winner: Rashad Evans

Rashad Evans tuf

Year: 2005

Weight Division: Heavyweight Division

Rashad Evans, a New York native, was introduced to the UFC spotlight when he was chosen as one of nine heavyweights to participate in The Ultimate Fighter 2.

Evans beat three opponents before defeating Brad Imes in a split decision to win The Ultimate Fighter 2.

Unfortunately, Evans’s career would be cut short after losing the belt in his next fight due to a torn ACL and a rejected cadaver ACL.

Evans returned to the ring in 2015 to face Ryan Bader. Evans has a 0-2 record since then.

Evans is presently a UFC fighter on Fox in addition to competing.

The Ultimate Fighter Season 3 Winner: Michael Bisping

Michael Bisping - tuf

Year: 2006

Weight Division: Middleweight Division

The Ultimate Fighter 3 featured light heavyweight fighters for the second time.

Michael Bisping, a light heavyweight champion in another organization and a U.K. native, was chosen to compete on the show.

Throughout his time on the show, Bisping demonstrated his superior abilities, defeating all of his opponents by TKO on his way to becoming the Ultimate Fighter 3 winner.

For the following several years, Bisping would alternate between wins and losses.

This did not deter Michael Bisping, who stunned the world by hitting a combination on Luke Rockhold in the first minute of the first round to become the first British fighter to win a UFC title belt in UFC history.

He’s also one of the few TUF competitors who got a title shot and won UFC titles after starring in TUF.

The Ultimate Fighter Season 4 Winner: Travis Lutter

Travis Lutter - tuf

Year: 2006

Weight Division: Middleweight Division

Travis Lutter participated and eventually won The Ultimate Fighter 4, getting an opportunity at Anderson Silva’s middleweight title.

Lutter could not make the 186 weight limit for middleweight contests, so the fight was reduced to a three­round non­title fight.

Moosin: God of Martial Arts and Maximum Combat Championship were two more fighting organizations Lutter competed.

Travis is presently the owner and operator of two martial arts training facilities in Fort Worth, Texas.

The Ultimate Fighter Season 5 Winner: Nate Diaz

Nate Diaz - tuf

Year: 2007

Weight Division: Lightweight Division

Nate Diaz, the warrior who brings his Stockton pride to every battle, participated in The Ultimate Fighter 5.

Diaz, a Jiu­Jitsu black belt, defeated all of his opponents by submission his way to winning The Ultimate Fighter 5.

Shortly after, a disheartened Nate took a self-imposed hiatus from fighting, only to return in 2014 to face Rafael Dos Anjos, whom he defeated.

Diaz took another break from fighting after another loss, returning in 2015 to fight Michael Johnson, winning a one-sided battle against lightweight champions.

The Ultimate Fighter Season 6 Winner: Mac Danzig

Mac Danzig - tuf

Year: 2007

Weight Division: Welterweight Division

The Ultimate Fighter 6 competition, The Ultimate Fighter: Team Hughes vs. Team Serra, featured Mac Danzig’s outstanding wrestling prowess, which he dominated by utilizing his superior ground skills.

Danzig won The Ultimate Fighter Season 6 after submitting Tom Speer via rear-naked choke in the first round of the season finale, using the aforementioned ground skills.

Unfortunately, Danzig would not be able to recover from his recent setbacks.

Mac Danzig announced his retirement from boxing in 2014 due to severe concussions.

The Ultimate Fighter Season 7 Winner: Amir Sadollah

Amir Sadollah - tuf

Year: 2008

Weight Division: Welterweight Division

Despite having never fought professionally before TUF, Amir Sadollah won the Season 7 tournament with back-to-back armbars against C.B. Dollaway.

Sadollah has won four of his previous five fights since his post-TUF career got off to a shaky start with a loss to Johny Hendricks.

Sadollah has defeated competitors such as Phil Baroni and DaMarques Johnson on his route to earning stability with the UFC, with his only loss coming against Dong Hyun Kim.

The Ultimate Fighter Season 8 Winner: Ryan Bader

Ryan Bader - tuf

Year: 2008

Weight Division: Light Heavyweight Division

Ryan Bader, who wrestled for Arizona State University alongside former UFC Heavyweight Champion Cain Velasquez and UFC middleweight C.B. Dollaway, was the first light heavyweight chosen by coach Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira season 8 of The Ultimate Fighter.

Once on the show, Ryan defeated all three of his opponents to face Vinicius Magalhaes in the show’s conclusion.

He defeated Magalhaes via TKO in the first round, becoming the season 8 winner of The Ultimate Fighter.

Bader has gone on to amass a 21-5 record since then.

The Ultimate Fighter Season 9 Winner: James Wilks

James Wilks - tuf

Year: 2009

Weight Division: Welterweight Division

The Ultimate Fighter 9; The U.S. vs. The United Kingdom was the first to feature the show’s country versus country premise.

Wilks submitted all three of his opponents en route to the Ultimate Fighter 9 finale.

Despite alterations, Wilks won The Ultimate Fighter 9 by defeating his opponent Frank Lester.

Wilks announced his retirement from MMA combat in 2012, citing the possibility of sclerosis due to his injuries.

The Ultimate Fighter Season 10 Winner: Roy Nelson

 

Year: 2009

Weight Division: Welterweight Division

Roy Nelson has been a fan favorite since his debut on The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights, the tenth season of The Ultimate Fighter.

His truck driver appearance and all­-out fighting style have added to his attractiveness.

Nelson went on to win the tenth season of The Ultimate Fighter, defeating Brendan Schaub in the opening round of the finals.

Since then, Nelson has fought in the UFC against some of the top heavyweight fighters in the world, including the UFC heavyweight champions Fabricio Werdum, Cain Velasquez, and Junior Dos Santos.

The Ultimate Fighter Season 11 Winner: Scott Court McGee

 

Year: 2010

Weight Division: Welterweight Division

Scott “Court” McGee has only fought once more in the UFC since winning TUF Season 11 with the submission of Kris McCray.

On the other hand, McGee made the most of his one fight so far, winning a third-round submission victory against Ryan Jensen at UFC 121.

McGee was set to fight Jesse Bongfeldt at UFC 131. However, McGee was forced to withdraw from the fight due to a knee ailment.

The Ultimate Fighter Season 12 Winner: Jonathan Brookins 

Jonathan Brookins - tuf

 Year: 2010

Weight Division: Lightweight Division

The winner of TUF Season 12’s lightweight tournament, Jonathan Brookins has yet to participate in the UFC since winning the series via decision against Michael Johnson.

Brookins is currently scheduled to face a formidable and dangerous brawler in the UFC.

The Ultimate Fighter Season 13 Winner: Tony Ferguson

Tony Ferguson - tuf

Year: 2011

Weight Division: Lightweight Division

Tony Ferguson made headlines during The Ultimate Fighter: Team Lesnar vs. Team dos Santos by knocking out Ramsey Nijem in the finale and winning.

Ferguson also competed against Justin Gaethje at UFC 249 for the interim lightweight title.

On the other hand, Ferguson was defeated, while Gaethje advanced to the championship fight against Khabib Nurmagomedov.

The Ultimate Fighter Season 14 Winner: Diego Brandao

Diego Brandao - tuf

Year: 2011

Weight Division: Featherweight Division

Diego Brandao competed on The Ultimate Fighter: Team Bisping vs. Team Miller’s fourteenth season.

The show’s number one featherweight pick, Michael Bisping, was a controversial figure who got into a few out-of-fight brawls with Marcus Brimage and Steven Siler, two other participants.

Despite his post-fight behavior, Brandao went on to win The Ultimate Fighter season finale with an armbar over Dennis Bermudez.

Brandao was recently removed from the UFC following a failed drug test and a criminal arrest.

The Ultimate Fighter Season 15 Winner: Michael Chiesa 

Michael Chiesa  - tuf

 Year: 2012

Weight Division: Lightweight Division

The Ultimate Fighter fifteenth season winner, Michael Chiesa has put in some solid performances and gained some excellent wins, but he was never a serious title challenger in the lightweight class.

He’s now looking for a new beginning at welterweight, where he’ll meet different fighters like Carlos Condit.

The Ultimate Fighter Season 16 Winner: Colton Smith 

 

Year: 2012

Weight Division: Welterweight Division

Colton Smith, a member of the United States Army, has won the 16th season of The Ultimate Fighter. Unfortunately, Smith’s journey to becoming a TUF winner was not particularly memorable. His matches as of recent frequently showcased his power, athleticism, and wrestling skills as he controlled and dominated his opponents to win.

The Ultimate Fighter Season 17 Winner: Kelvin Gastelum

Kelvin Gastelum - tuf

Year: 2013

Weight Division: Middleweight Division

Kelvin Gastelum had the distinct privilege of competing in what was arguably the best Ultimate Fighter season to date.

Gastelum proved them his critics wrong causing one upset after another before finally defeating Hall in the championship.

Fortunately, he is still continuing his career hoping for a more fruitful standing.

The Ultimate Fighter Season 18 Winner: Chris Holdsworth

 

Year: 2013

Weight Division: Middleweight Division

After winning the eighth season, Chris Holdsworth was crowned “The Ultimate Fighter.”

Holdsworth also boasts a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt under renowned instructor Marc Laimon and has honed his strikes under Duane “Bang” Ludwig.

He took an indefinite hiatus back in 2017 and is now a practitioner at an MMA academy.

The Ultimate Fighter Season 19 Winner: Eddie Gordon

 

Year: 2014

Weight Division: Middleweight Division

Eddie Gordon was regarded as a top prospect after winning The Ultimate Fighter and defeating Cathal Pendred three times.

Gordon’s fortunes turned significantly in his next UFC bout after he ran into another “Ultimate Fighter” alumni and was knocked out with a nasty head-kick knockout.

The UFC released Eddie Gordon after three consecutive losses.

The Ultimate Fighter Season 20 Winner: Carla Esparza

Carla Esparza - tuf

Year: 2014

Weight Division: Women’s Strawweight Division

Carla Esparza won the season and was proclaimed the UFC’s inaugural champion of the new 115-pound division on December 12, 2014, in the first The Ultimate Fighter season to feature all female competitors.

She is currently involved with MMA matches out of the UFC.

The Ultimate Fighter Season 21 Winner: Willie Gates

Year: 2015

Weight Division: Flyweight Division

Willie Gates won the twenty-first season of The Ultimate Fighter; his match with Darrell Montague was swift, but it wasn’t easy for his opponent, who Gates crushed. As of the present, he continues to fight in the UFC against professional opponents.

The Ultimate Fighter Season 22 Winner: Ryan Hall

 

Ryan Hall - tuf

Year: 2015

Weight Division: Middleweight Division

Ryan Hall was eliminated in the competition’s semifinals, but he returned in the finals after Saul Rogers’ visa concerns prevented him from returning to the nation for the finale. In 2015, Hall used jiu-jitsu to overwhelm Artem Lobov and win a unanimous decision and was crowned as the twentieth winner of the series. He is currently a UFC fighter who has a promising career standing.

 

The Ultimate Fighter Season 23 Winner: Tatiana Suarez

 

Tatiana Suarez - tuf

 Year: 2016

Weight Division: Women’s Strawweight Division

Tatiana Suarez, a bronze medallist in the 2008 and 2010 Wrestling World Championships, defeated Amanda Cooper in the final round with a D’Arce choke to win the title of The Ultimate Fighter. She continuously competes in the MMA and is undefeated at the current time of writing.

 

The Ultimate Fighter Season 24 Winner: Demetrious Johnson

 

Demetrious Johnson - tuf

Year: 2016

Weight Division: Flyweight Division

Demetrious Johnson is a mixed martial artist and has won the twenty-fourth season of the series. He is currently instilled in the UFC, and he is the only UFC fighter to have more than ten takedowns in three separate fights. Demetrious Johnson owns the record for the most UFC flyweight finishes and the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix Champion. He is presently ranked first in the ONE Championship flyweight division.

 

The Ultimate Fighter Season 25 Winner: Jesse Taylor

Jesse Taylor - tuf

Year: 2017

Weight Division: Welterweight Division

He was named the “Redemption” and had reached the Season 7 finale and won. He won the UFC contract on July 7, 2017, by submitting Dhiego Lima in the second round. Last 2018, he was released from the UFC for a short while; after that, he returned and competed in MMA fights until the present.

 

The Ultimate Fighter Season 26 Winner: Nicco Montano

Nicco Montano - tuf

 Year: 2017

Weight Division: Women’s Flyweight Division

 

Montano, who started the 14th seed, advanced to the final by defeating Lauren Murphy, Montana Stewart, and Barb Honchak. She then won a five-round unanimous decision over Roxanne Modafferi, who had replaced Sijara Eubanks the day before, to win the flyweight title on December 1, 2017. She is still undergoing continuous training as part of the UFC.

 

The Ultimate Fighter Season 27 Winner: Brad Katona

Year: 2018

Weight Division: Featherweight Division and is a fighter with an undefeated streak. Brad Katona maintained his perfect record with victories over Kyler Phillips and Bryce Mitchell in the cage, followed by a majority decision victory over Jay Cucciniello in the featherweight finale on July 6, 2018. He is currently part of the UFC.

 

The Ultimate Fighter Season 28 Winner: Juan Espino

Juan Espino - tuf

 

Year: 2018

Weight Division: Heavyweight Division

Juan Espino won The Ultimate Fighter for this season as he submitted his opponent, Justin Frazier, in the finale. He also signed a contract with UFC and is presently part of the organization since November 30, 2018.

 

The Ultimate Fighter Season 29 Winner: Ricky Turcios

Year: 2021

Weight Division: Bantamweight Division

After three years of being away from The Ultimate Fighter, he returned as robust as never before and fought Brady Hiestand, which he won in a clutch back-and-forth bout. After that, he is looking forward to future MMA matches following his victory.

 

The Ultimate Fighter Season 30 Winner? Who Will it Be?

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