'The Ultimate Fighter' Season 32 preview: Team Grasso vs. Team Shevchenko


After what may have been the biggest season in the history of “The Ultimate Fighter” — as Conor McGregor, MMA’s biggest star, made his second run as a coach — the show is back for Season 32 in June.

TUF was instrumental in the UFC’s explosion of popularity in the early 2000s, shining a spotlight on fighters such as Randy Couture, Chuck Liddell, Tito Ortiz and Ken Shamrock, who coached MMA hopefuls in a season-long competition in which the participants shared a house for several weeks.

Over the course of 31 seasons, all of which can be seen on ESPN+, the show has featured several UFC champions: Forrest Griffin, Rashad Evans, Michael Bisping, Kamaru Usman, Robert Whittaker, TJ Dillashaw and Rose Namajunas, as well as stars Nate Diaz, Tony Ferguson and Diego Sanchez. Each season tension tends to rise between the coaches building up to a big fight of their own. Fans get to see it all play out behind the scenes.

The 32nd season of “The Ultimate Fighter” features a coaching matchup between women’s flyweight champion Alexa Grasso and former champ Valentina Shevchenko. The two are expected to square off in a trilogy bout for Grasso’s title after the conclusion of this season. In the first bout, Grasso beat Shevchenko by submission to claim the title. The two fought to a split draw in the second fight.

This season’s TUF competition, which will begin airing June 4 on ESPN and ESPN+, is at featherweight and middleweight. Results of this season can be found at the bottom of this story.


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The coaches

Alexa Grasso

Record: 16-3-1
Age: 30
From: Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico
Notable:

Valentina Shevchenko

Record: 23-4-1
Age: 36
From: Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
Notable:


The fighters

Featherweights

Edwin Cooper Jr.

Record: 6-1
Age: 31
Fighting out of: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Notable:

  • Fought on the PFL Challengers Series in 2022

  • Trains at Jackson Wink MMA — the same gym as UFC heavyweight champ Jon Jones and former UFC champions Holly Holm and Michelle Waterson-Gomez

Nathan Fletcher

Record: 8-1
Age: 26
Fighting out of: England
Notable:

Kaan Ofli

Record: 10-2-1
Age: 30
Fighting out of: Melbourne, Australia
Notable:

Zygimantas Ramaska

Record: 9-2
Age: 24
Fighting out of: Lithuania
Notable:

  • Has had only one professional fight go the distance

  • Riding a three-fight winning streak, all wins have come via KO/TKO

Roedie Roets

Record: 7-1
Age: 27
Fighting out of: South Africa
Notable:

Mairon Santos

Record: 13-1
Age: 23
Fighting out of: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Notable:

  • Trains at Paraná Vale Tudo — the same gym as Jessica Andrade and Denise Gomes

  • Was supposed to face now-UFC featherweight Sean Woodson in August 2023 but bout was cancelled

Guillermo Torres

Record: 7-1
Age: 37
Fighting out of: Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico
Notable:

  • Each of his past four fights have ended in KO/TKO (three wins, one loss)

  • The oldest fighter on this season of TUF

Bekhzod Usmonov

Record: 11-4
Age: 28
Fighting out of: Russia
Notable:


Middleweights

Giannis Bachar

Record: 9-2
Age: 33
Fighting out of: Athens, Greece
Notable:

Omran Chaaban

Record: 6-1
Age: 23
Fighting out of: Helsinki, Finland
Notable:

  • UAE Warriors welterweight champion

  • Riding a five-fight win streak

  • Has finished each of his past five opponents (two knockouts, three submissions)

Mark Hulme

Record: 12-3
Age: 29
Fighting out of: Johannesburg, South Africa
Notable:

Ryan Loder

Record: 6-1
Age: 32
Fighting out of: Roseville, California
Notable:

Shamidkhan Magomedov

Record: 8-1
Age: 29
Fighting out of: Dagestan
Notable:

Paddy McCorry

Record: 4-1
Age: 26
Fighting out of: West Belfast, Ireland
Notable:

Tom Theocharis

Record: 9-5
Age: 30
Fighting out of: Toronto
Notable:

Robert Valentin

Record: 10-3, 1 NC
Age: 29
Fighting out of: Zurich, Switzerland



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