Three things in life are inevitable: death, taxes and the Ultimate Fighter. That last one is soon approaching, and with it comes all the usual promises of in-the-cage battles and in-house wall- and furniture destruction. By now, we all know the formula the SpikeTV execs like to adhere to – the Pride veteran/IFL champ/dude-with-800-fights ringer plus the total scrub with one amateur fight plus the thug/clown/autistic person plus everyone in between – so really, the only fresh components are the names. Well, SpikeTV has just released the names of TUF 12’s contestants, and for those who follow the Northeast MMA scene, three of them should ring a bell. They are…
- Andy Main – A 145 pounder from AMA Fight Club, Main has long been a promising young stud with heavy hands and a concise submission skills. He rocked out in New Jersey’s amateur leagues before going pro, and his most notable scrap was when he went toe to toe against Fight Factory boxing trainer Ricky Lee and, after getting dazed, KO’d Lee late in the first. The only knock against Main going into TUF 12 is he’s a featherweight who will be going up against bigger dudes.
- Jeff Lentz – Another hard striker and capable jiu-jitsu guy, Lentz went 8-1 as an amateur before going pro, and then crushed six opponents before Anthony Morrison handed him his first pro loss (the two were fighting for the ROC 145-pound title, and afterwards Morrison went on to the WEC). He trains with the boys down at Kurt Pellegrino’s school, so count on three things from Lentz: he can kick ass, he can kick ass, and he can kick ass.
- Marc Stevens – As a tough wrestler with solid submissions and a ton of heart, Stevens won ROC’s Tournament of Champions at middleweight (!) back in 2007. He’s since redefined himself by cutting a ton of a weight and fighting two weight classes down – a fact that should give him a size and strength advantage over the rest of the TUF 12 lightweights.