"The Ultimate Fighter 25" makes its big premiere tonight, bringing with it not only one of the fiercest coaching rivalries in years, but a blast-from-the-past lineup of former "TUF" contestants looking to earn their way back into the Octagon.
With the running theme of Redemption, the 14 contestants on #TUF25 include a pair of former show winners, a fighter on the active UFC roster, and a former title challenger.
And while the members of the "TUF 25" cast have recorded some impressive finishes inside the Octagon, the majority of the fighters were eventually cut from the roster (several have yet to even fight in the UFC).
Here's a look at some of the performances that led to eventual releases of the "The Ultimate Fighter: Redemption" cast members.
Eddie Gordon Suffers Devastating Head Kick KO
Winner of season 19, #SerraLongo prospect Eddie Gordon, lived up to his nickname in the middleweight finals, absolutely trucking Dhiego Lima. It was a moment in the spotlight that would be woefully short lived for Gordon, however, as he would suffer a brutal head kick KO loss to "TUF 17" vet Josh Samman in his sophomore effort.
Gordon would drop his next two in a row before receiving his release from the UFC.
Joe Stevenson Bleeds His Own Blood
If there's one fighter that most MMA fans would probably recognize from the "TUF 25" cast list, it's #JoeStevenson. The man known simply as "Daddy" enjoyed the longest post-TUF career of the bunch, battling the likes of Kenny Florian, #DiegoSanchez, and #NateDiaz before being served his walking papers in 2011. However, it was Stevenson's one-sided loss to #BJPenn at UFC 80 (and the blood-soaked aftermath) for which fans arguably remember him most.
Seth Baczynski Gets ... Dropped
Easily one of the most seasoned veterans on the cast, "TUF 11" vet Seth "The Polish Pistola" Baczynski enjoyed a four-year stint in the UFC that saw him score big wins over #MattBrown, Simeon Thoresen, and #NeilMagny, among others.
But wins would come few and far between in Baczynki's later years, and brutal KO losses to Brian Melancon, Alan Jouban, and Leon Edwards would see him bounced from the promotion in 2015.
Ramsey Nijem Meets The Boogeyman
Like Baczynski, Ramsey Nijem was able to enjoy a pretty decent stint in the UFC following his time on "TUF," going 5-5 in the promotion over mixed competition before getting axed in 2015.
Nijem has yet to step back in the cage since, and will be looking to avoid a repeat of his crushing loss to Tony "El Cucuy" Ferguson in the "TUF 13" welterweight finals.
Dhiego Lima Gets Leeched
Bouncing back from his loss to Eddie Gordon in the "TUF 19" finals with a unanimous decision win over Jorge Antonio Cezario de Oliveira, Dhiego Lima would go on to suffer two-straight knockout losses.
In his final UFC appearance, Lima was starched in under two minutes by China Top Team's #LiJingLiang. He has gone 2-1 outside the Octagon since his release.
"The Ultimate Fighter: Redemption" Cast:
- Seth Baczynski - Season 11
- Mehdi Baghdad - Season 22
- Justin Edwards - Season 13
- Tom Gallicchio - Season 22
- Eddie Gordon - Season 19*
- Hayder Hassan - Season 21
- James Krause - Season 15***
- Julian Lane - Season 16
- Dhiego Lima - Season 19
- Ramsey Nijem - Season 13
- Gilbert Smith - Season 17
- Joe Stevenson - Season 2**
- Jesse Taylor - Season 7
- Hector Urbina - Season 19
* denotes season winner
** denotes season winner & former title challenger
*** denotes active UFC fighter