UFC President Dana White has recently announced that Season 29 of ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ will feature tournaments in the Bantamweight and Middleweight divisions, streaming on ESPN+ in March 2021.
While a new season of the reality TV show is confirmed, the entirety of the 16-fighter cast list has yet to be made. With virtual tryouts underway this month, sources tell MMA Island that there might be a familiar face making his way into the house.
TUF 27 Champion, Brad Katona will be attending TUF 29 tryouts virtually on Nov. 13. He looks to reprise his role as the season’s champion.
Katona left ‘TUF 27: Undefeated’ with a collection of wins over current UFC prospects, Kyler Phillips and Bryce Mitchell. He ventured to the Finale to pick up a decision win over Jay Cucciniello to win the Featherweight tournament and a UFC contract.
A few months later, “Superman” would fly down to Bantamweight to beat Matthew Lopez in his first non-TUF UFC appearance. The future looked bright for the SBG Ireland fighter. However in 2019, Katona would go on to lose his next 2 fights against Merab Dvalishvili and Hunter Azure. In a surprising turn of events, the UFC released the TUF winner from their roster.
“For whatever reason, business wise they thought that was the right decision.” Katona told MMA Island. “I completely disagree with them, there’s a lot of people who disagree with them.”
“What am I going to do besides prove them wrong? I think they underplayed my wins in the house. They were exhibitions, they weren’t looked like that before. I think that got downplayed pretty quick.”
“I don’t know for certain why I got released. Obviously if I kept winning and finishing guys, I wouldn’t get released. Obvious.”
“You look at the guys I fought [Dvalishvili, Azure] I fought some pretty good guys. I didn’t get some hand-tosses like some other fighters have. Take into the account of the Bryce Mitchell and the Kyler Phillips fight, who are now in the UFC, technically undefeated in the UFC besides me.”
The Canadian sensation looks to prove the UFC wrong in their ‘unjust’ decision to release him earlier this year. He looked to prove he was among the best in the world by becoming the EMC Bantamweight Champion, however it did not come into fruition with COVID-19 infecting his opponent.
With a very likely spot on TUF 29, Katona looks to become the first ever champ-champ in TUF history, winning 2 seasons and also at 2 weight classes, being at 145 and 135.