The Ultimate Fighter Season 8 Coaches Announced!

May 14, 2008

Press Release treats below...

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SPIKE TV AND THE UFC® TURN TO SOME REALHEAVY HITTERS FOR SEASON EIGHT OF “THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER®”

Interim UFC Heavyweight Champion AntonioRodrigo Nogueira And Former Heavyweight King Frank Mir To Star In New SeasonBeginning September 17

The coaches for season eight of Spike's TheUltimate Fighter will feature two of the UFC’s all-time top heavyweights.  Interim UFC heavyweight champion, AntonioRodrigo Nogueira, and former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir, will star inthe new season featuring light heavyweights (205 lbs) and lightweights (155lbs) premiering Wednesday, September17 at 10:00pm ET/PT.  

TheBrazilian native Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (31-4-1), known as “Minotauro," is one of the sport’s most successful heavyweights.  Nogueira’s incredible career almost neverhappened as he was involved in a life-threatening accident at age ten when he wasrun over by a truck in his native Brazil.  Fortunately, he survived and avoided permanentdamage, thus his mixed martial arts pursuits were not deterred.

Hebegan his professional career in MMA in the United States in June of 1999 withthe World Extreme Fighting organization.  However, Noguiera truly made a name forhimself in the sport when he joined the RINGS organization in Japan and postedan 8-1-1 record from 1999-2000, losing only to Dan Henderson. 

Nogueira’sleap to MMA stardom came when he joined PRIDE® in Japan and, from 2001-2003,proceeded to defeat the biggest names in the division including Bob Sapp, MarkColeman, Heath Herring, Enson Inoue, Sanae Kikuta, Semmy Schilt, and avengedhis earlier loss to Henderson.  A toughloss to Fedor Emelianenko in March 2003 stopped his impressive winning streak,but “Minotauro’s” career rebounded with a close decision win over former UFCheavyweight champion Ricco Rodriguez in August 2003. 

Thedefining match in his career in PRIDE came in November 2003 with a memorablevictory over Croatian Mirko “Cro Cop” via submission to gain the PRIDEheavyweight belt. ‘”Minotauro” would go 8-2 with one no contest in the finalthree years of his stay in Japan, including avenging a previous defeat toanother former UFC heavyweight champ, Josh Barnett, with a decision win inDecember 2006. 

Nogueiramade his UFC debut in July 2007 at UFC 77 with a victory over a familiarnemesis, Herring, whom Nogueira had beaten three times previously in hiscareer.  This past February, “Minotauro’defeated Tim Sylvia in a stirring comeback via submission in the third round toclaim the interim UFC heavyweight belt.   The 31 year-old Nogueira lives in Brazil butspends time in south Florida training with Anderson Silva at the newly opened“Nogueira and Silva Mixed Martial Arts Academy” in Miami.

Althoughhe’s only 28, Frank Mir has endured quite a professional and personalrollercoaster ride since his UFC debut in November 2001 at UFC 34.  Following a first round loss to Ian Freemanat UFC 38 in July 2002, Mir, a young, highly touted mixed martial arts starfrom Las Vegaswas at a career turning point.  Mirregained credibility as an emerging star with an impressive victory over UFCgreat Tank Abbott in February 2003. That victory led Mir on a journey to theultimate prize in mixed martial arts, the heavyweight title.  Mir defeated Tim Sylvia at UFC 48 in June2004 in an unforgettable arm-breaking submission that UFC fans still discuss tothis day. 

Ina span of a few months, Mir went from the heights of UFC heavyweight championto the lows of nearly dying in a grisly motorcycle accident.  The severe injuries he suffered in thehorrific accident led to him being stripped of his title as he rehabbed hisbroken leg.

Mirreturned to the Octagon almost two years later in February of 2006, but wasstopped by Marcio Cruz in the first round. A subsequent decision win over DanChristison put Mir in the win column once again, but a loss to rising starBrandon Vera put Mir back on the comeback trail.  Now, after two straight victories including afirst round submission of Brock Lesner, a former All-American wrestler at the University of Minnesota and WWE superstar, Mir isready for another shot at the title.

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