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30 Aug 2011

The Ultimate Fighter: Team Bisping vs Team Miller – Cast Bios

BANTAMWEIGHTS

John Albert
Fighting out of: Puyallup, Washington
Age: 24

Record: 6-1-0

Gifted with natural athletic talent, John Albert played soccer and wrestled through junior high school, but decided not to pursue these sports at Governor John Rogers High in Puyallup, WA.  Upon graduating in 2005, Albert began plying his trade as a commercial electrician, when a friend approached him asking for help training for an upcoming mixed martial arts bout.  Despite not having wrestled in four years, Albert’s takedown ability and defense wowed everyone in the gym.  On the flipside, Albert was wholly unprepared for the punches and kicks that came his way in sparring sessions, and was determined to become versed in those disciplines and become a mixed martial artist.

Albert soon sought out Dennis Hallman’s Victory Athletics Gym in Olympia, WA where he still trains today.  He has since abandoned his previous career as an electrician to focus on fighting full time, and said being selected for this season of “The Ultimate Fighter” was one of the greatest things to ever happen to him.  After training with “The Ultimate Fighter” alumnus Len Bentley back home, he believes he is fully prepared for the trials and tribulations that come with training and living with fifteen other mixed martial artists for the next six weeks.

Johnny Bedford
Fighting out of: Forth Worth, TX
Record: 17-9-1
Age: 28

Bedford was born and raised outside of Toledo, Ohio where he was first introduced to the sport of mixed martial arts.  While attending Woodmore High school, Bedford was a member of the varsity wrestling team where he qualified for the state championships, placing twice, including a third place finish during his senior year in 2001.  Upon graduation, Bedford enrolled at Cleveland State University, where he was a Division 1 NCAA wrestler for two years while beginning to take up MMA fights.

Fighting in smaller events, Bedford soon found himself taking on two or three fights some months to support his wife and four year-old.  Faced with mediocre fight opportunities and financial difficulties, Bedford left the Midwest to his current location in Forth Worth, Texas, where he trains at the gym he founded, the Fitness Fight Factory.

Roland Delorme
Fighting out of: Winnipeg, CA / Winnipeg Academy of Mixed Martial Arts
Record: 6-1-0
Age: 27

From a young age, Roland Delorme claims he has always had a problem sitting still.  A bundle of energy, his parents enrolled him in judo in the fifth grade in an attempt to give him more focus.  For the next decade, he began trained in Jiu-Jitsu and Muay Thai at the Winnipeg Academy of Mixed Martial Arts, where he is still a member.

Boasting a 6-1-0 record, it seems the 27-year old Winnipeg native has found his focus, even though he says a lot of his childhood energy has carried into his adult life. Trying to keep a level-headed approach to training, Delorme is ready to focus his energy and excitement into training with new people and competing in Las Vegas for the next six weeks in the hopes of becoming “The Ultimate Fighter.”

 

TJ Dillashaw
Fighting out of: Sacramento, CA / Team Alpha Male
Record: 4-0-0
Age: 25

Born and raised in Angels Camp, CA, TJ Dillashaw graduated from Brett Harte Union High School in 2004, where he was a standout wrestler, garnering All State honors his junior and senior years.  Colleges took notice, and Dillashaw declined recruiting overtures from a number of schools including UC Davis and their superstar wrestler Urijah Faber (currently a UFC star) and accepted a full scholarship to Cal State Fullerton, where he majored in Kinesiology.  During his collegiate wrestling career, Dillashaw was a 3-time NCAA qualifier and earned a top ten ranking in the nation his senior year.  In his senior year, Dillashaw’s coach was UFC middleweight Mark Muñoz, who convinced him to postpone a planned career as a physician’s assistant in favor of mixed martial arts.

Upon graduating in 2009, Dillashaw finally teamed up with Faber, joining Team Alpha Male in Sacramento, CA.  He has since won his first four fights as a professional mixed martial artist, with only his debut going to the judges’ scorecards.  He hopes that he and fellow Team Alpha Male member Brian Caraway end up on the same team while in Las Vegas the last six weeks, but realizes that, in this competition, loyalties from home may have to be suspended.

John Dodson
Fighting out of: Albuquerque, NM / Jackson’s Mixed Martial Arts
Record: 11-5-0
Age: 26

Born and raised in Albuquerque, NM, Dodson took to athletics at a young age.  While attending Moriarty High School, Dodson earned varsity letters in track and field, football and wrestling before graduating in 2003.  He excelled on the wrestling mat, amassing four district championships and two state titles in his four year career.

Despite these accolades, Dodson wanted to focus on academics and a career in information technology, and enrolled at the University of New Mexico, majoring in computer science.  To help pay for college, Dodson took a job at Chuck E. Cheese, and, as fate would have it, he found himself waiting on members of Greg Jackson’s camp one evening.  Familiar with Dodson’s high school accomplishments, they were shocked that he had not pursued athletics any further, and convinced him to try his hand at mixed martial arts, and, before long, an MMA career was born and Dodson was training full time.

Standing 5 foot 3 inches tall, John Dodson’s diminutive stature may lead some to underestimate him, but the 11 wins he has amassed, often in spectacular fashion, suggests that his opponents do so at their own peril.

Josh Ferguson
Fighting out of: Louisville, KY / All-American MMA
Record: 7-3-0
Age: 22

Hailing from Taylorsville, KY, Josh Ferguson is the middle child amongst the seven Ferguson siblings.  Never old enough for respect but never young enough to be babied, Ferguson says he has been fighting since the day he was born thanks to his older brothers.  Almost all of Ferguson’s siblings are involved in mixed martial arts, be it as competitors inside the cage or promoting fights in the South.

A brown belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu, he currently trains at All American MMA Academy alongside his brother BJ, who lost an entry fight to get into the house on this season.  Though he will miss training with his brother on the show, Ferguson says the work ethic he inherited from his father, a block mason, is the reason for the success he has enjoyed thus far, and for the success he expects as he trains in Las Vegas on “The Ultimate Fighter.”

Louis Gaudinot
Fighting out of: Elmwood, NJ / Team Tiger
Record: 5-1-0
Age: 26

Louis Gaudinot started training in martial arts at 6, when he began taking karate lessons.  As a member of the Mt St Michael’s Academy High School track team, he was a pole vaulter, Gaudinot then continued his education at the criminal justice program at Seton Hall University, where he began competing in mixed martial arts bouts.

Gaudinot used to change his hair color after each fight, until winning several fights consecutively with his green hair.  A superstitious individual, he opted to maintain the green hair and it soon became as synonymous with his name on the MMA circuit as his flashy fighting style. Gaudinot soon found himself training with Elmwood, NJ’s Team Tiger Schulmann.  Although his coaches insist he avoids showing off inside the cage, Gaudinot’s 5-1-0 record makes him think he is doing something right.

Dustin Pague
Fighting out of: Harrisburg, PA
Record: 10-4-0
Age: 23

Originally from Harrisburg, PA, Dustin Pague started fighting at 15 years old as a recreational boxer.  He graduated from Central Dauphin East High School in 2005, and claims to be the first Homecoming King from his high school to pursue a career in mixed martial arts after graduating.  He began training in Pennsylvania while attending Harrisburg Community College, but, seeking better training partners, Pague began splitting time between Harrisburg and Centreville, VA, where he joined the MASE Training Center gym.  After losing three straight bouts, Pague realized that, despite missing his family, if he was to succeed in MMA, he needed to train in Virginia full time, and has been doing so for the past 2 years.  While training in Virginia, Pague has been attending the Pinnacle Career Institute, where he will receive an associate’s degree in Occupational Studies for Exercise Science in October.

FEATHERWEIGHTS

Stephen Bass
Fighting out of: Savannah, GA / Lloyd Irvin MMA
Record: 10-0-0
Age: 28

Born and raised in Savannah, GA, Stephen Bass graduated from Gordon Central High School in 2000 and took up a career in construction.  He took up boxing as a hobby, and eventually quit construction in 2007 to focus on fighting full time.  After enduring two hernias and a string of surgeries that kept him out of the cage for nineteen months, it should come as no surprise that Stephen considers his will power one of his key strengths. His 8-0 record reinforces his position as a top contender in mixed martial arts. The self described southern gentleman currently lives in Savannah, GA with his daughter, who he believes will provide ample motivation in his quest to become “The Ultimate Fighter.”

Dennis Bermudez
Fighting out of: Massapequa, NY/ Long Island MMA
Record: 7-2-0
Age: 24

Born and raised in Saugerties, just outside of Woodstock, NY, Dennis Bermudez began his athletic career at Saugerties High School, where he was a defensive back on the football team as well as a standout wrestler, compiling a record of 112-23 over four years.  Upon graduation in 2005, he enrolled in Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, where he went on to become a Top 25 Division 1 wrestler in the country in 2007 and an All-American in freestyle competition.

After college, Bermudez moved to Harrisburg, PA, where he began training mixed martial arts in 2009 at the request of some fighters who he was helping with their wrestling skills.  He began competing on the East Coast circuit, and was 4-0 as an amateur before turning pro.  He has since compiled a 7-2 record, including a unanimous decision win against former UFC vet Shannon Gugerty.  Bermudez currently lives in Massapequa, NY and trains with Long Island MMA in Lindenhurst, NY.

Diego Brandao
Fighting out of: Albuquerque, NM / Jackson’s Mixed Martial Arts
Record: 13-7-0
Age: 23

Growing up in Manaus, Brazil, soccer was Diego Brandao’s first love.  However, as one of the smaller guys on the field, Brandao was often outsized and outmuscled, and he turned to Brazilian jiu jitsu at 9 years old.  At an age when many American children are learning long division and state capitals, Diego was learning triangle chokes and arm bars.  By the age of 14, he was competing in BJJ tournaments in Brazil, and soon began to incorporate other disciplines into his martial arts routine.

Training six times a week, Brandao’s MMA skills grew by leaps and bounds as he compiled a 6-3-0 record fighting in Brazil.  He currently boasts a 13-7-0 record, and, eighteen months ago, Brandao moved to Albuquerque, NM to train with Donald Cerrone, Leonard Garcia at Greg Jackson’s Submission Fighting Team.

Marcus Brimage
Fighting out of: Coconut Creek, FL / American Top Team
Record: 3-1-0
Age: 31

Marcus Brimage is no stranger to exhibiting his MMA skills on television – as he was a finalist on BET’s “Iron Ring.” Born in Colorado Springs, Brimage moved to Birmingham, AL with his family when he was four years old after his father returned from being stationed in Germany.   Brimage was a natural athlete growing up and lettered in track and field as well as football at Pinson Valley High School.  He led the football team in tackles while playing nose tackle his senior year in 2003, and three days after graduating, he enlisted in the Air National Guard as a means to pay for college.  In the eight years since, he has earned an associate’s degree in criminal justice from Wallace State and a bachelor’s degree from Faulkner University.

Brimage’s interest in MMA was piqued by both the popular anime program “Dragonball Z,” as well as a highlight reel he saw of Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.  Seeking a way to get involved in the sport, one of his sergeant’s introduced him to the Spartan Fitness training center in Birmingham, where he displayed tremendous potential.  He eventually decided to move to Coconut Creek, FL to join American Top Team, and has compiled a 3-1-0 record since turning pro.

Bryan Caraway
Fighting out of: Sacramento, CA / Team Alpha Male
Record: 15-5-0
Age: 27


Bryan Caraway’s roots in fighting can be traced back to Goldendale, WA, where he was a standout athlete, placing 3 times at the state championships in his four years on the varsity wrestling team.  With a desire to further pursue his education, Caraway attended Central Washington University, where he was able to continue wrestling for another year before the program was shut down.  Seeking new outlets for his athletic abilities, Caraway was soon introduced to MMA and began training in local gyms.

Eventually Caraway made his way to his current gym, Urijah Faber’s legendary Team Alpha Male in Sacramento, CA.  In one of his first fights, Caraway suffered an injury, breaking his kneecap in the first round in three different locations.  Unaware of the severity of the situation, Caraway continued to fight through the pain, earning a TKO victory in the second round.  After a month with no medical attention, Caraway realized how badly he was hurt in the middle of another fight.  After surgery and a brief recuperation period, Caraway is now healthy and eager to make his debut in the UFC.  Although two of his friends and former training partners, TJ Dillashaw and John Albert, are in the house, Caraway will stop at nothing to win this competition and have his hand raised in Las Vegas come December.  He has the x-rays of his knee to prove it.

Hamid “Akira” Corassani
Fighting out of: Gothenburg, Sweden / Team Kaobon
Record: 9-3-0
Age: 28

A true Renaissance man, Sweden native Hamid “Akira” Corassani speaks seven languages and has worn many hats in his 28 years:  from graphic design artist with an offer to attend one of the best schools in Sweden and work on blockbuster films, to touring musician, to reconnaissance diver in the Swedish military, to professional soccer prospect at IFK Göteborg.  However, he has shelved all other pursuits to chase his dream of fighting professionally.

Despite only four years experience as a professional mixed martial artist, Corassani began training in martial arts at 6 years old when he was introduced to karate.  He later transitioned to tae kwon do, becoming the youngest black belt in Europe at the age of 12 in the process.  At 14, he stopped his martial arts training to focus on soccer, but an exposure to a Vitor Belfort highlight tape inspired him to give up the pitch for the Octagon.  He joined Team Kaobon in Gothenburg, Sweden, and recently moved to Brooklyn, NY to begin training with Renzo Gracie Academy in New York.    Holding a 9-3-0 record, Corasanni views the next six weeks in Las Vegas as some of the most important of his life.

Dustin Neace
Fighting out of: Indianapolis, IN
Record: 22-17-1
Age: 24

While still attending Shakamak High School in Indianapolis, IN, Dustin Neace heard of a local fight being put on in his hometown by Keith Palmer and “The Ultimate Fighter” veteran Chris Lytle.  When he heard the two were looking for local fighters to put on the card, Neace signed up with little to no training, and lost via guillotine choke.  Despite the defeat, the rush of being inside the Octagon was unlike anything he had ever felt before, and he was determined to succeed in mixed martial arts.  He joined a local academy, Boiler Room MMA, until he finished high school in 2005, whereupon he moved to Granite City, IL and began training with the HIT Squad full time.

His time at the HIT Squad was cut short when he decided to move to Tamaroa, IL to support his girlfriend’s college aspirations.  Since then, he has been training on his own.  Lacking a gym to grapple, roll, and spar, Neace spent his days mastering his cardio and physical fitness.

Steven Siler
Fighting out of: Ogden, UT / Riven Academy
Record: 18-9-0
Age: 24

A teammate of Jonathan Brookins and Court McGee at the Pit Elevated camp in Orem, UT, Steve Siler is looking to form a trifecta of “The Ultimate Fighter” champions to represent the gym as he trains in Las Vegas for the next six weeks.

Born in Anaheim, CA, Siler moved to Utah when he was 8 years old and currently lives there today.  Siler graduated from Weber High School in 2005 where he played football during his freshman and sophomore years.  Upon graduation, a friend of Siler’s went to Brazil’s famed Chute Box Academy for six months, and upon his return, introduced Siler to mixed martial arts.  Immediately hooked, Siler has been fighting ever since, compiling an 18-9-0 record, with a 14-2-0 record since he began training full time.

A jiu jitsu specialist, Siler hopes to give the term “choke artist” new meaning, as he gets no greater pleasure in the world than from forcing his opponent to tap via rearnaked choke, triangle, guillotine, or any other kind of submission.