* Kevin "Kimbo Slice" Ferguson
* Zak Jensen
* Marcus Jones
* Matt Mitrione
* Roy Nelson
* Brendan Schaub
* Darrill Schoonover
* Wes Shivers
* Wes Sims
* Abe Wagner
* Justin Wren
Marcus Jones, the 1996 first-round draft pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, enters "TUF" with a 4-1 professional MMA record, which includes four first-round victories via stoppage (with an average time of just 91 seconds per win). Three of the wins came via TKO and one via submission.
The 35-year-old played football at the University of North Carolina, where he was a four-time letterman, an All-American and the 1995 ACC Defensive Player of the Year. The 6-foot-6 defensive tackle played six NFL seasons with the Bucs. In his best season, 2000, he ranked eighth in the league with 13 sacks. He spent two additional seasons with the Buffalo Bills (but didn't play in the regular season) before giving up the sport. Soon after, he joined instructor Rob Kahn at Gracie Tampa and eventually made his professional MMA debut in 2007.
Matt Mitrione, who had a nine-game stint with the New York Giants in 2002, will be one of the season's least-experienced fighters (on paper, anyway). He has no professional fights, according to the major fighter databases, though he reportedly has fought as an amateur.
The 30-year-old Illinois native was an All-Big Ten defensive tackle for Purdue University. He went un-drafted after his senior year in 2000 but still earned his way into the NFL as a free agent. In addition to the Giants, the 6-foot-4 Mitrione spent some time with the Minnesota Vikings (though he didn't appear in any regular-season games for the team) before leaving the NFL in 2006.
Brendan Schaub, a 6-foot-4 fullback for the University of Colorado who spent some time with (but didn't play for) the Buffalo Bills, is 4-0 as a professional MMA fighter. He's often compared to his longtime training partner, undefeated UFC heavyweight Shane Carwin. Like Carwin, Schaub has made quick work of his opponents since turning pro in 2008. In four professional fights, he has four first-round TKOs, and the average length of each fight is just 59 seconds.
The 26-year-old Colorado native played for the Arena Football League's Utah Blaze before focusing solely on MMA. Schaub, the son of a second-degree Tae Kwon Do black belt, is a Golden Gloves boxing champion and the 2008 Colorado Open Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Absolute Advanced Grand Champion. He currently trains with Greg Jackson's renowned Team Jackson camp in New Mexico and T's KO Fight Club in Colorado.
Wes Shivers, who had a short NFL stint with the Atlanta Falcons in 2000, is 0-1 as a professional and 4-0 as an amateur, according to MMA.tv's fighter database. (However, his record is listed as 6-0 in some places). The muscular 6-foot-7 fighter is well versed in grappling and Muay Thai and previously competed as a super heavyweight before a lack of available opponents prompted a move down to heavyweight.
The 32-year-old Team Hammer Hill fighter was a standout offensive lineman at Mississippi State University. The Tennessee Titans drafted him in the seventh round of the 2000 NFL Draft. After playing three games with the Falcons in 2000, he left the NFL and focused on his MMA career.
In addition to Jones, Mitrione, Schaub and Shivers, a fifth football vet earned a spot on the cast but was forced to give it up. If it weren't for an injury suffered just prior to the show's taping, former Texas Tech stand-out lineman and Indianapolis Colts practice-squad member Rex Richards would also be on the show.
However, a source close to the fighter told MMAjunkie.com that Richards suffered a partial MCL tear just five days before he was set to leave for Las Vegas. Doctors couldn't clear him to compete, so he was forced to give up his spot in the "TUF" house.
Last edited by Hellboy; 06-11-2009 at 01:21 AM.