Two faces seemed out of place Thursday at "The Ultimate Fighter 13" tryouts in Las Vegas: Strikeforce's Andre Galvao and Karl Amoussou.
The prevailing murmur among hopefuls lined up to audition was, "Aren't they supposed to be somewhere else?"
As it turns out, the veterans are back on the job hunt. Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker today confirmed to MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com
) that Galvao (5-2) and Amoussou (11-3-2) have been released from the San Jose, Calif.-based promotion.
"The Ultimate Fighter 13," which begins production in January with a tentative April debut date on Spike TV, features welterweight and middleweight fighters.
It's a quick turnaround for the welterweight Galvao, who was put away in the first round by prospect Tyrone Woodley at this past month's "Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Noons 2." The loss snapped a two-fight streak in Strikeforce that included wins over Luke Stewart and Jorge Patino. Apparently, though, that wasn't enough to save the submission grappling standout and frequent training partner to many top Brazilian fighters.
Woodley was Galvao's second career loss in a relatively young MMA career. The Brazilian bested UFC veteran John Alessio in the opening round of DREAM's welterweight grand prix this past year but fell short on points to Jason High in the semifinals.
If he makes it onto the show, Galvao would undoubtedly carry the most prestigious grappling credentials among the 16 competitors picked to live in a house and have their lives (and fights) taped.
Amoussou's recent road has been far more rocky. The French middleweight most recently appeared overseas at DREAM.15 and was bested on points by UFC and PRIDE veteran Kazuhiro Nakamura. That setback followed a disappointing debut at Strikeforce Challengers 6 that was brought to a halt when he was accidently poked in the eye by Trevor Prangley in the first round. The foul forced a technical draw.
An appearance on "TUF" would bring Amoussou into mainstream consciousness after an impressive 6-2 run in M-1 Global's stable of international fighters.
UFC officials have not formally announced any other information about "TUF 13," including potential coaches and the tournament format. However, recent seasons have used a 28-man tourney. The initial 28 is reduced to 14 official cast members through an elimination round of fights, and two fighters who then lose in the following round earn second life in the quarterfinals as wild-card picks.
"TUF," which debuted in 2005 and quickly became a driving force for the UFC's move into the mainstream, had launched the careers of more than 100 fighters and has produced past champions such as Rashad Evans, Forrest Griffin and Matt Serra. The current 12th season features welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre and "TUF 1" semifinalist Josh Koscheck as coaches, as well as lightweight fighters as cast members.
"TUF" most recently featured middleweights in the 11th season and welterweights in the ninth season.