The 28-year-old Richards out of Texas Tech had a short career in the NFL with the Indianapolis Colts. The Florida-product Jones, 35, was actually a first round pick by Tampa Bay in 1996 and played six years in the league. It's good news for viewers if they both make the show. They're both legit heavyweights in 6-foot-5, 260 pound range and their ages should make for a good mix with what is usually a cast of younger prospects.
Davidson reports the football players are amongst 70-80 fighters who made the cut and are in Las Vegas today and tomorrow. Tuesday is when Richards (pictured) and Jones may have to "turn in their playbooks" as the field is whittled down to the final 32.
Davidson based out of Toronto wrote that four Canadians made the cut. That came from a group of 30 Canadians who tried out. Nick Hincliffe from British Columbia said the tryout is intense:
"There were some really good guys there. When you walk into the room, everyone is kind of eyeballing everybody. You can cut the testosterone with a knife. It's go time, you have two minutes to grapple and about 60 seconds of hitting the hand pads, you've got to lay it all out,"
The UFC has missed more than it's share of good fighters over the years in these massive tryout sessions including Brandon Vera and Jon Fitch, both of whom eventually made it to the big show.
- Marcus Jones