‘The Ultimate Fighter 31’ rosters revealed, includes eight former UFC fighters

“The Ultimate Fighter” is back for a 31st season, which will be coached by lightweight stars Conor McGregor and Michael Chandler.

Set to debut May 30 on ESPN and run until Aug. 15, the series will include men’s bantamweights and lightweights, as first reported on MMA Junkie’s “Spinning Back Clique.” Filming began in February in Las Vegas.

McGregor (22-6 MMA, 10-4 UFC) and Chandler (23-8 MMA, 2-3 UFC) will square off after the conclusion of the series at a date and location yet-to-be-determined.

In addition to an announcement of rosters Saturday, the promotion announced the upcoming season will have a theme of “Redemption,” which pins former UFC fighters against rising prospects.

Dozens of fighters applied and only 16 were selected. Scroll below to see who made the cut.

cHunter Azure (10-3)

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – APRIL 10: (R-L) Hunter Azure punches Jack Shore of Wales in a bantamweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on April 10, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

Age: 30

UFC experience: 2-2

Notes: Signed with UFC in 2019 after a win over Cris Ocon on Dana White’s Contender Series; defeated Cole Smith and Brad Katona in UFC; trains under coach Eddie Cha at Fight Ready in Scottsdale, Ariz.; has gone 1-1 since UFC departure.

Bantamweight: Rico DiSciullo (11-2)

Age: 36

UFC experience: None

Notes: DWCS Season 2 alumnus – lost to Montel Jackson; winner of five of his most recent six; longtime staple of CES MMA

Bantamweight: Cody Gibson (19-8)

Age: 35

UFC experience: 1-3

Notes: Fought the likes of Aljamain Sterling and Manny Gamburyan in the UFC; since his UFC release has gone 7-1 including wins over John Dodson and Francisco Rivera

Bantamweight: Mando Gutierrez (8-2)

Age: 25

UFC experience: None

Notes: DWCS Season 6 alum – lost to Raul Rosas Jr.; bounced back from DWCS defeat with a quick submission win in October; Total Warrior Combat bantamweight champion

Bantamweight: Brad Katona (12-2)

Age: 31

UFC experience: 2-2

Notes: Won “The Ultimate Fighter, Season 27” bantamweight bracket; is 4-0 since UFC departure in 2020; current Brave CF bantamweight champion

Bantamweight: Timur Valiev (18-3)

Mar 19, 2022; London, UK; Timur Valiev (blue gloves) before his fight against Jack Shore during UFC Fight Night at O2 Arena. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports

Age: 33

UFC experience: 2-1 with one no contest

Notes: Perennial WSOF/PFL contender from 2014-2018; signed with the UFC on six-fight winning streak in 2020; defeated Raoni Barcelos and Martin Day in UFC; was released in 2022 after loss to Jack Shore

Bantamweight: Carlos Vera (12-3)

Age: 35

UFC experience: None

Notes: Top Fury FC bantamweight contender; represents Ecuador; rides a four-fight winning streak; six finishes in 12 pro wins

Bantamweight: Trevor Wells (8-3)

Age: 27

UFC experience: None

Notes: Experience in Combate Global and LFA; currently rides a four-fight winning streak

Lightweight: Lee Hammond (5-0)

Age: 26

UFC experience: None

Notes: Won his lone Bellator appearance to date in February 2022; four finishes in five professional fights; trains at SBG Ireland under coach John Kavanagh

Lightweight: Kurt Holobaugh (19-7)

Age: 36

UFC experience: 0-4

Notes: Had two stints in the UFC; the second stint he suffered losses against Raoni Barcelos, Shane Burgos, and Thiago Moises; DWCS, Season 1 alumnus – defeated Matt Bessette; is 2-0 with two knockouts since his most recent UFC departure

Lightweight: Austin Hubbard (15-6)

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – AUGUST 21: (L-R) Austin Hubbard punches Vinc Pichel in a lightweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on August 21, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

Age: 31

UFC experience: 3-4

Notes: Former LFA lightweight champion; earned UFC wins over Kyle Prepolec, Max Rohskopf and Dakota Bush; 2-0 since his UFC departure including a win over Julian Lane

Lightweight: Nate Jennerman (16-5)

PFL 4 at the Overtime Elite Arena in Atlanta, Georgia, Friday, June 17, 2022. (Cooper Neill / PFL)

Age: 30

UFC experience: None

Notes: Holds career wins in PFL and LFA; rides a three-fight winning streak; has 13 wins including 12 submissions in 16 victories

Lightweight: Jason Knight

Age: 30

UFC experience: 4-5

Notes: TUF 22 veteran; holds UFC wins over Dan Hooker, Alex Caceres and Chas Skelly, among others; three-time UFC bonus winner; fought Artem Lobov twice in BKFC and went 1-1

Lightweight: Aaron McKenzie

Age: 34

UFC experience: None

Notes: LFA lightweight champion; trains under former Bellator middleweight champion Rafael Lovato Jr.; holds a win over former UFC fighter Joe Giannetti

Lightweight: Landon Quinones (7-1-1)

Age: 27

UFC experience: None

Notes: Titan FC lightweight champion; was scheduled for DWCS, Season 4 but was pulled when he tested positive for COVID-19; trains under coach Henri Hooft at Kill Cliff FC

Lightweight: Roosevelt Roberts (12-3)

Age: 28

UFC experience: 3-3 with one no contest

Notes: UFC wins over Thomas Gifford, Alexander Yakovlev and Brok Weaver; DWCS Season 2 alumnus – defeated Garrett Gross; 2-0 since UFC departure

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie