Soon-to-launch sports cable channel Fox Sports 1 will air the next season of reality series The Ultimate Fighter, alongside its UFC programming, in September.
The 18th season of the Pilgrim Studios-produced series, which previously ran on Spike TV before moving to FX in 2012, will anchor the new network’s Wednesday night UFC block.
Along with a new network, the upcoming season of The Ultimate Fighter boasts the addition of female coaches and competitors for the first time in the history of the mixed martial arts competition show.
UFC women’s bantam-weight champion Ronda Rousey and challenger Cat Zingano will act as coaches to male and female bantam-weight fighters, who live and train together in hopes of winning a six-figure contract with the UFC.
Fox Sports 1 launches on August 17 to more than 90 million homes, while season 18 of The Ultimate Fighter premieres on September 4 at 10 p.m. EST.
“Bringing The Ultimate Fighter to FOX Sports 1 is like adding a big bat to an exciting young lineup,” said Fox Sports Media Group’s co-president and COO Eric Shanks.
“Season 17 of The Ultimate Fighter just ended and it was the best season we’ve ever done,” added UFC president Dana White. “Season 18 is going to be historic and groundbreaking with the first-ever women coaches, and men and women training and living together, and we’re excited to be airing it on the best new sports network in the country, FOX Sports 1.”