TUF 20 Episode 1 - The Ultimate Fighter: Pettis vs Melendez - Video

For the first time ever, the new season of The Ultimate Fighter won't focus on prospects or even veteran fighters attempting a comeback. The 20th season of the show instead features the 16 best female fighters in the world at 115 pounds. These are fighters who aren’t trying to get into the UFC - they are already in the UFC and the winner from this competition will walk out of the Octagon in December with a gold belt around their waist and the notation as the first ever UFC strawweight champion.

The UFC brought in eight of the best fighters from Invicta Fighting Championships - the premier all women's MMA league - and then held tryouts to fill the other eight slots on the show. Together, those 16 women represent the best of the best in the strawweight division, and they will compete this season with more on the line than ever before.

Guiding their journey will be UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis, who joins the show as a coach for the first time ever and also as a new experience for him. Pettis has been a student of the game for several years working under famed trainer Duke Roufus, but this will actually be the first chance he's had to step into the spotlight as the leader as he tries to focus his fighters on the goal of becoming champion. On the other side of the Octagon stands former Strikeforce lightweight champion and No. 1 ranked contender Gilbert Melendez. Unlike Pettis, Melendez has been a coach for a big part of his MMA career, and he's actually coached several female fighters before, including his wife Keri, who is a former Muay Thai specialist in her own right.

Another oddity this season is the fact that so many of the competitors on this show have already fought each other in the past, so it will certainly create some unique rivalries on the first day the fighters arrive in the house. All of them will be motivated by the belt, but a few more might be motivated by revenge.

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