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TUF 11 to feature 28 fighters, new format promised.


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Straying from the normal format and surely likely to cause more than a few head scratches, Ultimate Fighting Championship and Spike TV officials today confirmed that the upcoming 11th season of "The Ultimate Fighter" will feature 28 middleweight fighters.


The show traditionally features 16 or 32 competitors because of it's single-elimination tournament format, though officials promise a "new format" that will be revealed during the show's March 31 debut.


"TUF 11," which features former champs Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz as coaches, today went into production.


The "TUF 11" season debut airs at 10 p.m. ET/PT following Spike TV's broadcast of UFC Fight Night 21, which is expected to be headlined by Kenny Florian vs. Takanori Gomi.


As MMAjunkie.com (http://www.mmajunkie.com) recently reported, The Ultimate Fighter 11 Finale, which serves as the season's live-event conclusion, takes place on June 19.


But how does the cast go from 28 cast members to the final two? Without some tweaking, it's of course not possible ? without first-round byes, double-eliminations or some other tinkering of the traditional tournament format. For example, a host of former UFC fighters (such as Bobby Southworth, Nick Thompson and Logan Clark) recently tried out for the show, and perhaps those UFC vets selected for the cast get an automatic berth into the second round.


Spike TV officials, though, told MMAjunkie.com the details of the format change will be kept under wraps until the March 31 debut



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