Lightweights are Heavy Hitters on Season 5 of 'The Ultimate Fighter' on Spike TV

New Season Features Sixteen Top Up-and-Coming Lightweights

Former Champions B.J. Penn and Jens Pulver to Serve as Coaches

Penn and Pulver to Fight Live on Spike TV in Series Finale

Mar 15, 2007, 01:00 ET from Spike TV

    LAS VEGAS, March 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Sixteen of the best up-and-coming
 mixed martial artists in the lightweight division (155lbs) from around the
 world will be featured in Season 5 of Spike TV's hit original series, "The
 Ultimate Fighter," premiering Thursday, April 5 at 10:00 PM, ET/PT. Former
 UFC Lightweight Champion Jens Pulver and former UFC Welterweight Champion
 B.J. Penn will serve as coaches.
     In a first for "The Ultimate Fighter" franchise, coaches Penn and
 Pulver will fight each other in the show's live finale in late June. The
 two fought previously in January 2002 at UFC 35, where Pulver won by a
 majority decision in a grueling 5-round title fight. The series is once
 again hosted by UFC President Dana White and was filmed in Las Vegas
 earlier this year.
     The cast for Season 5 includes:
     Allen Berube, Nate Diaz, Robert Emerson, Manuel Gamburyan, Brian
 Geraghty, Corey Hill, Joseph Lauzon, Gray Maynard, Brandon Melendez, Cole
 Miller, Gabe Ruediger, Marlon Sims, Noah Thomas, Andy Wang, Wayne Weems,
 and Matt Wiman.
     During the 6-week Ultimate Fighter competition, the sixteen men endured
 a grueling regimen of jiu-jitsu, judo, muy thai, karate, boxing and
 wrestling. The intense competition between the fighters continued after
 they left the gym -- at The Ultimate Fighter House. These warriors were
 forced to live together, knowing that any day they might be forced to fight
 each other in the famed UFC Octagon(TM).
     In each episode, opponents from each team are selected to square off in
 battle, officially weighed in and then, in front of their teammates,
 coaches and the Nevada State Athletic Commission, the two combatants face
 off in two five-minute rounds.
     Over the first 4 seasons, the show has delivered approximately 2
 million viewers each week, often beating the NBA, NHL, MLB and NCAA
 football and basketball head-to-head on Thursday nights with men 18-34.
     Craig Piligian of Pilgrim Films and Television, Frank Fertitta III,
 Lorenzo Fertitta, Dana White of Zuffa, LLC, and Kevin Kay of Spike TV are
 the show's executive producers. Brian J. Diamond is Senior Vice President,
 Sports & Specials, Spike TV and Co-Executive Producer.
     Spike TV is available in 91 million homes and is a division of MTV
 Networks. MTV Networks, a division of Viacom International Inc.