The Ultimate Fighter Season 1: Where are they now?

The Ultimate Fighter Season 1: Where are they now?

The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) Season 1, which premiered in 2005, played a crucial role in the growth and mainstream popularity of the UFC and mixed martial arts.

The show featured up-and-coming fighters competing for a UFC contract under the guidance of coaches Chuck Liddell and Randy Couture. Almost two decades later, many fans still remember the iconic moments and fighters from the inaugural season.

In this article, we’ll explore what happened to the TUF Season 1 cast and where they are now!

Forrest Griffin

The winner of the light heavyweight bracket, Forrest Griffin, went on to have an illustrious UFC career. He became the UFC Light Heavyweight Champion in 2008 and was involved in several memorable bouts, including his historic fight against Stephan Bonnar in the TUF Season 1 Finale.

Griffin retired from MMA in 2012 and was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame in 2013. He currently works for the UFC as the Vice President of Athlete Development and leads the UFC Performance Institute.

Stephan Bonner (left) and Forrest Griffin (right) in The Ultimate Fighter Season 1 Finale.

Stephan Bonnar

Stephan Bonnar, the light heavyweight runner-up, had a successful UFC career, winning several post-TUF fights.

Although he never captured a UFC title, he is best remembered for his epic battle against Forrest Griffin in the TUF Season 1 Finale (you can watch below). Bonnar retired from MMA in 2012 and was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame alongside Griffin in 2013.

Bonnar tragically passed away on December 22, 2022 , at the age of 45. He will forever be remembered as one of the pioneers and legends of the UFC and sport of mixed martial arts.

Diego Sanchez

Diego Sanchez emerged as the winner of the middleweight bracket (which was fought at 185 pounds during the show, although Sanchez later competed at 170 and 155 pounds).

He went on to have a long and successful UFC career, earning multiple Fight of the Night honors and competing for the UFC Lightweight Championship in 2009.

In 2021, Sanchez was released from the UFC after a dispute involving his medical records. His future in MMA remains uncertain.

Kenny Florian

Kenny Florian, the middleweight runner-up, had a successful UFC career, transitioning to the lightweight division and earning three title shots. He retired from MMA in 2012 due to a back injury.

Florian has since become a respected MMA analyst and commentator, working for various networks, including ESPN.

Chris Leben

Chris Leben, a memorable character from the show, went on to have a successful UFC career, earning multiple Knockout of the Night honors.

Leben retired from the UFC in 2013 but later returned to the sport to compete in bare-knuckle boxing. He retired from combat sports in 2021 and currently works as an MMA coach.

Josh Koscheck

Josh Koscheck became a top welterweight contender after his time on TUF Season 1, challenging Georges St-Pierre for the UFC Welterweight Championship in 2010.

He left the UFC in 2015 and later competed in Bellator MMA before retiring in 2018. Koscheck now focuses on his businesses, including a successful clothing line and an aviation company.

Nate Quarry

Nate Quarry had a respectable UFC career following TUF Season 1, challenging for the UFC Middleweight Championship in 2005. Quarry retired from MMA in 2010 due to injuries.

He has since become an advocate for fighter rights and compensation, as well as an MMA analyst and television personality.

Mike Swick

Mike Swick had a successful run in the UFC, competing in both the middleweight and welterweight divisions. He retired from MMA in 2015 due to health issues and now owns and operates the AKA Thailand gym, a world-renowned training facility in Phuket, Thailand.

Swick also hosts a podcast, “The Real Quick with Mike Swick Podcast,” where he interviews fighters and other personalities in the MMA community.

Bobby Southworth

Bobby Southworth, a light heavyweight competitor on the show, went on to have a modest MMA career, fighting in various organizations, including Strikeforce.

He retired from MMA in 2009 and has largely remained out of the public eye. Southworth now works as an MMA instructor and personal trainer.

Alex Schoenauer

Alex Schoenauer competed in various MMA promotions after his time on TUF Season 1, including the IFL and M-1 Global.

He retired from MMA in 2010 and transitioned into stunt work and acting. Schoenauer has appeared in numerous TV shows and films, such as “NCIS: Los Angeles,” “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” and “Logan.”

Sam Hoger

Sam Hoger fought in the UFC and other promotions after TUF Season 1, eventually retiring from MMA in 2011.

Hoger transitioned to coaching and opened his gym, Hoger Mixed Martial Arts, in Houston, Texas. He also works as an MMA referee and judge.

Lodune Sincaid

Lodune Sincaid continued his MMA career after TUF Season 1, competing in various promotions, including the WEC.

He retired from MMA in 2010. Sincaid tragically passed away in 2019 at the age of 45. The cause of his death was not publicly disclosed.

The fighters from The Ultimate Fighter Season 1 left an indelible mark on the sport of MMA and the UFC.

While some continued to have successful careers within the UFC, others ventured into coaching, entrepreneurship, or the entertainment industry.

The lasting impact of TUF Season 1 is a testament to the talent and determination of its cast members, as well as the significance of the show in the growth of the UFC and MMA as a whole.

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About Ross Cole

Ross Cole is one of the most prolific mixed martial arts writers in the world, having written more than 18,000 MMA news stories for MMA Insight (previously Fight of the Night), which he founded in 2009 as a way to channel his passion for the sport of mixed martial arts. His articles have been read by millions MMA and UFC fans in the process and he has developed a knack for analyzing and predicting the outcomes of MMA fights. Ross's expert MMA predictions cover UFC, Bellator and One Championship.