The Ultimate Fighter 26 Cast Revealed — Who Will Compete for Women’s Flyweight Gold?

Roxanne Modafferi
Roxanne Modafferi. Credit: Dave Mandel/

The UFC has announced the full cast of the upcoming Ultimate Fighter 26, and it looks like fans could have a stellar season on their hands. Set to crown the inaugural UFC women’s flyweight champion, TUF 26 will include plenty of names familiar to UFC and women’s MMA fans, including a number of extremely deserving fighters. The promotion announced the list of fighters set to appear during the UFC Mexico City broadcast Saturday.

Topping the list are fighters like Roxanne Modafferi, Barb Honchak, and Lauren Murphy. Modafferi (21–13) fought for the Invicta FC flyweight title last year, and will enter TUF 26 coming off a superb win against Sarah D’Alelio at Invicta FC 23. “The Happy Warrior” is a veteran of The Ultimate Fighter 18, during which she competed at bantamweight. The trailblazer of the women’s side of the sport has been on a tear since then, however, winning six of her eight fights since the TUF 18 finale.

Honchak (10–2) is considered one of the greatest women’s flyweights, but has not fought since a November, 2014 win against Takayo Hashi. Among the notable names Honchak has defeated are Aisling Daly, Felice Herrig, Roxanne Modafferi, Leslie Smith, and Vanessa Porto. Whether cage rust will be a factor is a serious question for the thirty-seven year old Honchak.

For Lauren Murphy, who has spent her UFC career to date at bantamweight, TUF 26 represents a second chance after mixed results in her original UFC run. Murphy has gone 1-3 in her UFC run to date, but has faced stiff competition against names like Sara McMann and Liz Carmouche, who have both challenged for the UFC women’s bantamweight title.

The complete cast of The Ultimate Fighter 26 is as follows:

Ariel Beck
DeAnna Bennett
Shana Dobson
Sijara Eubanks
Melinda Fabian
Karine Gevorgyan
Barb Honchak
Christina Marks
Roxanne Modafferi
Nicco Montano
Lauren Murphy
Rachael Ostovich-Berdon
Gillian Robertson
Maia Stevenson
Montana Stewart
Emily Whitmire

The show, coached by lightweights Justin Gaethje and Eddie Alvarez, debuts August 30. The finale will air December 1, when the inaugural women’s flyweight champion will be crowned.