Every Wednesday, The MMA Corner’s Duncan Price will bring a view of the MMA world from across the pond in England, covering well-known British fighters within the UFC and Strikeforce, and also looking at significant events put on by British promotions within the borders of the United Kingdom.

The Ultimate Fighter: Australia vs. UK – Coming Soon?

It has been rumored this week that the UFC may be planning an Australia vs. UK series of The Ultimate Fighter, which could offer Dan Hardy a chance to revive his ailing career.

Marshall Zelaznik, the UFC managing director of international development, discussed the subject recently with the Sunday Telegraph in Australia, revealing plans to create what is already being dubbed “The Bashes.”

This wouldn’t be the first international take on the successful TUF format as a US vs. UK edition of the reality series proved successful in 2009.

An Australian version of the show would not only renew an existing and heated rivalry with the UK, but also raise the profile of the UFC within the country. Crucially, says Zelaznik, there are willing backers ready to fund the project.

“Right now we have three Australian broadcasters interested and a number of blue chips sponsors willing to write cheques. That’s what has us really excited, the fact we have serious backers for a concept that is obviously very expensive to produce.”

“I’d like to think that before the end of the year we could be into pre-production. The pieces are certainly coming together.”

Perhaps the most obvious British coach is already tied up on another series of TUF, as Michael Bisping will feature opposite Jason “Mayhem” Miller on TUF 14, which premières next month.

Hardy is the only other truly marketable British name on the UFC roster, and he is in need of a change of pace coming off four straight losses. The most obvious coaches for the opposition should Hardy head the British team, would be adopted Australian Brian Ebersole, or Kyle Noke if he is able to drop to welterweight.

Although it may seem a little out of left field, if Ross Pearson is victorious over Edson Barboza he could potentially meet fellow lightweight George Sotiropoulos head-to-head, but in all honesty any mention of names at this point is pure speculation.

The Brit Six – UK Rankings

From time to time here on Brits & Pieces we will take a look at the top six UK MMA fighters in active competition. The rankings are primarily based on their current profile within the sport, but also take into account recent form.

Michael Bisping (Daniel Herbertson/Sherdog)

1) Michael “The Count” Bisping (21-3-0)

Michael Bisping takes first place in this inaugural set of rankings, and rightfully so. He is certainly the only fighter from the UK who currently holds a prominent position within the UFC.

After winning TUF 3 way back in 2006, Bisping has gone on to defeat world-renowned opponents such as Denis Kang, Chris Leben, Dan Miller and Yoshihiro Akiyama. Despite these victories, every time Bisping has threatened to mount a serious title challenge he has subsequently lost to a fellow contender, dropping bouts to the likes Dan Henderson and Wanderlei Silva.

The facts remain though, Bisping was the first break-out British MMA star, he was the first Brit to headline a full UFC card, and he was the first Brit to win TUF.

Although he is perhaps not the most popular of our combatants, it is undeniable that he is the most prominent and therefore deserves to take the top spot.

2) Dan “The Outlaw” Hardy (23-10-0 1NC)

Arguably the most popular fighter in Britain at the moment, Dan Hardy drops to second on the list purely based on his recent poor run of form.

At one point many would have argued for Hardy to be first on these rankings, as he began his UFC career with a four straight wins, earning him a shot at the welterweight title against current champion Georges St-Pierre. In doing so Hardy became the first Brit to fight for a title in the UFC, but he also had the unfortunate honor of becoming the first Brit to lose a title bout, as he was soundly defeated by St-Pierre.

Hardy then lost his next three contests against Carlos Condit, Anthony Johnson and Chris Lytle respectively, leading many fans of the sport to believe he would be cut from the UFC roster.  However, he received a reprieve shortly after his recent defeat to Lytle, as Zuffa co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta publicly stated that Hardy’s place in the organization was safe.

Based on his massive fan following, popularity and ability to excite the audience, Hardy rightly places second.

3) Paul “Semtex” Daley (27-11-2)

Some people may question the placement of Paul Daley at number three. Kicked out of the UFC by Dana White for throwing a punch well after the bell, he has eventually found a home under the Strikeforce banner.

After an initial victory in the promotion over Scott Smith, Daley has lost his last two bouts to former champ Nick Diaz and tough wrestler Tyron Woodley respectively, putting him right back into the middle of the welterweight pack.

In the past, Daley has beaten some top-level competition, including the likes of Martin Kampmann, Jorge Masvidal, Duane Ludwig and Dustin Hazelett. Because of his previous run in the UFC, he is also one of the highest profile fighters we have here in the UK, and that is why he resides here in the third spot.

4) Brad “One Punch” Pickett (20-5-0)

Even though Brad Pickett is a fully-fledged UFC fighter, he places lower than Daley purely because he hasn’t competed within the Octagon as of yet. If Pickett is able to defeat Renan Barao in his promotional debut, he will have earned the right to move up to at least third on these rankings.

Pickett was initially part of the WEC’s bantamweight division, which was later folded into the UFC as part of the merger between the two promotions. He actually had an impressive record in the WEC, scoring wins over current UFC bantamweight title contender Demetrious Johnson and wily veteran Ivan Menjivar.

Once Pickett has a couple of fights under his belt in the UFC, with his talent and personality, I’m sure he’ll be a fan favourite in no time.

5) Tom “Kong” Watson (14-4-0)

BAMMA stand-out Tom Watson enters here at number five, but if he had been fighting in September he may have been higher.

Watson was scheduled to meet Frank Trigg at BAMMA 7 on Sept. 10 in Birmingham, England, but he was forced to withdraw recently because of a nagging back injury. This is arguably BAMMA’s highest profile event and the loss of Watson was a big blow. It also means Watson loses some of the momentum he built up after defeating Pride veteran Murilo “Ninja” Rua at BAMMA 6 in May.

Credit has to go to Watson, as he has battled his way up through the British promotions and is now an internationally known middleweight. I would also argue that he is the highest profile British fighter still competing within a British promotion, and so he certainly has earned his spot into the rankings.

6) John “The Hitman” Hathaway (15-1-0)

I have to say sixth place was a really tough call with a few guys in the mix, but I’m going to give it to John Hathaway by a hair.

Hathaway got off to a great start in the UFC by winning his first four fights in the promotion, including a shock victory over TUF winner Diego Sanchez. Unfortunately, he came unstuck in his fifth UFC outing when experience overcame enthusiasm and he was resoundingly beaten by veteran Mike Pyle.

At the age of 24, Hathaway has a lot of potential and he can only get better with additional training and more experience. I look forward to seeing him in action at UFC 138 against Pascal Krauss and perhaps he can gain a foothold amongst the elite British fighters from there.

Honorable Mentions: Ronnie Mann, Ross Pearson, Jim Wallhead, Rob Broughton

Top Photo: Dan Hardy (Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)

This piece was authored by Duncan Price. Follow him on Twitter, @DuncMMA