It may not be the first. It may not even be an original idea. But Bellator is bringing its own spin on a competitive MMA reality series to the airwaves.

On June 19, in collaboration with Spike TV, Bellator will launch Fight Master, a 32-man competition that is likely to follow a format similar to the UFC’s The Ultimate Fighter series. Whereas UFC gives its TUF winners a six-figure contract, Bellator is handing its Fight Master winner a check for $100,000 (the same amount it pays to tournament winners) and awarding the lucky individual entry into a future Bellator welterweight tournament.

The stakes are high for all 32 men, who will be coached by either Randy Couture, Greg Jackson, Frank Shamrock or Joe Warren. Their faces will grace national airwaves on a weekly basis (for 10 weeks) on Spike TV, the cable network that hosted the first 14 seasons of The Ultimate Fighter. Winning the entire thing not only spells a six-figure payday, but also gives the fighter a chance to quickly earn his way to a title bid via that future tournament.

There are some familiar faces in the cast. There are also some young guns. But who are these men, and who are the biggest favorites and the longest of longshots? Here’s a look at the entire cast.

The Favorites

Mike Bronzoulis (15-5-1) — The 34-year-old native of Houston is one of the more experienced and accomplished fighters in the cast. He is a former Legacy FC welterweight champion, having won the title in 2010 with a TKO of Jonathan Harris. Bronzoulis defended the belt just once before vacating the belt. Although Legacy has been his primary home, Bronzoulis has also fought under the Strikeforce and Shark Fights banners. He is a striker with 10 wins by some form of knockout, but when he loses, he tends to go the distance. Bronzoulis’ biggest wins have come against Lucas Lopes and Chad Leonhardt. He has fought to a draw with UFC vet Kamal Shalorus and has suffered losses against UFC veterans Gerald Harris and Jorge Patino and Strikeforce vet Todd Moore.

Tom Gallicchio (17-8) — The 26-year-old enjoys one edge that no other fighter on the reality series can claim: victories over two of his castmates. The native of New Jersey submitted Christopher Curtis and has edged Dom O’Grady via split decision over the span of his 25-fight career. The one thing that the M-1 Challenge veteran has never managed to accomplish, despite 17 career wins, is to string together more than four consecutive victories. He tends to win somewhere between two and four fights in a row, then drop one or two, before rebounding with another series of wins. The submission specialist and former high school wrestler has trained under Kurt Pellegrino in the past, but currently fights out of Team Quest. In addition to his wins over Curtis and O’Grady, Gallicchio has earned decision wins over Marc Stevens and Igor Gracie. Although not all of Gallicchio’s losses have come against notable opponents, he has fallen victim to a TKO at the hands of Shamil Zavurov and lost a decision to Rick Hawn.

Chris Lozano (10-3) — For the 30-year-old “Cleveland Assassin,” this reality series is the means to earning his fourth welterweight tournament bid with Bellator. Lozano is just 2-3 under the Bellator banner, but he’s fought some of the best the promotion has to offer. After making his pro debut in 2009 and accumulating a 5-0 mark, including a TKO victory over UFC veteran Jason Dent, Lozano made his Bellator debut at Bellator 31 against another UFC vet, Yoshiyuki Yoshida. Lozano scored a TKO stoppage of Yoshida and earned a spot in the season-four tourney, where he went the distance in a losing effort with former Bellator 170-pound kingpin Lyman Good. In the season-five tourney, Lozano decisioned Brent Weedman, but was then knocked out by Douglas Lima. And in the season-six bracket, he was submitted by Karl Amoussou. The striker, who has won eight of his fights via some form of knockout, is one of the only fighters in the cast to have fought such high-level opposition. He holds a red belt in taekwondo and a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and was a NCAA Division I wrestler.

Dom O’Grady (15-5-1) — In his most recent outing, the 31-year-old Detroit native handed castmate A.J. Mathews a split decision loss. The victory moved O’Grady to 2-0 under the Bellator banner and put him at 5-3 over his last eight outings. Despite three wins by some form of knockout and five via submission, O’Grady is mostly a decision machine. He has seen the scorecards on 12 occasions in his 21-fight career and emerged victorious seven times. He holds wins over Salvador Woods, Ted Worthington, James Warfield and Gabe Rivas, fought to a draw with UFC veteran Tim Means and has lost to Means, castmate Gallicchio, UFC vets Bobby Green and Mike Stumpf and Bellator vet Amir Khillah. O’Grady has a background in judo.

Joe Riggs (39-14) — If there’s one fighter, besides Lozano, who seems out of place in a reality series such as this one, it’s former UFC welterweight contender Joe Riggs. The Phoenix native may be only 30 years old, but he already has 54 fights under his belt, with 39 wins, 14 losses and a no-contest. Riggs has experience against elite competition that no other contestant on this show can boast. He has fought and defeated the likes of Joe Doerksen, Chris Lytle and Nick Diaz inside the UFC’s Octagon, and has lost to Matt Hughes, Ivan Salaverry, Mike Swick and Diego Sanchez in that same cage. Outside of the UFC, Riggs’ list of wins continues with Kendall Grove, Rob Kimmons and Phil Baroni and his losses have come against the likes of Grove, Jordan Mein, Jay Hieron and Kazuo Misaki. Riggs boxed from an early age, was a two-time All-American wrestler in high school and holds a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He can stand with opponents or take them to the ground and either submit them or apply and effective ground-and-pound attack. Riggs already has one fight under the Bellator banner, but it was a knockout loss to Bryan Baker. He snapped a three-fight skid in 2011 and has now won five in a row.

Bryan Travers (14-3) — There are only three losses on the record of 29-year-old Bakersfield, Calif., native Travers. Two ended quickly by submission and one went to a decision, but makes them noteworthy are the opponents Travers faced in those bouts: Carlo Prater (38-second anaconda choke submission), Pat Healy (unanimous decision) and Nate Loughran (triangle choke in under two minutes). All three of those men are UFC veterans now, and Healy is a contender. The Strikeforce vet debuted in 2005 with a first-round submission win of his own, which came against veteran journeyman Anthony Ruiz. He also holds victories over UFC vet John Gunderson and Strikeforce vet Jeremiah Metcalf. Travers, who has picked up seven wins via decision, five by way of submission and two by some form of knockout, has combined a solid jiu-jitsu skill set with his wrestling base. Travers has not fought in more than two years and is just 1-2 over his last three outings.

The Prospects

Nick Barnes (6-0) — The 22-year-old San Diego native is one of a handful of undefeated fighters included in the cast. He has only been fighting professionally since April 2011, but has six wins under his belt. His preferred method of finishing fights is the rear-naked choke, which he has used to secure the victory on four occasions. The Un1sputed fighter has finished all of his opponents, but the best opponent he has faced now sports a .500 record.

Evan Cutts (5-1) — The 22-year-old Texan looked to be one of Legacy FC’s top prospects until he suffered a loss to Sean Spencer in his most recent outing. Spencer used the win as a launchpad to the UFC (where he lost his debut to Rafael Natal), while Cutts moved on to sign up for Bellator’s reality series. Prior to his loss, Cutts had faced mostly sub-.500 competition. The submission specialist has finished four of his opponents and holds victories over a very experienced Lee King and B.J. Penn sibling Reagan Penn. Cutts is the brother-in-law of UFC veteran Johnny Bedford.

Steve Montgomery (3-1) — The 22-year-old native of Florence, S.C., may only have four fights under his belt since launching his pro career in February 2010, but he’s already faced a couple of significant names. Montgomery succumbed to a third-round triangle choke in his debut against Dhiego Lima, but the more noteworthy moment of his career in hindsight is his second-round knockout of Colton Smith, who would go on to win The Ultimate Fighter 16. Montgomery’s other wins, however, come against a pair of fighter who now hold a combined record of 1-4. The American Top Team product’s strong suit is his striking.

Cristiano Souza (6-0) — At age 30, Souza is by far the oldest fighter in the prospects section of this list, but his undefeated record through six fights is enough to earn him the distinction. The Brazilian, who trains out of American Top Team, has notched three knockouts and two submissions. He is already 2-0 under the Bellator banner, picking up a unanimous decision against John Kelly and scoring a first-round knockout of Robert Otani. Thus far, Souza has only fought competition that is floating around or below the .500 mark.

The Longshots

Darryl Cobb (6-6) — The 32-year-old Cobb started off his career with quite a bit of success despite a knockout loss in his April 2006 pro debut. The East St. Louis, Ill., native bounced back from that loss with six straight wins, including a split decision verdict over Booker DeRousse under the Strikeforce banner. However, he has fallen on hard times since then. Since the start of 2011, Cobb has gone on a five-fight skid. He has fallen to the likes of Rudy Bears, Giva Santana and Brett Cooper, with the losses to the latter two coming under the Bellator banner. Cobb has defeated some experienced opponents, but the only one who now possesses a winning record is Gary Tapusoa, though Cobb beat him in Tapusoa’s pro debut via split decision at a Strikeforce Challengers event.

Mike Dubois (3-0) — At age 30, Thomasville, Ga., native Mike Dubois has gotten a late start in his MMA career. He made his pro debut in August 2010 and has fought four times since, with three wins and a no-contest. The combined record of the three fighters he has defeated is 2-12. Dubois has scored two wins via submission and one by way of TKO.

Ismael Gonzalez (6-10-2) — The UFC’s TUF reality series brought out its share of fighters with underwhelming records, but 32-year-old Los Angeles police officer Ismael Gonzalez’s 6-10-2 mark is new territory by Spike TV reality MMA standards. Gonzalez, who has won three fights by some form of knockout and one via submission, has defeated some experienced foes, but only one with a current record above the .500 mark. He did fight to a technical draw with Waachiim Spiritwolf in 2010, and his losses include the somewhat notable names of Gabe Rivas, UFC veteran Marcus LeVesseur and EliteXC vet Mike Aina. Gonzalez has a background in taekwondo and holds a 12-1-1 record as a Muay Thai fighter.

Brett Nakamura (3-1) — Hawaii has a representative in Bellator’s reality series in the form of the 30-year-old Nakamura. The I & I Training Center product made his pro debut in April 2008, but only fought once a year between 2008 and 2010. He’s only fought once since then, taking less than a minute and a half in July 2012 to submit Evan Lowther. The combined record of the opponents “Rambo” has defeated is 5-9, and his loss came to Mike Sims, whose record now sits at 2-1.

The Rest

Marcus “Lelo” Aurelio (6-2) — The 27-year-old Brazilian lost his pro debut via submission in 2005, but he has had long periods of inactivity in the sport. After two fights in 2005, he didn’t return for his third fight until 2009, and then it was 2011 before he competed in his fourth bout. Aurelio has fought once under the Bellator banner, losing by way of a split decision to Christ Franck at Bellator 79. He only holds one victory over an opponent with a winning record, but it was an impressive one, as he knocked out 3-1 Matt Dwyer via a slam in just 30 seconds. Utilizing a unique striking approach and a style that focuses on capoeira, Aurelio has tallied all but one of his wins via some form of knockout and has finished his opponent in all six of his winning outings. Aurelio trains out of Axe Capoeira, which was founded by his father. He has also has worked with his brother, Marcus Vinicius, and now trains under the tutelage of UFC veteran Kalib Starnes.

Eric Bradley (5-1) — The 31-year-old Las Vegas native is another cast member with a large gap in his record. Bradley’s pro debut came in July 2007. He fought four more times between his debut and October 2010, but has only fought once since. There’s an explanation for that, however, as Bradley was sentenced in 2011 to one to two years in county jail on felony burglary charges. Bradley wrestled at Penn State and tends to win his fights on the scorecards, though he has one submission finish and one TKO victory. His only loss came via TKO to UFC veteran James Head. Although Bradley has never fought under the Bellator banner, he has competed for EliteXC, where he scored his biggest win, a unanimous decision over Mikey Gomez.

Frank Carrillo (6-3) — Carrillo made his pro debut in September 2009 with a first-round knockout loss to UFC and Strikeforce vet Yuri Villefort. The 29-year-old Miami native has alternated strings of wins with single losses ever since. Carrillo is undefeated through two fights under the Bellator banner, having claimed a TKO victory over Sabah Homasi and a unanimous decision over Moyses Gabin, with both wins coming in 2010. Carrillo has lost via unanimous decision to XFC veteran Nicolae Cury and current UFC fighter Abel Trujillo. The MMA Masters product has scored three wins by some form of knockout and won once via submission.

Christopher Curtis (7-2) — The 25-year-old striker has already lost to one of his castmates from this series—Curtis submitted to a rear-naked choke in a May 2011 fight with Tom Gallicchio. It’s one of only two losses on the Cincinnati native’s record. The other came by way of a split decision in his pro debut. Curtis has four wins by some form of knockouts, with the remainder of his victories coming on the scorecards. His most recent victory came by unanimous decision against prospect Andrew Trace, and he has also notched a decision win over current UFC fighter Nah-Shon Burrell. The Vision MMA product is a training partner of Victor O’Donnell and Bellator standout Daniel Straus.

Gareth Joseph (9-5) — The 28-year-old was a wrestler growing up. Living in San Diego, Joseph has had the fortune of training with the likes of Dean Lister, Toby Imada and Alliance MMA fighters, including Phil Davis. Joseph made his pro debut in May 2007 and won his first four fights, but he has failed to string together more than three consecutive wins since then. He is a WEF and Strikeforce veteran, though his sole Strikeforce appearance ended in disappointment when he was knocked out by Yancy Medeiros. In addition to his loss versus Medeiros, Joseph has been defeated by the likes of James Brasco and Yosmany Cabezas. He does hold wins over Brett Chism and Derrick Mehmen. Joseph has four wins by some form of knockout and two via submission.

A.J. Matthews (6-2) — The 24-year-old Carlsbad, Calif., native has already fought three times under the Bellator banner, picking up wins over Rudy Bears and TUF alum Charlie Rader and losing to castmate Dom O’Grady. Mathews is also a Strikeforce veteran, but was knocked out by Herman Terrado in his lone appearance with the promotion. The Blackline and Alliance MMA product made his pro debut in March 2007, but didn’t make his sophomore appearance until April 2009. He has a well-rounded background with roughly a decade of training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and wrestling and just a couple years less experience training in Muay Thai and boxing.

Rob Mills (8-2) — The 35-year-old Brit has only fought once in just under two years. The BAMMA veteran made his pro debut with a TKO loss in December 2008. He bounced back with a six-fight winning streak before suffering his only other loss, again by TKO. Mills has an even four wins apiece by (T)KO and submission. He tends to waste little time in finishing fights, with all but one of his victories ending within the first frame and four ending in under a minute. “Robocop” is a large welterweight and has an extensive background in kickboxing and Muay Thai to complement his MMA experience. He needed just over two minutes to submit UFC veteran Tom Egan, but most of his the men he has defeated have records hovering around or below the .500 mark.

Chip Moraza-Pollard (7-4) — There was a time when 24-year-old Plymouth, Mass., native Moraza-Pollard could have been considered a top prospect. After making his pro debut with a TKO victory in October 2008, the Cape Cod Fighting Alliance product piled on an additional four wins to remain undefeated through his first five fights. Then things took a turn for the worse. Moraza-Pollard dropped back-to-back decisions to Jesus Martinez and Brett Oteri, rebounded with a TKO victory over TUF 16 alum Joey Rivera, but was then submitted by UFC veteran Greg Soto and came out on the wrong end of a split decision versus Keith Jeffrey. He has since bounced back with a win, but he is 2-4 over his last six outings. “The Surgeon” tends to either knock out opponents or edge them on the scorecards, but he’s as likely to lose via submission as he is to win.

Jason Norwood (12-3) — “G.I. Jason” has already fought once under the Bellator banner (a submission win over Jon Kirk) and is also a veteran of M-1 Challenge. The 29-year-old native of Fort Hood, Texas, made his pro debut with a unanimous decision loss to Leo Pla in February 2008. He rebounded with 11 straight wins before dropping a decision to TUF 11 alum Josh Bryant. He rebounded with a decision win over Mojo Horne under the M-1 Challenge banner, but was knocked out by Eddie Arizmendi in his most recent appearance with the promotion. That was in 2011, and it has been nearly two years since he last fought. Norwood is a strong, stocky fighter with a wrestling base (he trained with the All-Army wrestling team before entering into MMA). He has picked up six of his wins via submission and three by way of some form of knockout.

Jacob Ortiz (13-4) — The 31-year-old has already made two appearances under the Bellator banner. He knocked out Edgar Garcia at Bellator 55, but suffered a TKO loss to Douglas Lima at Bellator 79. The native of San Manuel, Ariz., has been fighting professionally since September 2008 and started his career with seven straight wins. He has since lost four of his last 10. Besides the loss to Lima, Ortiz has been on the losing end in fights against Bellator veteran Tim Ruberg, UFC vet Sean Spencer and 8-1 prospect Tim Wagner. “Kobe the Stunna” has displayed his powerful striking with four TKOs and the knockout of Garcia, but he is also savvy on the mat, where he has picked up five submission wins.

Josh Quayhagen (6-1) More than half of 26-year-old Quayhagen’s career has been spent in the Bellator cage. The Lake Charles, La., native made his pro debut under the Bellator banner in October 2011 with a unanimous decision victory over Cosmo Alexandre and notched two more wins with the promotion over the course of a 6-0 start to his career. His only loss came by way of a unanimous decision in a rematch against Alexandre last November. Quayhagen has scored two first-round knockouts and one first-round TKO, but his amateur record raises some red flags though. He went an underwhelming 8-6 as an amateur, losing four times by submission and twice via TKO. Quayhagen has a background in karate.

Eric Scallan (11-4) — The 27-year-old has already appeared once, in his most recent outing, under the Bellator banner. Unfortunately, the result was a first-round submission loss to Derrick Krantz. The Lafayette, La., native had gone 5-1 in his previous six bouts. Scallan has a background in wrestling and has trained alongside Dustin Poirier and Tim Credeur. He tends to live and die on the mat, having won eight contests via submission and having been submitted on three occasions. He has fought all levels of opponents with success, but he does occasionally stumble, as he did against Krantz. It has been more than a year since Scallan’s last fight.

Brendan Tierney (10-5) — Tierney, who checks in at 37 years old, is the elder statesman of the cast. The submission specialist hails from Queens, N.Y., and made his pro debut in 2006. Tierney is a ShoXC veteran, but dropped his only fight under the promotion’s banner. He has also made one appearance in the Bellator cage, winning by armbar in just 49 seconds versus Dano Moore. Tierney is coming off back-to-back knockout losses, including in his last outing in March against Ryan Ford. Although Tierney has eight submission wins and two victories by some form of knockout, he has also lost once by way of submission and four times by (T)KO. The Power MMA Team fighter has never gone the distance.

Andy Uhrich (8-3) — Uhrich is yet another member of the cast who has already fought under the Bellator banner. The 27-year-old has also seen action in the Strikeforce cage. On both occasions, he emerged with his arm raised. The native of Gering, Neb., made his pro debut in 2007 and has been finished three times, twice by submission and once by knockout. Meanwhile, he has scored two submission wins of his own and finished four opponents via some form of knockout. Uhrich has lost to TUF alum Charlie Rader and UFC veteran Jake Hecht. The loss to Rader came in 2010, and Uhrich didn’t return to action until 2012. His two wins since coming back have come against tougher opponents than those he defeated prior to his time away from active competition.

Tim Welch (9-4) — Despite the fact that he is only 23 years old, Welch already has 13 fights under his belt. The Great Falls, Mont., native debuted in 2009 and has been fighting on a consistent basis ever since. Although he has nine wins, Welch, who has trained with Team Quest, has never sustained a winning streak beyond three fights. Welch was thrown to the wolves in his lone Bellator appearance when he was pitted against Michail Tsarev in the opening round of Bellator’s season-seven welterweight tournament. The Russian submitted Welch in the second round. All of Welch’s wins—three by knockout, one by doctor’s stoppage TKO and five by submission—have come against opponents with losing records, whereas his defeats have been handed to him by the only three opponents who sported winning marks (Tsarev, Eddy Ellis and Derek Boyle on two occasions).

Cole Williams (6-1) — The 30-year-old Darien, Wis., native is another cast member who has been away from action for an extended period of time. Williams made his pro debut in 2008, but his last fight came in September 2011. Williams was a state qualifier as a high school wrestler and went on to have a successful campaign as a college wrestler at the University of Dubuque in Iowa. He edged out TUF 9 alum Jason Pierce via split decision in his most recent outing and also holds wins over UFC veteran James Giboo and Bellator vet Demi Deeds. His only loss came by way of a submission versus UFC and Strikeforce vet Eric Wisely.

Joe Williams (9-1) — If Williams needed a way to grab Bellator’s attention, it came in his third appearance with the promotion. It was then, at Bellator 85, that Williams scored a first-round TKO of TUF 11 alum Jamie Yager. That win came on the heels of a Bellator victory over Rod Montoya and gave Williams a 2-1 mark with the promotion. The 27-year-old Tustin, Calif., native has trained under the tutelage of Rafael Cordeiro and wrestled at Michigan State alongside Gray Maynard and Rashad Evans. The Empire MMA product has never been finished, but he has stopped his opponents via some form of knockout on four occasions and submitted three others.

Artenas Young (9-5) — At 6-foot-2, Young, a former middleweight, could be one of the larger welterweights in the cast. The 32-year-old Houston native is a Strikeforce veteran and has also appeared under the Shark Fights and Legacy FC banners. Though he sometimes trains at Jackson’s MMA, Young calls 4 Oz. his home camp and has worked with Jeff Rexroad and Andrew Craig. Young has had a tendency to go the distance, losing four and winning four on the scorecards. His biggest asset is his striking ability. In his most recent outing, Young stopped Brandon Mitchell via TKO in just four seconds. The primary struggle for Young has been consistency. He has never won more than four fights in a row, but when he wins, it can be impressive. In addition to the four-second knockout of Mitchell, Young earned a unanimous decision over MFC middleweight champion and recent WSOF signee Elvis Mutapcic under the Shark Fights banner. On the other hand, he suffered a decision loss to UFC veteran Clifford Starks and has even lost via knockout to a fighter who currently sports a 6-10 record.

Photo: Fight Master Logo (Spike.com)

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