The first time that Frankie Edgar and B.J. Penn met in the Octagon, Penn was a champion and Edgar was the underdog. That was in 2010 at UFC 112, and Edgar surprised many by emerging with the victory and the UFC lightweight title.

A little more than four months later, the pair met again at UFC 118. This time, Edgar cruised to the decision victory to prove that his first performance against Penn was no fluke.

A lot has changed since those two battles in 2010.

Edgar fought in two more pairs of title fights, first against Gray Maynard, with whom he fought to a draw and then successfully defended the belt in the rematch, and then against Benson Henderson, who snagged the belt from Edgar with a unanimous decision victory and then defended it in their rematch with a split decision nod. Edgar dropped to featherweight and mounted an unsuccessful challenge to Jose Aldo’s title reign.

Meanwhile, Penn moved back to welterweight after his losses to Edgar. “The Prodigy” knocked out Matt Hughes, fought to a draw with Jon Fitch and dropped fights to Nick Diaz and Rory MacDonald. The former champ has been inactive since his December 2012 loss to MacDonald.

On Wednesday, April 16, the road to their third meeting begins when they coach on season 19 of the UFC’s flagship reality series, The Ultimate Fighter. Come season’s end, the two will meet—this time at featherweight—in the main event of The Ultimate Fighter 19 Finale, which takes place on July 6 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.

As much attention as the coaches tend to receive, the real focus of the show should be on its contestants. Season 19 will feature middleweights and light heavyweights competing for a pair of six-figure UFC contracts. Here is a preview of the 185-pounders who will vie for the eight middleweight spots in The Ultimate Fighter 19 house.

Matt Gabel (8-3), 28, Le Mars, Iowa

Fiore MMA’s Matt Gabel has held the Gladiators middleweight crown and competed in a Cage Warriors eight-man tournament. The Extreme Challenge veteran has a background in wrestling, and his thirst for competition led him to mixed martial arts. The 28-year-old Iowan made his pro debut in 2009 and won his first two fights. He suffered a knockout loss to James Bunch, a 2-5 fighter, but bounced back with five first-round wins, all ending in less than a minute. He lost via submission to UFC and Strikeforce veteran Anthony Smith and dropped his tournament bout under the Cage Warriors banner to Victor Cheng, a 10-2 prospect. Gabel has since rebounded with a win, but he has not fought since October 2012. He has five submission wins, including one via strikes, and three victories by way of some form of knockout. The 11-fight veteran has trained alongside the likes of UFC vets Tommy Speer and Brian Foster.

Lyman Good (15-3), 28, New York, N.Y.

For most MMA fans, Lyman Good may be among the most recognizable names of the cast. The Ring of Combat veteran was the inaugural Bellator welterweight champion, but he’ll move up in weight for his chance to compete on the UFC reality series. In Bellator, he captured the championship in the season-one tournament, but lost the belt in his first defense against Ben Askren. Good attempted to earn another shot at the gold, but he fell short in the season-four bracket, where he dropped a split decision to Rick Hawn, and the season-seven tourney, where he suffered a unanimous decision loss to Andrey Koreshkov in the finals. Overall, his Bellator record stands at 8-3. The Team Tiger Schulmann product started his career in 2005 as a middleweight, fought in the IFL and went undefeated until he met Askren in 2010. He has seven wins by some form of knockout and only one via submission—against castmate Hector Urbina. Twitter: @LymanGood

Eddie Gordon (6-1), 29, Uniondale, N.Y.

Eddie “Truck” Gordon is a member of the Serra-Longo Fight Team. The 29-year-old New York resident made his pro debut in 2011 and has held the Ring of Combat light heavyweight championship. He went undefeated through his first five outings before suffering a unanimous decision loss to Anton Talamantes, a fighter whose record now stands at 5-4. Gordon bounced back with a win over Oscar Delgado under the Championship Fighting Alliance banner. He has one knockout victory, one TKO win and one submission victory. Gordon has a background in football and wrestling, taking home a Nassau County championship in the latter in 2001. He trains alongside the likes of Chris Weidman, Costas Philippou and Al Iaquinta. Twitter: @truckmma

Mike King (5-0), 30, Naples, Fla.

There are only two undefeated fighters among this season’s middleweight hopefuls, and Florida’s Mike King is one of them. The American Top Team fighter is a former football player and NAAFS amateur MMA champion. He has wrestled since an early age and has worked on his boxing with former Olympic boxing coaches. King turned pro in 2011 and strung together five stoppage wins by January 2013. Four of his fights have ended in the first round. He has one TKO victory and four submission wins, but two of those submissions came via strikes.

Dhiego Lima (9-2), 25, Sugar Hill, Ga.

Dhiego Lima is among the top prospects on the show and could be considered a favorite to win the season’s middleweight contract. The American Top Team Atlanta product is the younger brother of longtime Bellator welterweight contender and recent tournament winner Douglas Lima. Dhiego’s pro career started in 2010, and the younger Lima brother has made appearances under the XFC and MFC banners. Lima won his first three fights before dropping a unanimous decision to Bellator veteran Ryan Quinn. The Brazilian bounced back with three more wins, then suffered another unanimous decision loss, this time against Strikeforce vet Nathan Coy. Lima is currently on a three-fight winning streak that includes victories over Nick Hinchliffe and Roger Carroll. He has four wins by submission, two victories via knockout and one win by way of TKO. Dhiego, like his brother, is normally a welterweight, but he’ll move up to 185 pounds for his shot to earn an UFC contract. Twitter: @DhLima121

Adrian Miles (14-5), 30, Biloxi, Miss.

After a 7-5 start to his MMA career, which began in 2009, Adrian Miles has gone undefeated through his last seven fights. His most recent win in that streak came in January. The 30-year-old is a native of Mississippi and trains with Alan Belcher. He has six wins by some form of knockout and four victories via submission. Miles has suffered losses against former UFC champion Dave Menne, TUF alum Charlie Rader and Bellator tourney vet Jacob Noe. Twitter: @ArchAngelMiles

Tyler Minton (5-1), 26, Johnson City, Tenn.

Tyler “Melee” Minton went 4-1 and won two title fights as an amateur. Since turning pro in 2010, he has gone 5-1. However, he is just 1-1 over his two most recent fights. The loss came via first-round TKO against Anthony Lemon, whose record now stands at 4-4. This is Minton’s third attempt to make the reality show house. He made the 32-man roster for The Ultimate Fighter 16, but failed the pre-fight physical due to a severe case of the flu. He was invited back for season 17 and made it onto the 32-man roster again, but before taping could begin for the season, he suffered a shoulder injury while training. The Team Oxendine fighter has finished three of his opponents via submission and has a background in high school wrestling. Twitter: @MeleeMinton

Cathal Pendred (13-2), 26, Dublin, Ireland

Ireland’s Cathal Pendred is a former Cage Warriors welterweight champion who has vacated his crown and moved to middleweight for his chance to earn an UFC contract. “The Punisher” has used his fists to finish six of his opponents, but he has also relied heavily on the judges, who have awarded him an additional seven victories. Pendred hopes to join Straight Blast Gym (SBG) Ireland teammate Conor McGregor on the UFC roster. The 26-year-old striker turned pro in 2009 and went 1-1 through his first two fights. He won five in a row before suffering the only other loss of his career in late 2010 against veteran Lee Chadwick. Pendred is undefeated through his last eight fights, with seven wins and one draw. The draw came against UFC veteran Danny Mitchell, and Pendred has notched wins in that span over current UFC fighter Nicholas Musoke and UFC vets David Bielkheden and Che Mills. Although he is moving up in weight, Pendred has to be considered one of the favorites in the hunt for the middleweight contract. Twitter: @PendredMMA

Ian Stephens (4-0), 25, Ringgold, Ga.

Georgia’s Ian Stephens joins Mike King as the only undefeated prospects in the middleweight cast. He is a decorated kickboxer and grappler, but wrestling is the bread and butter of his arsenal. The two-time NAIA All-American wrestler took home a national championship in 2010. Stephens launched his pro career in 2010 with a win over Ryan Quinn in the XFC cage. He has rattled off three more wins, but his last pro fight came in August 2012. The 25-year-old has two submission victories and two decision wins. Twitter: @AirtimeMMA

Adam Stroup (5-1), 27, Denver, Colo.

Adam Stroup trains out of Factory X Muay Thai and is a striker, but he has scored the majority of his victories by way of submission. The 27-year-old stands a lanky 6-foot-3 and has an iron chin. He made his professional debut in 2012 and went 1-1 through his first two fights, though his decision loss was a much closer fight than the scorecards would suggest. Stroup rebounded from the loss with four more wins, including three victories in 2013. He has submitted three opponents and scored two unanimous decision victories. Stroup has trained alongside UFC veteran Chris Camozzi. Twitter: @adamstroup

Nordine Taleb (8-2), 32, Montreal, Canada

After breaking his foot during his quarterfinal-round fight with Tyler Manawaroa on The Ultimate Fighter: Nations, Tristar middleweight Nordine Taleb joins the TUF 19 cast. He turned pro in 2007 with a win, then suffered a loss in 2008. He didn’t return to competition until 2010, but has since racked up seven more wins and just one additional loss, which came at the hands of Marius Zaromskis in the season-seven Bellator welterweight tournament. Taleb had earned his spot in the tourney bracket with a unanimous decision win over Matt Secor and a second-round TKO of Matt MacGrath. He has five wins and one loss via strikes, with the rest of his bouts going the distance. His most notable win came under the Ring of Combat banner against UFC veteran Pete Sell. Taleb’s last official fight came in September 2012, but that’s understandable given his appearances on TUF Nations and TUF 19. Twitter: @NordineTaleb

Hector Urbina (16-8-1), 26, Coconut Creek, Fla.

American Top Team’s Hector Urbina is the most experienced fighter among the middleweight contingent of TUF hopefuls. The 26-year-old made his pro debut in 2006 and suffered his first loss to current UFC fighter Tim Kennedy. In addition to Kennedy, Urbina has lost to TUF castmate Lyman Good and UFC veterans Jason “Mayhem” Miller and Nissen Osterneck. “El Toro” is a Bellator veteran—his loss to Good came in the season-one welterweight tournament—and appeared on a ShoXC card. He has not put together back-to-back victories since 2008 and has gone 5-5-1 over his last 11 fights. Twitter: @urbinamma

Bojan Velickovic (8-2), 33, Delray Beach, Fla.

Bojan Velickovic is a Serbian fighter with a well-rounded skill set. He has two first-round finishes by some form of knockout, but the 25-year-old has also notched six submission victories. He has never been stopped, but he has lost twice on the scorecards. He made his professional debut in 2010 and went undefeated through his first six fights. His first loss came to Svetlozar Savov, a Bulgarian prospect whose record now sits at 12-4. Velickovic rebounded with two wins, but suffered a loss in his most recent outing against current UFC fighter Krzysztof Jotko. The Serbian fighter has trained with American Top Team in the past. Twitter: @veli_mma

Tim Williams (8-1), 27, Millville, N.J.

When you’re a mixed martial artist from New Jersey and chokes are your thing, there’s hardly a better nickname out there than “The South Jersey Strangler.” Tim Williams has used a variety of chokes to score six submission wins, including five in the first round. He also has two TKO victories and suffered his only loss to UFC veteran Dustin Jacoby due to a doctor’s stoppage. The Team Balance product holds notable wins over Tiawan Howard, Duane Bastress and Andre Gusmao. He made his pro debut in 2009 and rattled off seven wins before the loss to Jacoby. He is just 1-1 over his last two fights. Williams appeared on season 17 of The Ultimate Fighter, but he dropped a decision to Dylan Andrews in the qualifying round. Twitter: @TimWilliams185

Roger Zapata (5-1), 27, New York, N.Y.

Roger Zapata’s 5-1 mark includes a 2009 “pro” debut on an amateur card, but his next fight didn’t take place until 2011. The Bruno Tostes BJJ product has won his last four fights. His lone loss came on the scorecards against Mike Wade, whose record now stands at 4-3. He has won four of his fights via some form of knockout. Zapata has competed as a welterweight in the past, but he will move to middleweight for the reality series. Twitter: @VivaZapataRZ

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