TUF 31: Who is bantamweight contestant Brad Katona?
Brad Katona has an opportunity to rejoin the UFC by winning The Ultimate Fighter 31. The newest season of TUF features a combination of UFC veterans and promotional newcomers. Katona looks to separate himself from the rest as the only fighter with previous TUF experience in the house.
Katona started his career with a 3-0 amateur record before making his professional MMA debut in 2014. The Canadian-born fighter won his first two fights by a first-round finish under the MFC and Prestige FC banners. He continued bouncing around the regional scene, winning three more bouts with different promotions - Havoc FC, XFFC, and Mercenary Combat League.
After establishing a respectable 5-0 record, Katona appeared on The Ultimate Fighter 27, coached by Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier. Katona won two regular season fights against Bryce Mitchell and Kyler Phillips, who both have successful UFC careers thus far.
On July 6, 2018, Katona won TUF 27 with a win against Jay Cucciniello by unanimous decision. He returned to the Octagon five months later and won his second UFC fight against Matthew Lopez. In 2019, Katona was released after losing to Merab Dvalishvili and fellow TUF 31 contestant Hunter Azure.
Katona didn’t fight again until April 2021, signing with BRAVE Combat Federation. The SBG Ireland fighter won his first two fights with the promotion, earning an opportunity to compete for the vacant bantamweight championship. He secured the throne in March 2022 and defended the 135-pound title once before being added to the TUF 31 cast.
Brad Katona looks to become the first fighter to win TUF twice
Katona joins three other bantamweights with UFC experience on TUF 31 cast - Hunter Azure, Timur Valiev, and Cody Gibson. Among those veterans and the four prospects, Katona is the only fighter who has competed on TUF. If Katona emerges victorious again, he would be the first fighter to win TUF twice.
The newest season of TUF will be coached by UFC superstars Conor McGregor and Michael Chandler. There have been reports of tension between the coaches boiling over, leading to a physical altercation revealed by Dana White. Once the season is released, McGregor and Chandler are expected to fight in a highly-anticipated matchup.