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Meet the cast of ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ 12

A closer look at the 14 members of this season’s reality show

The Ultimate Fighter 12

TUF 12 contestant Aaron Wilkinson. Launch slideshow »

With the premiere of the 12th season of "The Ultimate Fighter" reality series in the books, here's a closer look at the 14 contestants making up the official cast.

Jonathan Brookins

11-3, 24-years-old, out of Orlando, Fla.

Most fans remember Brookins for his fight with current WEC featherweight champion Jose Aldo in 2008. A former wrestler at Lindenwood University in Saint Charles, Mo., Brookins also spent a little time training at American Top Team.

Alex Caceres

5-2, 21-years-old, out of Miami

Caceres, or "Bruce Leroy" as he's often called, was kicked out of school for fighting and started competing in backyard fights when he was 17. He considers his base to be grappling but says his fights usually end up featuring his standup.

Sako Chivitchyan

5-0, 26 years-old, out of Los Angeles

Chivitchyan comes from a strong judo background and has trained with UFC and WEC veterans Karo Parisyan and Manny Gamburyan his entire life. His first professional fight came when he was just 15.

Michael Johnson

8-4, 24-years-old, out of Springfield, Miss.

This season was the third time Johnson had tried out for TUF. After making it to the final interviews for the eighth season, he was told his personality didn't fit the house. A similar ending occurred during tryouts for the ninth season, but Johnson remained determined they'd pick him eventually.

Jeff Lentz

6-1, 21-years-old, out of Belmar, N.J.

A lifelong karate student, Lentz actually won his first pro fight by triangle despite never training any jiu-jitsu up to that point. He admits to having a little trouble making weight in the past, but only at 145 pounds.

Sevak Magakian

8-3, 24-years-old, out of Los Angeles

Magakian began training judo at the age of 5 and moved to the U.S. from Armenia when he was 14. Magakian never finished school because he was kicked out for beating up a high-school security guard who tried to take away his cell phone.

Andrew Main

4-1, 21-years-old, out of Rockaway N.J.

Main was introduced to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu by one of his pole-vaulting teammates on the high school track team. One of the immediate things that stands out for Main is his tattoos, which include portraits of both his mother and father when they were 18.

Cody McKenzie

11-0, 22-years-old, out of Spokane, Wash.

McKenzie has posted 10 straight professional wins with a move he calls the "McKenzietine," which is his own rendition of the guillotine choke. Before he became great at choking people out, McKenzie spent years working on a commercial fishing line.

Spencer Paige

7-2, 24-years-old, out of Watertown, N.Y.

In addition to fighting, Paige played collegiate baseball at St. Lawrence University in Canton, N.Y. He nearly quit fighting altogether after an 11-second loss to current WEC fighter Josh Grispi in 2007, but he came back in 2009 after spending his time off coaching a boxing class and cleaning sewers.

Dane Sayers

7-1, 22-years-old, out of Fargo, N.D.

Fighting out of North Dakota, Sayers admits he's had an unusual path through mixed martial arts. His official training began in the basement of a fighter he met in Fargo and eventually led him to the Academy of Combat Arts.

Marc Stevens

12-5, 25-years-old, out of Watertown, N.Y.

Stevens has been wrestling since the age of 4 and actually trained under Josh Koscheck while a member of the University of Buffalo wrestling program. He's now the owner of "Jiu-Jitsu Nation" in Syracuse, N.Y.

Kyle Watson

12-6-1, 31-years-old, out of St. Louis, Mo.

Watson wasn't always a fighter. In fact, his favorite extracurricular activities in high school included Scholastic Bowl, Key Club and Spanish Club. He now works as the jiu-jitsu instructor at the gym of Matt Hughes, who, coincidentally, dated his sister briefly years ago.

Aaron Wilkinson

6-3, 23 years-old, out of Manchester, England

Wilkinson began mixed-martial-arts training when he was 17 and quickly found his way to the Wolfslair Gym. He came into the TUF competition knowing what to expect, as teammates Mike Bisping and Ross Pearson both had been cast members in past seasons.

Brett Okamoto can be reached at 948-7817 or [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at LVSunFighting

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