>> Be sure to look out for the December issue of M&F, on newsstands October 27, where we take an exclusive look inside of the lives and training regimens of the inhabitants of The Ultimate Fighter house in Las Vegas. Also, one editor gets a jiu-jitsu lesson from Frank Mir.

Last season, Spike TV’s The Ultimate Fighter – a reality show that chronicles the lives of 16 fighters as they work for a six-figure UFC deal – ended with some last-minute controversy and the emergence of an unlikely champion. It was definitely must-see-TV. This season, which begins Wednesday night (Sept. 17) at 10 PM ET/PT on Spike, promises more of the same.

Two UFC heavyweights – both in class and in name – will coach the teams on TUF 8. Antonio Nogueira, the interim UFC heavyweight champion, will oppose former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir. The two coaches will meet in UFC 92, scheduled for late December.

Lightweights (155 pounds) and light heavyweights (205 pounds) will make up a 32-man field, with each fighter having to earn his way onto the 16-man cast as in Season 7.

M&F got an exclusive pass behind the scenes of TUF 8 during filming and will run a 12-page superfeature in the December issue, due out October 27. In the story, you’ll get a look at life inside The Ultimate Fighter house as well as the high-octane training habits of both teams. Here at M&F Online, you’ll get more goodies, including a full gallery of behind-the-scenes photos and our complete interview with UFC boss Dana White.

The Ultimate Fighter is coming off of a season that saw plenty of fireworks, both inside and outside of the Octagon. TUF 7 champion Amir Sadollah was billed as the underdog in nearly every bout during the show but ended up using his knack for earning submissions and a never-say-die attitude to earn the title of The Ultimate Fighter. His original opponent, Jesse Taylor, was kicked off of the show after surveillance tapes showing him causing a disturbance at a Vegas casino reached the desk of White. (NOTE: Taylor was later invited to fight in the UFC, losing his debut to TUF 7 runner-up CB Dolloway by way of submission via a Peruvian neck tie.)

Early indications are that the TUF 8 premiere is poised to be one of the most dramatic in the show’s history. And if that wasn’t enough incentive to tune into Spike, TUF 5 champion Nate Diaz will be headlining a loaded fight card on UFC Fight Night, just ahead of the TUF 8 premiere, at 8 PM ET/PT.

>> For more information on the UFC, The Ultimate Fighter or any upcoming UFC bouts, visit www.ufc.com.