Daly spent six weeks in the TUF house. YouTube screengrab

Ireland's Aisling Daly bidding for UFC title in latest season of reality TV show

The Dublin strawweight is one 16 fighters taking part in the new series of The Ultimate Fighter, which begins tonight.

SEASON 20 OF The Ultimate Fighter hits our screens in the early hours of tomorrow morning and Ireland will be once again represented — this time in the shape of experienced strawweight Aisling Daly.

The 26-year-old Dublin native, nicknamed ‘Ais the Bash’, was one of the first fighters to join the now world-renowned SBG with the likes of Conor McGregor and Cathal Pendred (who featured in TUF 19) and has experience fighting professionally in Ireland, the UK and the States in promotions such as Cage Warriors, Bellator and Invicta for the past seven years.

The reality TV series, which sees contestants live together in Las Vegas for six weeks, will be an all-female affair for the very first time as 16 fighters battle it out in the hope of becoming champion in the new 115-pound women’s division.

Daly earned her place in the house having travelled to the US earlier this year and impressed during the tryouts.

“In all honesty, at the TUF tryouts I felt I was knocking on the door of the UFC anyway,” she told the UFC.

“I am one of the most experienced strawweights in the world and I have wins over some top-class competition. I figured TUF would probably speed up my road to the UFC and gain me some exposure, so I took a chance on trying out.”

Due to her commitments to TUF, Daly was forced to miss the biggest night in Irish MMA history back in July when for of her team-mates won in front of nearly 10,000 screaming fans at UFC Dublin.

She admits feeling left out but plans to be right there alongside them the next time the UFC comes to town.

“Emotions were in overdrive when I first got to see my teammates compete,” Daly adds. “Being isolated away from the event and not getting to witness it in person was very difficult for me.

I felt very helpless. I am so close to my team, and particularly Paddy Holohan is my best friend and closest training partner, so I had no idea how his preparation had gone or how his mental state was.

It was very emotional for me, but in the end with all the success, I was completely elated. I was so happy for my team and so proud to be Irish.

“The Irish fans were amazing. The welcome and support they gave their countrymen, I have never seen anything like it at a UFC event. I cannot wait until the day the UFC comes back to Dublin and I get to make that walk to the Octagon with a tricolour wrapped around my shoulders.”

Season 20 of The Ultimate Fighter begins on FOX Sports 1 and BT Sport 1 at 3am and is repeated on Thursday at 10pm on BT Sport 2. 

UFC- Ultimate Fighting Championship / YouTube

The Ultimate Fighter / YouTube

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