“Joey ” The Hybrid” Duarte is one of 32 fighters who will be vying to for 16 spots on this coming season’s “The Ultimate Fighter” series on Spike TV. Only 24 years old, Duarte specializes in the Jiu jitsu and Muay Thai of Martial Arts fighting.
The new season will start on Wednesday, September 17th. Spike TV just announced that UFC heavyweight champion, Antonio Rodrigo Noqueira and former UFC heavywieght champion Frank Mir will start in the new seaon as coaches. There will be light heavyweights (205 lbs) and lightweights (155 lbs). Duarte will is competing for a slot in the lightwieght division.
Season 8 is being hyped as one with the best talent pool of fighters that The Ultimate Fighter has had in any season. Speaking to all of this, the following is an exccerpt from an article that ran in the Pacific Daily News on August 29,2008:
“I could never compare myself to Anderson,” Duarte said after being asked if he was the fighter in question. “Anderson is at the top of the food chain. … I don’t feel worthy (of that status),” he said.
Silva himself is rumored to make an appearance on the show, but the identity of the fighter White is hyping up will have to wait until the series premiere.
“I can’t say it was me or anyone else, but I can say this: no one, no one is an ‘Anderson Silva-type fighter.’ No one is that good,” Duarte said. The former Dededo resident did, however, say that this season has by far the deepest talent pool ever on the show.
“I can’t tell you much else because I don’t have $4 million to pay UFC (for breaching his contract),” Duarte said with a laugh.
Though talent is a factor, living in California has helped Duarte make his way up the MMA totem pole as he trains with the likes of TUF season one winner Diego Sanchez and WBC and WBO middleweight boxing champion Joey Gilbert.
“With the exposure you get (from being on a national TV show), it moves you up to the front of the line and you get a sense of notoriety that even some champions don’t get,” Gilbert said via telephone. Gilbert himself is a product of national fame after appearing on NBC’s “The Contender.”
“I’m really excited for him. Joe is a really smart and great fighter, and even though a lot of doors are open already, this can unlock all the doors for him,” Gilbert said.
“It’s happening to the right person. I’m lucky to have a friend like Joe. When you find people like him, you have to hang on to them.”
Duarte is a native Chamorro and originally lived in Dededo, Guam and was involved as an athlete at Simon Sanchez High School. He now lives in California.
The Ultiimate Fighter Web Site: http://www.spike.com/channel/ufc