Another season of The Ultimate Fighter begins next week, setting up another epic showdown between coaches with a history and great prospects. Because of the expectations I thought I would preview a few specific aspects of this next season and what to look forward to:
~ Head Coaches ~
The rivalry between coaches B.J. Penn and Frankie Edgar is not as intense as past seasons but can still be good. In both of their previous encounters, Penn was out struck and out wrestled by the smaller yet more agile Edgar. At the time both fighters were at lightweight and Edgar needed to prove that he was the true champion by immediately facing Penn again after taking his title. This time both fighters are facing off at featherweight, a weight class that Penn has never fought at before. It will be interesting to see how deep their rivalry goes.
~ Coaching Staffs ~
Both coaching staffs have some rather big name fighters to help mentor this next generation of MMA prospects. In fact both sides have legends of the sport with names such as Renzo Gracie for Team Edgar and Mark Coleman for Team Penn coaching Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and wrestling respectively. Team Edgar also has notable UFC veteran Ricardo Almeida as wrestling coach.
For Team Penn there is a notable presence from “The Pit” Fight Team known as Chuck Liddell‘s home on the coaching staff with head coach John Hackleman and Andre Pederneiras. It has also been mentioned that at one point Coleman has a talk with the fighters which was approved by Dana White.
~ Preliminary Fighter Casts ~
The weight classes for this season are being contested at middleweight and light heavyweight. A few names stick out in the preliminary cast of fighters at middleweight however there is one mystery fighter that hasn’t been revealed and won’t be revealed until the premiere. One of the revealed middleweight names is former Bellator Welterweight Champion Lyman Good who is making his return to the weight class.
Another is The Ultimate Fighter Nations participant Nordine Taleb who is apparently getting a second chance in The Ultimate Fighter by fighting in the preliminary round for this season. As for the light heavyweights the only name of note is Bellator vet Kelly Anundson who’s participation in a recent Bellator card hints that he did not make it past the preliminary round.
What do you think of this coming season of The Ultimate Fighter? Feel free to leave a comment!