With talks of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) coming back, there is always intrigue around the coaches and weight class being represented.
TUF has seen been a reliable pipeline for talent in the UFC. The show has the chance to do more than just bring talent to the roster, there is the entertainment factor too. TUF is must see TV. The show gives the opportunity to develop fighters so they are ready for UFC-level competition with the assistance of current fighters on the UFC roster. Fans get to watch fighters improve over the course of the show; strengthening a fighter’s popularity and following. It ultimately gives UFC potential to generate a future star, even if the winner doesn’t become one.
Dana White has mentioned a few potential pairings and rumblings have begun of Israel Adesanya and Paulo Costa coaching the next season. However, here is a list of potential pairings that fans would love to see for the return of TUF:
Israel Adesanya & Paulo Costa
With rumors flooding timelines of this pairing, it could be likely the two coach The Ultimate Fighter reboot. It makes the most sense — both men are undefeated and having a potential Australia vs. Brazil season could be very interesting. Their personal feud would be great for TV and only build the hype towards their massive matchup at UFC 253.
The only way this doesn’t happen would be if Adesanya sticks to his guns. “The Last Stylebender” made it known that he’s not ready to coach a TUF season yet and give his tips/training away to future opponents.
Amanda Nunes & Megan Anderson
When you get to the list and realize there isn’t a lightweight matchup, the only reason is because the champion is mourning the death of his father. Although he is returning to fight Justin Gaethje in September, it’s highly unlikely he’d want to do a season of TUF. Even after the fight — so in comes a GOAT.
Amanda Nunes is undoubtedly the best female fighter in UFC history and one of the best to ever do it regardless of gender. Why not continue building her appeal by putting her on national TV coaching the upcoming season of TUF? She’s close to breaking records, so it’s time UFC gives her the massive platform she’s earned. Ideally, Nunes would have done this season against Irene Aldana, if she beats Holly Holm at UFC Fight Night in the Apex. But since 145 has a clear challenger, and that challenger has tons of star potential, it’s time we commit to the 145 division and allow the women to coach TRUE 145ers.
Jorge Masvidal & Colby Covington
Dana mentioned both of these men, however, when he mentioned them they were attached to Kamaru Usman’s name. With both men out of the title hunt until a fight or two, it makes sense to have this feud highlight the upcoming season of TUF.
UFC loves making rivalry pairing on The Ultimate Fighter all the time, and these former teammates would make must see TV. Their bad blood would sell the fight in a heartbeat and there’s so much backstory the UFC could use such as them being former training partners and actual friends.
Jon Jones & Dominick Reyes
At some point, these two will meet again. With the light heavyweight division lacking title contenders and TUF making a comeback, their feud seems perfect to continue on reality TV. Many think Reyes should have won the title, others feel Jones should be stripped currently. Let’s hope the champion can stay out of news headlines — until UFC comes to term with Jones’ pay, only time will tell what’s next for him.
One thing is for sure, once he gets the money he deserves, we’d love to see the champ coach a team to victory on TUF. It would be a chance for UFC to continue building Reyes’ popularity too.
Weili Zhang & Rose Namajunas
Now this would be fun, Weili & Rose as coaches leading up to their title fight would be awesome. Although unlikely, it does make sense since Rose needs to take some time off after going to war with Jessica Andrade again on Fight Island. Coming from TUF, Rose would know exactly what it takes to guide others during their journey. We’d also get to see some more of the unique ways Weili prepares for war.
Some of the divisions for women in the UFC are a bit slim, so having such a high-level duo coaching would be super beneficial for UFC hopefuls. It could also help bring more attention to both and continue building them as headliners.