The two upcoming seasons of the UFC reality show “The Ultimate Fighter” have finally been given their respective coaches. Heavyweights Shane Carwin and Roy Nelson have been selected as the TUF 16 (TUF on FX) coaches and George Sotiropoulos and Ross Pearson will helm TUF: Australia vs. United Kingdom.
TUF 16 will return to the taped format of the past after last season’s LIVE version. Taping for the 16th domestic season is scheduled to begin in early August, with the debut episode slated to air in September.
Carwin is the former UFC interim Heavyweight Champion and has been out of action since his Unanimous Decision defeat to Junior Dos Santos on June 11th, 2011 due to injuries. Nelson won season 10 of The Ultimate Fighter and will join other former TUF champions Forrest Griffin, Rashad Evans, Michael Bisping and Matt Serra who have returned to coach the series.
Carwin and his fans had lobbied hard to get him as coach and with the former NCAA wrestler also requesting to coach opposite Nelson, he’s getting exactly what he wanted. These two have hard their twitter beef and will now coaches against each other before settling things inside the Octagon later on this year.
“This is going to be a very interesting dynamic between these two heavyweights. They both have huge punching power and great chins but, outside of the Octagon, they couldn’t be more different. These two have been going at it on social media for a while and don’t seem to like each other very much, but they are going to be seeing a lot of each other during this series and I guarantee it’ll make for great TV,” said UFC President Dana White.
After the success of TUF: Brazil last season, the UFC will hold their second international edition of The Ultimate Fighter, dubbed “TUF: Smashes”, which according to MMAJunkie.com will begin taping soon. Like Roy Nelson, Ross Pearson is a former TUF season winner having defeated Andre Winner back in season 9. The U.K. coach fought at 145 lbs. his last two fights but will be moving back up to lightweight for his upcoming bout against the Australian fighter George Sotiropoulos.
The season will air on FX in Australia, according to the UFC, but there has been no word of yet on a possible U.S. broadcast. The TUF: Brazil season aired on Globo in Brazil but also streamed online before FUEL TV begun airing the episodes in June.
With two new seasons upcoming, the intriguing heavyweight coaching matchup and another international installment, fans of The Ultimate Fighter reality series are in for a treat later this year