The announcement that the WEC is being swallowed up by the UFC – providing two more weight classes – adds flexibility not only to the promotion’s numerous events around the globe, but also to its venerable “Ultimate Fighter” reality series.
The addition of bantamweights and featherweights immediately injects a new cast of characters to draw from, not only for the show’s cast, but also for its coaches. And that’s not even counting the UFC’s plans to also bring flyweights into the picture at some point in the near future.
A name that was thrust to the top of the list of potential coaches from the moment the word “merge” left UFC president Dana White’s lips was that of former WEC featherweight champion Urijah Faber.
As quickly as his name was put in the hat, Faber embraced the idea.
“It hasn’t been a goal of mine, but I think it would be something that would help me reach some of my other goals,” he said after winning his bantamweight debut at WEC 52 on Thursday night.
“I’d love to do that; it would be awesome. Bring my team and show how Team Alpha Male gets down.”
There are many pluses that Faber sees to being a coach on “The Ultimate Fighter.” Most fighters that have fulfilled a stint in that spot have seen their public noteriety rise exponentially. Along with that increased exposure comes increased opportunities in business, sponsorships, leadership, and other areas.
“I think it would be great to kind of get all of this hard work that I’ve been doing with building brands and have it on an even higher level,” Faber said, alluding to what the exposure of the show would do for him.
“It would be awesome, help some guys out. I’ve got a ton of guys that are up and coming in my camp that I would love to get on the show as well.”
Neither White nor Spike TV officials have hinted publicly about if and when we might see Faber or his WEC cohorts cast for the show, but with Season 13 set to go into production in the next couple months, don’t be surprised if it happens sooner that most might think.
“Yeah soon, that could happen soon,” White said recently about a TUF season with featherweights and bantamweights. “It’s nothing we’ve talked about yet, but absolutely.”