Cruz and Faber Named Coaches for TUF 15

December 6, 2011
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Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber

Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber

The inaugural season of The Ultimate Fighter LIVE on FX will debut on March 9 and the coaches have now been named.

UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz and top contender Urijah Faber will square off first as coaches during this new season of the reality show, and then meet with the UFC’s 135-pound title on the line when the show concludes.

Cruz and Faber have been the leading candidates to coach the show since Faber’s victory over Brian Bowles in November at UFC 139.

Following the fight, Faber mentioned that he would love the chance to coach opposite his long time rival, and now he gets his wish.

“I can’t wait to be the next coach on The Ultimate Fighter. I am looking forward to mentoring a bunch of hungry and talented fighters. The new cast needs to be ready to work hard and learn,” said Faber on

“Having Dominick coach on the opposite side couldn’t be more perfect. I’m not too thrilled about being in each other’s space for an extended period of time, as I am sure we are going to get on each other’s nerves. But I can’t wait to mentally beat him up as a coach, and then literally beat him up in the cage and swipe that UFC strap.”

Cruz has been sidelined since his last fight against Demetrious Johnson in early October after requiring hand surgery due to an injury sustained in the bout. Cruz was expected to be out for about four months, so the timeline fit perfectly for him to return in March and coach the 15th season of TUF.

“Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a gym rat and love learning and teaching mixed martial arts,” Cruz stated. “This is a dream come true. To get a chance to coach TUF and beat Faber again is all the motivation I need. This is going to be an insane season of The Ultimate Fighter.”

The fight between Cruz and Faber will mark the third time the two have battled inside the cage. Faber won the first fight while competing at featherweight, and Cruz got his revenge earlier this year at UFC 132 when he won a unanimous decision over his heated rival.

Now they’ll look to settle the score, but first they’ll coach a team of hungry up and coming fighters looking to make their mark in the UFC.

The new season of The Ultimate Fighter will kick off with a two-hour special on Friday, March 9 at 9 p.m. ET, and then shift to a 10 p.m. ET timeslot after that.

The new season format will feature welterweights and lightweight competing for a six-figure contract with the UFC. Unlike past seasons that were taped, however, this new format will showcase taped incidents from the prior week, but then every fight will air live in its entirety on Friday night on FX.

The show will span the entire time the fighters are in the house, typically 10 to 12 weeks, leading right into the finale to crown the new Ultimate Fighter winners.

Cruz and Faber will spend their entire training camps alongside the fighters on the show as they prepare for their title bout as well.

The Ultimate Fighter Season 15 will get underway in March 2012.

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  • Gonna be awkward going through camp with your opponent right there. Other than that I like that they’ve assigned these 2 as coaches for the new season.

  • Will the title bout then be on the free Finale card?

  • Jmoney

    I don’t like the idea of having them coach an train at the same time…makes for a weak fight..especially since its the 3rd fight…they should be 100% focused of their own fight

  • It would also seem it would make for a much weaker finals for the competition. How soon do they have to fight in the finale after the semifinal round? A couple weeks? What about injuries? Would someone actually get into the finals without winning if an injury happened in the semifinal to the winner?

    I’m not sure that this live format is worth it.

  • MikeMc1983

    Don’t take this as fact, but I thought I remembered Dana saying in an interview that the new sceadule would have an event the week after the tuf finale. He said it as if that event would be a ppv the week after the tuf series was complete. That however was well before this coaching announcement so I’m not sure if that will still stand. Again, I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure that’s what he said. I could remember wrong, or things could have changed.

  • these two guys are pros and at top fittness level ,only they know if they can handle both gigs and deserve the ufc big time respect.


    I think they will make excellent coaches not to sure about them fighting though, they have only fought one guy each before fighting again and I don’t feel that it was a super close decision in the first place.

  • Santz

    Faber’s been crying and whining about doing the show, and I guess he finally can…I guess it’s an alternative for winning fans over since he can’t seem to get a title anymore even though like every other fight he’s in is a title shot. I really hope Faber is out of the title picture for a while after this next loss. I know he was the WEC poster boy but come on…he had his chance so many times already. He’s just not the best of the lighter weight classes anymore. He’s not even great, he was just a lot more athletic than everyone else…what happened when he faced someone just as athletic but with real striking skills in Aldo? He straight up punished and embarrassed Faber. NO MORE TITLE SHOTS FOR THE CALIFORNIA QUEER!

  • This is going to be the first TUF im not going to watch.Im big fan but UFC starting to be like boxing.Dana is the new DON KING!

  • MikeMc1983

    James, in what way do you believe that the UFC is becoming like boxing? In what way is Dana becoming king? I know it’s not the hair. 😉