Featherweights & Bantamweights May Have To Wait To Coach TUF

November 26, 2010
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Urijah Faber WEC 38

Urijah Faber at WEC 38

The featherweights and bantamweights are moving to the UFC in rapid fashion starting in December, but it may be a little while before we see them coach on “The Ultimate Fighter.”

UFC president Dana White, when the merger with the WEC was first announced, mentioned that a show centered on the 145-pound and 135-pound divisions was a definite possibility in the near future, but putting a top pair in as coaches may be a little further off.

Speaking to MMAWeekly.com over the UFC 123 weekend, White believes that fans need to get to know the best of the best at featherweight and bantamweight before taking them out of the picture for six months to coach and appear on the show.

“Anything is possible,” White said about the lighter weight fighters becoming coaches on TUF. “The thing I don’t like about doing them right now is you take these guys out of the mix for months, and we’re just introducing these guys. The last thing I want to do is introduce them and then put them on the shelf for however long.”

The UFC president knows that once fans set eyes on fighters like Jose Aldo, Dominick Cruz, Urijah Faber, and Miguel Torres, that they will become avid followers of the featherweights and bantamweights, even without an “Ultimate Fighter” treatment to boost their popularity.

“You don’t have to watch ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ to like Jose Aldo,” said White. “You just have to see this kid fight. Now that’s he’s on the big stage and he’ll get that co-main event slot. People are going to learn who this guy is real quick.”

Obviously the news that broke on Tuesday about Aldo’s removal from the UFC 125 fight card sets that back just a bit, but the Brazilian phenom is still just one of the many names that hope to stake a claim to stardom when they enter the Octagon.

White also said that the promotion has made little to no decisions regarding the 13th season of “The Ultimate Fighter” at this point, as far as coaches go. The UFC president has been on the road for several weeks and hoped to sit down during Thanksgiving week to start hammering out some details.

He did admit that many fans and media are asking about a potential coaching slot for Urijah Faber on the next season of the show, but at this point, nothing has been decided.

“Everbody’s been asking me that,” White said. “I don’t know. I honestly, I swear to God, I really have not even thought about it yet.”

The casting process for the new season of the show has started however, and with production set to begin in early 2011, the UFC will likely make some decisions in the next month regarding the 13th cast and coaches for “The Ultimate Fighter.”

  • Should strike while the iron is hot and push the lighter weight classes hard and heavy right off the bat. Don’t fool around and put them on UFN cards or bury them on prelim slots on the PPV’s. The Ultimate Fighter is an excellent vehicle for giving these guys instant recognizably and creates interest with the casual fans and that equals more money for the fighters and Zuffa.

    Stick a charismatic, highly marketable guy like Faber on TUF and he’ll surround himself with a solid coaching staff who, oh yeah, just happen to be top level BW and FW fighters coming over from the WEC as well. Not to mention Master Thong. Having that guy on TUF would be worth the price of admission all by itself.

    But what do I know……

  • I’d rather they wait if they plan on using the champions i don’t want to see the belts held up for a long period of times, i’m down to see some popular contenders tho and the talent pool probably wont be as stale as it is in the high weight classes after 12 seasons.

    • Belts are usually only defended two times a year so it fits right in with the flow of things.

  • I think if you took Faber and Torres out for TUF 13, that would be perfect. There are enough guys at bantam to keep the title shots flowing at 135. They would fight in say April, then the winner challenges whoever has the belt in early to mid summer.

    I assume they’re gonna want to put Faber in the Octagon sooner than that though.

  • grimsgrind

    short bus you have no opinion on these forums. We do not support chael sonnen and steroids. You clown.
    Now that that is out of the way, I agree with dana, Faber / Cruz or Faber/Aldo would make for amazing television. But he is just bringing these guys in, he wants to throw them all over pay per views and fight nights, not put them on the shelf to train these guys and fight in 6 months. So it makes sense, 2011 is going to be an extremely interesting year for mma and moreso UFC. Considering it sounds like the UFC is turning into THE place to be even more. Good Luck(even though you don’t need it) and I hope UFC is around forever, Thank you Dana for bringing this sport to where it is today…


    • No need to be rude Dan, we’re all entitled to our opinion.

  • MMeh

    I have to agree that we need to see top fighters in the lighter weight classes now. It is no secret that there has been an overall lull in the UFC cards recently. Some barnburners from the dwarf bouncers is in order.