The merger between the UFC and the WEC is expected to bring the featherweights and bantamweights to a whole new level of popularity and exposure, and one of the best ways to realize that will be when the first class of 145-pound or 135-pound fighters make their way to “The Ultimate Fighter” reality show.
The long running Spike TV series has been a launching pad for numerous UFC fighters, while also propelling the coaches into the spotlight. Many have found new success while a few others have become infamous villains for their role on the show, but no matter how you cut it “The Ultimate Fighter” shines a very bright light on all those involved.
One person who would jump at the chance to be the first WEC crossover fighter to take a shot at coaching on the show is former featherweight champion Urjiah Faber. Leading his own Team Alpha Male in Sacramento, Calif., Faber already has a reputation for building some of the best featherweights and bantamweights in the world.
“I’d love to do that,” Faber said about coaching on the show. “I think I really enjoy (it) on some level. I’m not the guy that’s coaching my guys individually every day, but I give a lot of talks on mentality and things like that. I’ve got a ton of knowledge, I think it would be awesome to be an ‘Ultimate Fighter’ coach.”
Faber also just happens to be the WEC’s most popular and well-known fighter and would likely fit in right away with “The Ultimate Fighter” format.
The “California Kid” has brought up many fighters into the WEC already, such as Joseph Benavidez and current featherweight contender Chad Mendes. Faber has also taken on many projects for fighters he hopes will make their way into the UFC, including 2010 NCAA championship runner-up wrestler Lance Palmer from Ohio State University.
Dana White has stated they would “absolutely” do an “Ultimate Fighter” show with the new weight classes, and while season 13 casting is already underway for welterweight and middleweight cast members, it wouldn’t be a stretch to think the 14th installment could introduce featherweights and/or bantamweights.
Faber’s inclusion could bring a similar level of popularity to the show just as many UFC fighters have done in the past. Coaching opposite someone like current WEC champion Dominick Cruz with a title fight at the end of the season could be a perfect scenario for the show.
First though, Faber has to get past Japanese heavy hitter Takeya Mizugaki at WEC 52 on Nov. 11 if he hopes to maintain the headline status he would need to go into a coaches role on “The Ultimate Fighter.”