Roy Nelson was excited to get the news that he would be a coach on the newest installment of The Ultimate Fighter, but now it’s all about getting his assistant coaches approved.
According to the former Ultimate Fighter winner, there appears to be a hold-up in approving some of his chosen coaches, and he’s not sure what’s happening exactly.
“I’m excited. I’m just over here hoping that I can actually bring all my coaches that I want to be my assistant coaches and bring on. I might just have to do it myself. You never know. I don’t (think) they approve of half the people I hang out with,” Nelson told MMAWeekly Radio.
The choices of Nelson’s coaches include former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal, who is now signed to Bellator Fighting Championships as well as TNA wrestling.
“Right now I got Mo Lawal cause he’s a great wrestling coach and he helped me out the last time. Then I got Jeff Mayweather, James Johnson, those are just the three main ones that I have so far, and then I’m working on Anthony Brown,” Nelson revealed.
Anthony Brown is a Muay Thai and Krav Maga instructor out of Las Vegas, while Jeff Mayweather is a famed boxing trainer coming from the long line of Mayweather brothers including Floyd Mayweather Sr. and Roger Mayweather.
The problem now is getting them all approved, and Nelson isn’t sure why there is a hold up in the process. Is it because of Lawal’s newly signed contact with Bellator, where he will appear on Spike TV, the former home of UFC programming?
“I don’t know,” answered Nelson. “It’s about coaching and it’s about these kids. I think I even asked Victor Conte and I think he probably wouldn’t get approved because it’s about cleaning up the sport, and he’s one of those guys that wants to clean it up.”
Victor Conte is infamous in the world of performance enhancing drugs as the former head of BALCO, the lab that was connected to designer steroids and many famous pro athletes including Barry Bonds, Shane Mosley and Bill Romanowski.
After doing a stint in prison for his part in the illegal distribution of the drugs, Conte states he’s cleaned up his act and is now an advocate for ridding the sports world of performance enhancing drugs.
Nelson is still trying to put together his coaching staff as the new season of the Ultimate Fighter begins filming in just a few days before it debuts in early September. He’s unsure what the final call of coaches will look like, but warns that he may be a one man wolfpack when The Ultimate Fighter season 16 begins.
“The thing is I’m just hoping they get approved because they tend to all stick together, because they know how it works. I don’t want them to be treated like Rosa Parks,” Nelson stated.
“All I know is they’re the ones that do the casting calls. If this year’s Ultimate Fighter sucks, I’m going to blame them.”
Roy Nelson has now released the final list of coaches and guest coaches that will be appearing on the Ultimate Fighter this season. Nelson released the list via his official Facebook page on Saturday.
“Here are my assistant/guest coaches the non-UFC coaches will be helping but not on the set because they are black, criminals, white, Olympian, great TV … (disclaimer I have no idea, just opinion)” Nelson stated. “Non-UFC allowed: Muhammed Lawal, Kurt Angle, Victor Conte.”
The list of ‘allowed’ coaches according to Nelson include: Royce Gracie, James Johnson, Jeff Mayweather, George St. Pierre, Nick Diaz, Nate Diaz, Rashad Evans, Forrest Griffin, Chael Sonnen, Jake Shields, Gilbert Melendez, Martin Kampmann, Amir Sadollah, Mike Pyle, Gray Maynard, Ron Frazier, and Anthony Brown.
“I am a student first, teacher second. Let give these kids an opportunity of a lifetime,” Nelson wrote. “A UFC super camp.”