If TUF sucks next season, it’s not going to be because the coaches are duller than blocks of wood. Dana White just confirmed that Mayhem Miller will be taking Chael Sonnen’s place opposite Michael Bisping as the coaches of The Ultimate Fighter 14.
The season begins filming in June and debuts on Spike TV in September.
Bisping (21-3 MMA, 11-3 UFC) and Miller (24-7 MMA, 0-1 UFC) will meet in a season-ending fight at an event to be determined.
For the time in series history, “TUF 14” is expected to feature bantamweight and featherweight fighters. A 28-man, 32-slot tournament will be used. After an elimination round of fights, an official cast of 14 fighters will be determined. Two opening-round losers then will get second life as wild-card picks who fight for the eighth spot in the quarterfinal bracket.
This was the obvious answer to the UFC’s coach problem, although a scheduled fight between Mayhem and Aaron Simpson had some worried they might not be smart enough to push it through. Fortunately, Zuffa is run by generally intelligent people (unlike a certain other company that benched Mayhem) and they didn’t let that little (soon to be canceled?) detail stop them from putting this together.
Will this fix the problems with The Ultimate Fighter? Who knows? The show is set up so coaches aren’t really forced to interact with each other very much anymore. But Michael Bisping still managed to be a grand ol dog cunt the last time he coached, and that was without Mayhem around to clown things up. Plus I have to hope the UFC mined the 135 and 145 pound divisions for talent on this season. The fights over the past three seasons have been the only thing more boring than the house antics, so let’s hope the little guys bring some of that dearly departed WEC magic in with them.