In case you didn’t figure it out yourself, Dan Henderson’s fight with Rich Franklin at UFC 93 has basically put him out of the running as a coach for the Ultimate Fighter: US vs UK show. Dave Melzer actually revealed that while Hendo had heard the rumors as well, no one in the company had actually talked to him about it. So does that mean the Sun can’t be trusted? Say it ain’t so! But I’ve got a more relevant question for you: who the fuck is gonna coach the US team?
I think it’s safe to say that Michael Bisping is gonna be the UK coach, unless they pull something really far out of left field – a Ross Pointon type pick, or perhaps they’ll just say “Who needs a UK coach for a UK team?” I can’t imagine the UFC is making their decision based on whether Bisping beats Chris Leben or not … tryouts in the UK are two days after that event and you gotta imagine the UK coach will be present to partake a little in the selection process.
As for the US tryouts, they’re on October 27th, giving the UFC a few more weeks to think up an interesting pick for a coach. It’s kinda too bad that Leben vs Bisping is happening now … those two would have made for a very interesting season. Or maybe not … Leben has stopped drinking and has managed to keep pretty low on the radar since (well, minus that arrest thing for a drinking-era probation violation). Fucking sobriety. Nobody likes a quitter.
If you assume that Bisping is gonna be a coach, then that means he’ll need an opponent in the same weight class. Looking through the list of the UFC’s middleweights, I have no fucking idea who they can get that would make for a legitimate season. Half the division is comprised of TUF veterans who are going nowhere fast. The other half are way too green or not from the US. Pretty much the only guy I can see who makes the slightest amount of sense would be Nate Marquardt. But you could probably switch the real Nate Marquardt with a cardboard cutout of Nate Marquardt and no one would notice for several episodes.
So while the next season of TUF may or may not be interesting to watch, at least waiting to find out who the UFC picks should give us all a bit of entertainment and intrigue.