The Ultimate Fighter Inching Toward Philippines in 2012
The Ultimate Fighter reality series may finally be heading abroad! According to new reports officials are apparently close to finalizing a deal that will see TUF head to the Philippines in 2012. Officials from ABS-CBN —which is the parent company of Balls (the TV sports network that airs UFC programming in the Philippines) — have broken news to the press that they expect to launch a local edition of the series in 2012. This news isn’t entirely shocking considering that the UFC has been planning a “TUF Philippines” series since early February of this year but the news is nice to hear because it means the deal is that much closer to being finalized and closed. This is great news for the Philippines and UFC fans across the globe. We all know that the UFC has been on a mission to eventually bring the sport to fans across the entire globe and this is just another step in that process.
Although the series’ location is now more than likely sealed there has yet to be a release of any news regarding the possible weight classes or coaches for the series. However, one coaching name has been in the front-running since the rumors of a “TUF Philippines” series emerged: “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” Mark Munoz. Munoz has been very adamant about his interest in coaching the show and because he’s coming off of such a huge win over Demian Maia at UFC 131 and has gone 6-1 since his drop to middleweight it only seems logical to think that Munoz’s name is at the top of the list. Some have even gone far enough to mention pairing him with the winner of the Belfort vs. Le fight in November. With Anderson Silva coming off of his impressive victory over Okami a few weeks ago the weight class is now in need of a new contender. And what better way to settle the dilemma than by a season of The Ultimate Fighter? Seems appealing enough for me!
But aside from the coaches of the season the series in the Philippines could very easily give the UFC more young talent to work with. With the recent success of OneFC, there is no question of the potential talent that could become a part of this season. Fighters such as Eduard Folayang and Eric Kelly could present some intriguing match-ups at lightweight and featherweight, respectively, though the likelihood of the UFC doing two straight seasons of lighter weight-classes seems slim. But the possibilities are there, and the important thing is that the deal to get TUF to the Philippines is looking brighter every day. We wish the best to the UFC while trying to close this deal. We can only assume that, like they always do, they will deliver the fans what they want: great fights with new talent.