UFC president Dana White confirmed that the return of The Ultimate Fighter is in the works and named a number of potential coaching pairs for the next TUF.
White recently dropped a bombshell during a Reddit AMA when he said the UFC was working on the potential return of TUF. Many figured the show would be dead due to the emergence of the Contender Series, and so it was surprising when White said that TUF would be returning “soon.”
Speaking on ESPN 690 Jacksonville radio this week, White confirmed that the UFC is working on TUF right now and even suggested several high-profile coaching pairings (via TSN’s Aaron Bronsteter).
White mentioned Usman/Covington, Usman/Masvidal, Adesanya/Costa and Khabib/Tony or Justin as strong candidates as coaches for The Ultimate Fighter's return.
— Aaron Bronsteter (@aaronbronsteter) May 6, 2020
In an interview on ESPN 690 in Jacksonville (one-time Dana White Contender Series fighter) @A_Train_92 asked whether now would be the perfect time to reboot The Ultimate Fighter due to a lack of sports programming. White: “We’re literally working on that right now”
White mentioned Usman/Covington, Usman/Masvidal, Adesanya/Costa and Khabib/Tony or Justin as strong candidates as coaches for The Ultimate Fighter’s return.
The fact White is now naming potential pairings for the coaches makes it seems like TUF could very well return sooner than any of us think, perhaps even this fall or winter. Of course, nothing can be done at the moment given the coronavirus pandemic. But whenever White is given the go-ahead, the organization can start filming TUF at the UFC Apex.
Any of the five pairings that White suggested would certainly bring eyeballs to TUF, which desperately needs a jolt of energy if it is indeed returning to television screens near you. Kamaru Usman vs. Colby Covington, Usman vs. Jorge Masvidal, Israel Adesanya vs. Paulo Costa, Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson and Nurmagomedov vs. Justin Gaethje would all be huge names to put on a show which desperately needs a revival. If TUF is coming back like White says it is, then it will be coming back with a bang.
Are you excited about the return of TUF?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 5/6/2020.