Coach Eugene Bareman, the head coach behind UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya, recently addressed rumors that Adesanya will coach the next season of The Ultimate Fighter against top middleweight contender Paulo Costa.
Adesanya and Costa have long been linked to a middleweight title fight, but the bout has not yet been made official. UFC commentator Joe Rogan recently divulged that he heard the plan was to have Adesanya and Costa coach TUF, which would require additional negotiations—hence the delay. That comment from Rogan caused widespread speculation that an Adesanya vs. Costa TUF season is indeed the plan.
Speaking to Submission Radio this week, Bareman responded to those rumors. He claims that Rogan likely knows more than he does, but that nothing has come across his desk with respect to an Adesanya vs. Costa TUF season.
“Joe Rogan is more in the know than I am, because I don’t know anything about it,” Bareman said (via MMA Fighting). “100%, I don’t know anything about it. No one has ever proposed it to me, I’ve never had any documentation, I’ve never had any electronic documentation saying anything about it at all. Joe Rogan, knows a lot more about it than me. So you can take that how you want it but it probably means that Joe Rogan’s source of information is not good.”
“Nothing has come over my desk in regards to Paulo Costa and Israel Adesanya, fighting, nothing about that, and I’ve also had nothing in regard to The Ultimate Fighter,” Bareman said. “For The Ultimate Fighter to happen, a lot more would have to be done. Really, the decision for me would be a business decision. Like, how much would that help Israel make money? If it added greatly to his backend, to his pay-per-view, that might be worth giving it a go, even though the stories that we heard from The Ultimate Fighter are that it’s a hard time. It’s quite a hard time. It’s not the most enjoyable time but if it makes dollars, it makes sense. These guys got to scrap for every dollar they can so that’s what I base my decision on, if it comes down to it. But it’s not a discussion point at the moment because it needs to come over my desk and nothing has come over my desk in regard to that.”
Whatever the case, Bareman assures that he and Adesanya are ready to fight Costa.
“We’re good to go, we’re just waiting on them,” Bareman said. “September is good for us. If the UFC want to put the fight on, we’ll fight it. Let’s push for September. It will give us enough time to get ready. A lot of the other noise to do with coronavirus and stuff will have calmed down. Let’s do it in September. Send the contract over. Let’s get it done.”
Do you like the idea of a TUF season featuring Israel Adesanya and Paulo Costa?