January 12, 2011
Yesterday, the UFC announced that heavyweight Brock Lesnar and Junior dos Santos will coach the 13th season of "The Ultimate Fighter" on Spike. This will bring about both good and bad aspects of the show.
1. Getting a better look at Brock Lesnar: The heavyweight fighter is enigmatic to say the least. He trains in the backwoods of Minnesota, and brings coaches and training partners to him. Media are rarely allowed at his gym, which is a departure from the open nature of many top MMA gyms. Featuring him on TUF will help fans get to know Lesnar better.
2. Black House MMA's involvement: Junior dos Santos is a member of Black House MMA, a group of elite fighters that includes Anderson Silva, Jose Aldo, the Nogueira brothers and Lyoto Machida. If dos Santos brings just one of these fighters on the show, both his fighters and the viewers will benefit.
3. Lesnar's coaching crew: Wrestling fans know Marty Morgan as the longtime assistant coach at the powerhouse at the University of Minnesota, but he isn't as well known to MMA fans. His presumable involvement in the show will give Lesnar fans a better look at Morgan and Lesnar's other training partners like Bellator champ Cole Konrad.
4. The fight at the end of the tunnel: Lesnar's first fight back after losing his belt to Cain Velasquez is a tough test -- so tough that dos Santos was supposed to get a shot at Velasquez's belt before he was injured. If it's true that Lesnar doesn't like to get hit in the face, a striker like dos Santos will make things difficult for Brock.
1. Welterweights ... again: This is the fourth time welterweights will be featured on "The Ultimate Fighter." Before the UFC/WEC merger, it would be fine to feature 170 lbs. again, but Zuffa missed on an opportunity to not only showcase their newest additions, but also stock up some of the smaller weight classes.
2. Why not heavyweights? If not the little guys, why not take advantage of having two of the best heavyweights in the UFC and have them coach fighters at the same size? Heavyweights make interesting television -- remember season 10? -- so we may as well watch them.
3. Think of the doors: Considering that Quinton "Rampage" Jackson wrecked a few doors in anger during his times coaching on the show, what will behemoths like Lesnar and dos Santos will do? Hopefully, the foundation of the TUF gym is strong.
From our vantage point, the good outweighs the bad. When the show debuts at the end of March, will you be watching?
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