With this morning’s news that Dan Henderson would headline UFC 93 in Dublin, Ireland with Rich Franklin, immediate questions were raised about what that meant for his rumored TUF 9 coaching bid. Well, according to The Sun, Hendo is still the UFC’s top choice to coach the US team.
The former Pride FC champion will face Rich Franklin at UFC 93 in Dublin on January 17 after the UFC confirmed details of their first-ever show in the Irish Republic.
But UFC insiders revealed Hendo is in pole position to claim the role of coach for Team USA despite his clash with Franklin.
“The show doesn’t get produced until late January – which is after his clash with Rich Franklin – and that keeps him in contention for the role.
“But anyone fighting on the card in Dublin could be a coach.”
It’s also mentioned in the report that Rich Franklin could be offered the role if Hendo turns the position down. That, however, doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. The coaches are said to be fighting at the end of the show for a shot at Anderson Silva and the UFC middleweight title. Does the UFC really want to push Franklin towards another fight with Silva? My guess is probably not. Franklin is likely more of a last resort type option.
The Sun also revealed that Michael Bisping is expected to coach the UK regardless of whether he wins or loses at UFC 89. That shouldn’t be a surprise since Bisping really is the UFC’s only UK-based option.
[UPDATE 10/01/08 6:28PM ET] – Dave Meltzer is reporting conflicting information, although it may just be his opinion. Considering the source, I figured it was worth noting.
This announcement indicates Henderson won’t be coaching on the next season of The Ultimate Fighter, as had been reported in the U.K., for the U.S. vs. U.K.-themed show that will be filming sometime soon. This show would probably take place either during the filming of the next season or right after. Even if it’s a few weeks after, they wouldn’t want the coaches fighting until after the season finishes playing.
Those close to Henderson say he heard all the stories, but had never been approached for the TUF coaching spot.