UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz and number one contender Urijah Faber will usher in the new live TUF era on FX.
The UFC announced tonight that Cruz and Faber will coach TUF 15 on FX.
“We’re producing ground-breaking television with The Ultimate Fighter LIVE and we can’t wait to kick this season off with FX in March,” UFC President Dana White said. “It’s going to be can’t-miss TV. Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber are two incredible personalities who also happen to be two of the best fighters in the world. They genuinely dislike each other and I expect this to make for the best season yet.”
“We believe that Dana and Lorenzo (Fertitta), along with Executive Producer Craig Piligian, have come up with exciting new changes to the format of The Ultimate Fighter that will expand and grow the series,” said Chuck Saftler, Executive Vice President, FX Networks. “The fact that the fights at the end of each episode will now be televised live is certain to create a sense of urgency for UFC fans. Furthermore, the move of TUF to Friday nights will provide a great ratings boost to the network.”
Both Cruz and Faber seem excited about the opportunity.
“Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a gym rat and love learning and teaching mixed martial arts,” Cruz, who trains at Alliance MMA in San Diego, said. “This is a dream come true. To get a chance to coach TUF and beat Faber again is all the motivation I need. This is going to be an insane season of The Ultimate Fighter.”
“I can’t wait to be the next coach on The Ultimate Fighter,” Faber, whose gym in Sacramento has helped produce UFC stars Benavidez, Chad Mendes and Danny Castillo, said. “I am looking forward to mentoring a bunch of hungry and talented fighters. The new cast needs to be ready to work hard and learn! Having Dominick coach on the opposite side couldn’t be more perfect. I’m not too thrilled about being in each other’s space for an extended period of time, as I am sure we are going to get on each other’s nerves. But I can’t wait to mentally beat him up as a coach, and then literally beat him up in the cage and swipe that UFC strap.”
TUF 15 will kick off on Friday, March 9, at 9pm ET/PT on FX with a two-hour season premiere. Subsequent one-hour episodes will air each Friday night at 10pm ET/PT on FX. The season will span 13 weeks and will feature live fights between the lightweight and welterweight participants at the end of each episode.
What do you think of the coaching selection?
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