If you weren’t already looking forward to the upcoming season of the Ultimate Fighter, featuring fierce rivals TJ Dillashaw and Cody Garbrandt, then perhaps this latest announcement might tickle your fancy.
Former Team Alpha Male teammates Dillashaw and Garbrandt are set to take opposing coaching roles on this year’s edition of the Ultimate Fighter and given the somewhat rocky history between the former champion Dillashaw and his ex-gym, you can be guaranteed that the forthcoming season will prove to be one of the most dramatic and tension-filled in the show’s history.
Dillashaw, of course, left MMA pioneer Urijah Faber’s gym, Team Alpha Male, to follow his striking coach Duane “Bang” Ludwig away from Sacramento for the good of his career, but even though the changing of fight camps is a common occurrence in the fight business, Faber and several of the Alpha Male faithful did not take so kindly to being deserted by their ‘brother’.
With Cody “No Love” Garbrandt – a highly touted product of the gym – now sitting pretty atop the 135lb division, a showdown of huge potential has been set between himself and Dillashaw as the pair are now set to partake in the traditional ‘coaches fight’ at the end of this season.
Now, in two Instagram posts published recently, the rivals have made their coaching teams for the upcoming season known to the world, and their selections are about as good as anyone could have hoped for given the tense history between them both.
Dillashaw was the first to announce his team and unsurprisingly it features his mentor, the ex-MMA fighter and counter-striking extraordinaire, Duane Ludwig. Those also set to feature are as follows, his BJJ coach Eliot Marshall, wrestling coach Leister Bowling and the UFC-veteran, “the Immortal” Matt Brown.
Faber was the one to reveal Cody’s coaching staff, and like Dillashaw’s, it offers few surprises but promises many fireworks.
Gym-founder Urijah Faber will join his protegé Garbrandt while Fabio Prado will coach BJJ. Robert Meese will take boxing and former UFC lightweight Danny Castillo will coach wrestling.
The latest season of TUF, entitled “The Ultimate Fighter : Redemption” will air first on Wednesday the 19th of April on FS1.
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena