The Ultimate Fighter has certainly lost its magic in recent years. With the introduction of Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series and Dana White Lookin’ for a Fight, TUF is no longer the best UFC show out there. The format has become stagnant, with a very ‘same old, same old’ feeling. One thing that could easily get TUF back to where it previously was is putting some world-class coaches against each other. We take a look at 5 options the UFC could go with. In this list we will disregard any fights that are already booked and look at those who will simply entertain us the most!
1 – Darren Till and Israel Adesanya
Darren Till is quickly becoming one of the most entertaining fighters on the roster, both in and out of the octagon. His pulling power within the company is clear, having main evented four events in his young career. His Instagram account is also one of the best out there.
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Current state of affairs ! Multipack of Jaffa cakes, 2 bags of Haribo, Doritos W dip, 4 pack of chocolate eclairs & 2 Five Guys burgers. Honestly… I can’t be assed seeing anymore of these workout at home videos, use are all boring the life out of me & ur workouts aren’t worth a wank. This is probs what 99% of the U.K are doing anyways!! #FiveGuysIsLife ???
Middleweight champion Israel Adesanya is much the same as Till. Extremely entertaining (usually) in the octagon and well worth a follow on social media. Adesanya has a lot of respect for Till and the feeling is mostly mutual. One of MMASucka’s outlandish predictions for 2020 was that the two would meet in a title fight in Till’s hometown of Liverpool, England.
If the two were to compete against each other on the show, it would be money. It would contain a lot of humour, a good wealth of knowledge and a competitive edge. It would also likely pull in more viewers from England and New Zealand. Till now competes at middleweight and a fight between the two could materialise in the near future and what better way to hype the fight than have the two men compete on TUF.
2 – Kamaru Usman and Jorge Masvidal
Welterweight champion Kamaru Usman is a winner of TUF himself. TUF season 21 saw Usman realise victory having dominated all competition in his way. His UFC career has gone much the same way as his TUF outings, true domination. With one defence of his welterweight strap, Usman is looking for his next. Who could it come against?
The hottest fighter at welterweight, Jorge Masvidal was the fighter of the year for 2019. With three huge wins, all by finish, the holder of the ‘BMF’ title is all set for a big 2020. The needle between these two fighters is also huge, having had a confrontation earlier this year.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) January 29, 2020
These are two men who clearly don’t like each other and they would certainly put on an entertaining feud within the confinements of the TUF gym. Usman knows what it is like to win the show and seeing Masvidal coach in that environment would be fascinating.
3 – Petr Yan and Aljamain Sterling
Two of the bantamweight divisions best could provide an interesting rhetoric going into a TUF season. Neither man is set to receive a title shot next at Henry Cejudo, despite both deserving one. Petr Yan is 6-0 in the UFC and is ranked an impressive #3 at 135lbs. Aljamain Sterling is more seasoned than Yan in the UFC, with a record of 10-3.
A season with both of these could lead to fireworks as both men are ultra-competitive. One massive pulling point is that Sterling may also choose to get his team involved. The LongoWeidman team is one of the most entertaining in all of MMA. Ray Longo and Matt Serra (a past winner of TUF himself) provide the most entertaining corner work you will ever see. Go and watch a Sterling or Al Iaquinta fight. The passion these two show shines through and it would be a fun aspect of a potential TUF season.
4- Stephen Thompson and Leon Edwards
Stephen Thompson has one of the most fascinating styles MMA has ever seen. His reaction-based Karate style is certainly entertaining to watch. His speed, technique and overall game get fans watching every time. A six-time headliner and two-time title challenger, Thompson is certainly a talent. Watching him coach with his fighting style would certainly be an interesting watch.
Leon Edwards is one of the most underappreciated fighters in the whole of the UFC. 10-2 in the UFC, he is deserving of a title shot at 170lbs and a win against Tyron Woodley at UFC London could have lead to this. We know that this fight never happened, however, and he should be looking for another big fight. The argument for a long time now is that he isn’t a big name. A run as a TUF coach could give him the exposure that he needs and help his push towards a deserved title shot.
5 – Conor McGregor and Justin Gaethje
These two former TUF coaches know what it takes to coach a successful team. Conor McGregor coached season 22 opposite Urijah Faber. His style was entertaining to watch and it gave an insight into the way he used to train. His training methods have certainly changed since then and it would be interesting to see how he coached if he were to do it again. The biggest pull the game has ever seen, McGregor would certainly boost numbers and lead to increased eyes on The Ultimate Fighter.
Justin Gaethje was a coach on season 26 opposite Eddie Alvarez, which saw one of his team win the show. A fight between Gaethje and McGregor has been teased for a number of months. A TUF season with these two could provide the perfect build-up to a potential fight. The back and forth between the two would entertain fans and potentially lead to more PPV numbers for the fight.
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