In all honesty this season of The Ultimate Fighter has been a tremendous let down. First, you have an extremely cordial relationship between rival coaches Brock Lesnar and Junior Dos Santos. Reality television is built on conflict and tension.
Unfortunately, Lesnar and Dos Santos’ mutual respect and admiration have seen a very vanilla dynamic between the two coaches. Secondly, there have been no engrossing personalities emerging from the house of hopeful UFC fighters. There is a very bland feel to this season’s participants. Label them under “meh.” Last, and certainly not least, the fact the this season’s buildup to a heavyweight title contender fight between coaches Lesnar and Dos Santos was derailed when Lesnar was stricken down by the return of his diverticulitis.
Still, while this season of TUF may have not been as compelling as those in recent memory the fact that the UFC has enlisted two of its more dynamic personalities to coach next season’s hopefuls all but ensures that The Ultimate Fighter’s 14th season will be one to remember. This past weekend the UFC announced that it had selected middleweight contender and brash-talking Brit Michael Bisping and newly-signed, perpetual caffeine jolt to the system Jason “Mayhem” Miller as season 14 rival coaches. The pairing comes on the heels of the California State Athletic Commission’s recent ruling to no reinstate disgraced contender Chael Sonnen’s license. Initially, the web was abuzz with the possibility of sh*t-talking fest to end all sh*t-talking fests as Sonnen and Bisping are never at a loss of words or insults. While Miller is a very serviceable, and credible, substitution it has to be said that he is no Sonnen.
I fully expect the drama between Miller and Bisping to be more than enough to draw back viewers to the show, many whom have jumped ship after this season’s tepid run. Miller’s antics mirror that of a sugar-riddled child with ADD, but he does know how to see good TV. Bisping is brash, cocky, and never one to mince words which should result in some great back-and-fourth between the two coaches.
Of course Sonnen being the odd man out is a bit of a bummer, his exclusion from the show has not silenced his lips any. After the announcement was made Sonnen took to Twitter to voice his opinions on the selection of the coaches, most notably, Miller.
A few classic gems from Sonnen:
"I buy a coupleon 'The Bachelor" before I but Miller as a Coach. Ten bucks says that he brings Bisping a rose on the season finale."
"Viewers: Prepare for the first season of TUF where both coaches speak English, and the show still needs subtitles..."
Call it sour grapes, but Sonnen put himself in this predicament. Still, as a fan of TUF it will be good to see a conscious attempt from ZUFFA to inject new life into the long-running series.
Photo credit: MMA Weekly