The Ultimate Fighting Championship® organization is proud to announce the coaches for the upcoming season of The Ultimate Fighter® are interim UFC heavyweight champion Shane Carwin and top heavyweight contender Roy ‘Big Country’ Nelson.
Taping for the show’s second season on FX will begin in early August, with the debut episode slated to air in September.
UFC President Dana White said: “This is going to be a very interesting dynamic between these two heavyweights. They both have huge punching power and great chins but, outside of the Octagon, they couldn’t be more different. These two have been going at it on social media for a while and don’t seem to like each other very much, but they are going to be seeing a lot of each other during this series and I guarantee it’ll make for great TV.”
“Working with Dana White, Lorenzo Fertitta and Craig Piligian on the first season of The Ultimate Fighter on FX was one of the highlights of my professional career,” said Chuck Saftler, Executive Vice President, FX Networks. “I’m thrilled to be able to continue this working relationship, and I’m extremely confident we’re going to make season two the best possible viewing experience for UFC fans.”
Carwin, 12-2 in his mixed martial arts career, is unquestionably one of the hardest one-shot punchers in the entire sport. He knocked out the likes of Christian Wellisch, Gabriel Gonzaga and Frank Mir en route to winning the interim UFC heavyweight title in 2010. Now fully healthy after back surgery, the former NCAA Division II champion asked for the chance to coach the next generation of UFC stars on the longest-running sports reality TV series in the world.
“I’m very excited to get this opportunity. Coaching TUF is something I asked for and really wanted to do,” said Carwin. “I see myself being an MMA coach when my own career is over and can’t wait to start working with my Grudge Training team to help the next generation of UFC stars achieve their dreams.
“I also asked to coach against Roy Nelson. The fans know how I like to conduct myself both in and out of the Octagon, and I respect every fighter, coach, official and fan in the UFC. But I cannot respect a man like Roy Nelson – because he shows no respect himself. He is a keyboard warrior who doesn’t have the guts to talk trash to my face, but now he’s going to have to be in the same room, the same gym and finally the same Octagon as me.
“I know I am a better fighter and trainer than he is. I will prove I’m a better trainer in TUF and then, when we fight, I will hit him harder than anyone has ever hit him and teach him some respect.”
Roy Nelson, 17-7 in his MMA career, has been called one of the toughest fighters in any division. Already an experienced campaigner when he entered The Ultimate Fighter house in 2009, ‘Big Country’ defeated Kimbo Slice and Brendan Schaub to become the season 10 TUF champion, before going on to knockout Stefan Struve, Mirko Cro Cop and, most recently, Dave Herman. Nelson is the fifth TUF champion to return to the series as a coach, following Forrest Griffin, Rashad Evans, Michael Bisping and Matt Serra.
Las Vegas native Nelson said: “When I found out I was going to be a TUF coach I was like ‘Wow me!’ When I found out I was coaching against Shane Carwin I was so happy to get a chance to compete against this guy. As for being in the same room as him, I try not hang out with people that make me feel icky on the inside but, to coach TUF, I will make an exception.
“Shane Carwin can think he is the better fighter and coach, but I will do my best and try to represent the Average Joe and show my team that, with hard work, you can walk away a winner against any fighter.”
In other TUF news, filming for The Ultimate Fighter: Australia vs UK – the Smashes starts in Sydney, Australia this Monday with coaches George Sotiropoulos and Ross Pearson.
For more information, visit UFC.com