Faber & Cruz TUF 15 Coaches: The Monica & Rachel Show Continues

The coaches for the UFC’s The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) reality show for next season have been announced: Bantamweights Urijah Faber and Champ Dominick Cruz.

This will mark the first season of TUF on a Fox property and will feature several changes for the show, in its 15th season. The show will air Fridays on FX and will feature live fights for the first time, leading up to a live finale. Which means that, among other things, fighters will not have the customary amount of time between the end of taping and the live finale to heal, train and strategize for their opponent.

The show has been nicknamed “The Ultimate Fighter: Live” because of this feature.

Unlike the just concluded Ultimate Fighter 14 Finale, in which both coaches fought, “Live” will revert back to the format the majority of the seasons have had, with the coaches facing each other sometime in 2012. It will be a five-round title (re)(re)(re)match.

Coaches on TUF are known for clashing throughout the season, and Faber and Cruz should have no problem giving viewers an interesting show, having no shortage of history together to pull from. Sometimes, their complaints might seem a little petty, reminding one of Monica and Rachel from Friends. There should be enough substance there to keep things interesting, though.

After their last fight some attempt was made to crush the rivalry, but the two have made statements in various appearances talking about each other that have shown there’s no love lost between them. They last faced each other at UFC 132, with Cruz getting the decision.

The show will feature lightweight and welterweight fighters. Tryouts were held in Las Vegas this week and drew about 350 fighters, including some MMA veterans. Fan favorites Jamie Yager (TUF 11 cast member) and Smilin’ Sam Alvey (Bellator) were among the hopefuls.

As for the show itself: Look for the production level to be raised, as Fox has proven itself the king of reality shows. Other changes to the format will be announced. Given past reality shows on Fox, don’t be surprised to see TUF gain a host and narrator, perhaps the recently hired Jon Anik, who was lured from ESPN by the UFC. There is also a chance that Anik will be commentating the fights on TUF and not hosting and narrating. “TUF 15: Live” episodes begin airing in March, scheduled for a 13-week season.