TUF: Brasil II—Who Coaches?
Building upon the unquestionable success of the first Brazilian season of The Ultimate Fighter, Zuffa will be filming the second season soon (among a million other things it’s doing, like putting together TUF: Australia which I’m really looking forward to). They will have to make a decision on coaches.
Vitor Belfort started the season more popular in Brazil than Wanderlei Silva, but through the show, the tide turned and Wanderlei’s coaching and attitude won over the fans. So much so, that Belfort was boo’d loudly when shown on the screens in the stadium at UFC 147, while Silva received a hero’s welcome.
The first and most obvious choice would be Junior “Cigano” Dos Santos. He’s raised his profile in Brasil significantly in the last year, he’s coached TUF before and he’s the heavyweight champ.
That last thing might prove to be the reason he doesn’t end up coaching, actually.
He’s a humble, down-to-earth guy, so I want to make it clear that I don’t think that he would turn it down because he’s the champ and thinks he’s too important to do it. What I mean is that, because he’s the champ (and even if he were to lose the belt, there would still be the same issue), finding someone from Brazil who would be qualified to face him at the end of the season would be, well, tough.
Right now, there’s only one fighter that’s almost qualified, although I think he’s still a few wins away (maybe 2-3) and that’s Fabricio Werdum. Because he’s a few fights away, I don’t think this is likely for TUF: Brasil II, but perhaps the third season…
More likely is Shogun vs. The Dragon: Mauricio “Shogun” Rua vs. Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida. They’ve fought twice before, with one win each, something that could be exploited for story content on the show… Almost as importantly, I think that these two are in about the same standing in the division, especially after Shogun turned down Texiera in favor of Vera, and with Lyoto taking on Bader. Either way those bouts end, both guys would be well matched, I think, for the season-ending rubber match.
I can’t imagine Anderson Silva doing it. Jose Aldo would be fun, but is there anyone that could credibly fight him at season’s end?
Either way, if the first season was any indication, it should be great! Watching season one was so good, seeing the fighters’ passion for the sport, especially compared with the American TUF…