There have been rumblings for several weeks that the next season of The Ultimate Fighter will feature an all-star cast with former cast members, winners of the show and current members of the UFC roster. Now we know who will be coaching them, Cody Garbrandt and TJ Dillashaw.
Garbrandt won the UFC bantamweight title from Dominick Cruz last month at UFC 207. Dillashaw also competed on the card against John Lineker and won the contest via unanimous decision. After Garbrandt won the belt he called out his former teammate and now they will coach against each other on TUF.
It wasn’t officially announced but it’s all but certain the two men will square off for the title sometime this Spring after the show airs. The UFC has had rival coaches fight after the show airs over the years and it will be a good way to build up both young fighters and shine a spotlight on their rivalry.
Dillashaw and Garbarandt were teammates at Urijah Faber’s gym, Alpha Male. Dillashaw left to go train with Duane Ludwig in 2016 and got a bad rap on his way out to Colorado after leaving his longtime home. In Dillashaw’s absence Garbrandt emerged as the top prospect in the gym and by winning the belt last month “No Love” is now the guy to beat at 135 pounds.
Both men trained together in the past and according to Dillashaw on Chael Sonnen’s podcast he got the best of Cody 75% of the time. I’m sure the former champ will remind the current champ of that early and often on TUF.
TUF: Redemption will begin taping this month and will debut on April 19. Some of the names rumored for the show are Junie Browning, Joe Stevenson, Jesse Taylor, Mike Ricci and Eddie Gordon. The UFC did a similar theme in season three when they did the Comeback season which featured Matt Serra. As we all know, Serra ran the table and went on to knock out Georges St. Pierre in one of the greatest upsets in UFC history.
There have been rumors that CM Punk could be on the show but nothing has been confirmed. Dana White has been talking about having something in the works for the former WWE champ despite saying he wouldn’t fight in the UFC after losing his debut last year to Mickey Gall in the first round.