This past weekend the UFC announced that they will be returning to mainland China to make The Ultimate Fighter: China.
As reported by “MMA Junkie”, the show is looking to cast fighters of Chinese ethnicity, who can speak the language and come from either the featherweight, lightweight or welterweight classes.
Tryouts will take place on the 21rst and 25th of this month at Metropark Lido Hotel in Beijing and the Marina Bay Sands Hotel in Singapore, respectively and again on the August 3rd, at the Venetian Hotel in Macau.
Although coaches have yet to be picked, the UFC has on its roster only 2 ethnic Chinese fighters (Jumabieke Tuerxun and Zhang Tiequan) and it would seem unlikely that the coaching spots would go to either. One would think that Cung Le would be an obvious choice, but as he does not speak Chinese that might not happen. However, as the UFC is devoid of any Chinese speaking coaches I’m not sure what other options they might have. At least with Le, the UFC would know that he has an Asian following and that, by itself, might be enough to swing the job his way.
Also, given that Le is coming off of a big (emotional) win in Macao (November 2012) and could easily be paired-up with another UFC 185’er to give the show some regional pull at the top of the card, it could well make sense.
If they did put Cung Le in whom might the other coach be? Luke Rockhold might be an option, as would be the winner of Munoz / Boetsch. Another decent choice would be Michael Bisping.
Although Bisping is ranked #4 and well above Cung Le in the standings, he is British and the Chinese fans might enjoy seeing a UK fighter taking on a regional hero in Hong Kong and on former British soil. For “The Count”, even though it would mean going down in (out of) the rankings, it would be none-the-less, a great opportunity.
So, who do you think the 2 coaches of TUF China are going to be? Who would you pick?