News broke earlier this week that the upcoming season of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) Brazil 4 would be filmed in Las Vegas. Coaches for the show, which drew an alarming 600 lightweight and bantamweight competitors to the Rio de Janeiro-based tryouts, were supposedly a secret.
Tonight (Wed., October 29, 2014). we find out why, as UFC.com revealed that longtime middleweight champion Anderson Silva will coach opposite former light heavyweight champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua:
UFC® AND GLOBO ANNOUNCE BRAZILIAN ICON ANDERSON SILVA AND “SHOGUN” RUA WILL COACH THE FOURTH SEASON OF THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER® BRAZIL
THE SERIES WILL BE FILMED IN LAS VEGAS IN EARLY 2015 AND WILL STREAM ON UFCFIGHTPASS.COM
UFC President Dana White expressed his excitement at the upcoming season:
“A lot of people were worried we’d never see Anderson Silva back in the UFC. But, not only is he back in the Octagon on January 31 at UFC 183, he’s coaching TUF for the very first time. Anderson Silva is as committed to the UFC and the sport of mixed martial arts than he’s ever been, and I cannot wait to see one of the greatest of all time pass his knowledge on to a new generation of Brazilian fighters.
And if there’s any Brazilian fighter who can go up against Anderson as a coach, it’s Shogun. Shogun Rua has done everything in the sport and if he trains his team to fight in the same attacking style he’s always used, Anderson’s team is in for one hell of a season.”
Silva, who was recently critical of Brazilian fighters (including himself) for failing to evolve with the sport, believes he can bring valuable insight into the next generation of Brazilian competitors:
“I think I can offer this next generation of Brazilian talent real insight into what it takes to succeed in the UFC. I will bring everything I know about the martial arts, and my own values of what it means to be a martial artist, to my team.”
And Shogun, who will be facing Ovince St. Preux at UFC Fight Night 56 after Jimi Manuwa withdrew with a broken foot, said that the opportunity is a dream come true:
“To coach on The Ultimate Fighter Brazil is a dream come true, and an opportunity I wanted for a long time. To have my team compete against a team coached by a legend and former training partner like Anderson Silva makes it even better! Me and Anderson go a long way, training together back when we were both aiming to be stars, and to do this with him now on the biggest platform and having a chance to show people what MMA is really about is just amazing! I look forward to finding great talent and helping them become winners!”
It may be a huge opportunity for both Silva and Rua, but one has to wonder just what the UFC is thinking. Silva and Rua will not fight one another at the end of the season, and it wouldn’t make much sense if they did.
Slated to face Nick Diaz in the main event of January 31’s UFC 183, Silva just signed a 15-fight deal with the UFC last week, and holding him up with a season of TUF is hardly the way to get that contract fulfilled.
There have been complaints that TUF is simply holding up prominent fighters too long, and this news is certain to add fuel to that fire. Do you like the booking, or was there somewhere else the UFC could have used Silva’s services?