News has broke today that the next season of The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil will feature two of the most decorated jiujitsu artists in the history of MMA. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Fabricio Werdum are set to face off as team leaders and will fight at the finale as per tradition. According to Brazilian site Globoesporte.com, the two have verbally agreed to the job and only small contractual details are left to be finished. The announcement is a small surprise, as many were hoping to see Shogun Rua and Lyoto Machida in a season to fulfill their trilogy fight predictions.
Both fighters are coming into the assignment off of impressive victories, Werdum finishing Mike Russow with an early TKO this summer while Nogueira pulled off an emotional submission victory over David Herman at UFC 153 in Rio. Between them, they are the holders of countless epic submission victories and two of the most dangerous ground game practitioners in the world. The highly experienced Heavyweights will face off in a rematch, with Nogueira taking the first fight by decision in the PRIDE arena in 2006.
For Nogueira, it will be his second foray into the TUF coaching arena, as he faced off against Frank Mir previously but was finished by strikes in their bout. Werdum is making his first attempt as coach. The show is set to begin airing in Brazil in March of next year, and will continue the series that Vitor Belfort and Wanderlei Silva started earlier this year. Werdum and Nogueira are no doubt two of the biggest Brazilian stars in the UFC, perhaps taking only a back seat to the champions Anderson Silva, JDS, and Jose Aldo. Expect a great season of up-and-coming talent set into motion by two great candidates for coaches.
*UPDATE*: Nogueira and Werdum have been officially confirmed as the next coaches of TUF: Brazil (4:30 PM EST)