When word first broke that the infamous rivalry between Canada and Australia (?) would take center stage during the next non-Brazilian international season of The Ultimate Fighter, we reacted as we typically do, by turning underwhelming news into a farce. For why would the UFC even bother attempting to promote a rivalry between countries where none such rivalry exists? Not only does it dramatically narrow down their choices for potential participants, but it similarly limits the promotion’s ability to shoehorn in a rivalry between coaches (as they are wont to do) who are both hailing from the countries/nations being represented and are still relevant in today’s MMA landscape.
Look, we get that the point of an international TUF is to, you know, pit foreign nations against one another. But when you start booking coaches from entirely different weight classes, coaches who might not even be able to fight one another at the season’s close, no less, doesn’t that kind of eliminate the point? In any case, that’s what we’ll be privy to during TUF: Canada vs. Australia, which will feature Patrick Cote and Hector Lombard as coaches…sort of (Via FiveOuncesofPain):
According to the MMA Sun, Patrick Cote and Hector Lombard have been targeted as head coaches. An official announcement is expected by week’s end. It also appears the UFC has Kyle Noke lined up just in case Lombard ultimately decides he cannot accept the role based on the expectation of moving down from 185 pounds to compete against Cote as a welterweight.
Let’s hope that Lombard, who walks around at upwards of 200 pounds, can make weight when all is said and done. Otherwise, the UFC is essentially saying that, rather than have a lesser known welterweight who is coming off a win coach opposite of Cote, the best option is to have a more recognizable middleweight that has suffered 2 tepid losses in 3 UFC fights coach, then pray to God he can actually make weight come fight night.
You could, of course, make the argument that “TUF is about the talent, not the coaches, so who cares?” Thankfully, War Machine has already offered a rebuttal to that cockamamie theory on our behalf, so let’s just end this debate with those enlightened words. And honestly, who are we kidding? These two will be lucky to make it to day one of shooting with both their legs intact.
One thing’s for sure, Team Canada is going to be in for some *epic* house parties this season. We just hope they can keep pace with their mentor, or they are going to be in for some even rougher mornings.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship® (UFC®) confirmed today the next international installment of its famed reality show will feature two leading Commonwealth mixed martial arts countries, as Canada meets Australia in The Ultimate Fighter® Nations. Series veterans Patrick Côté (20-8) and Kyle Noke (20-6-1) were officially named coaches of the 22nd edition of the show, which will feature welterweight (170lbs) prospects.