According to the Brazilian website GLOBO, UFC middleweight champ Anderson Silva and former number one contender Vitor Belfort will be the coaches on the Brazilian version of The Ultimate Fighter, which begins filming in the South American country in March 2012.
UFC officials, however told MMAJunkie this afternoon that the report is erroneous, but take the denial with a grain of salt. Remember the company has been guarded in the past when it comes to revealing TUF coaches prior to approximately the month before shooting begins for logistical reasons. The other reason why they could be denying the report, if it is in fact true, is that Silva is likely to face Chael Sonnen in February and it would come off as though they are expecting “The Spider” to win if they were to announce him as a coach, especially if it’s likely that he will defend his title against Belfort at the conclusion of the season. Smoke and mirrors.
Personally, I’d like them to bring in Uncle Chael to coach opposite Anderson. Hell, I’d watch the whole season without subtitles and on mute just to see Anderson’s facial expressions whenever Chael addresses him. It probably won’t happen since 3/4 of the Brazilian MMA fan base don’t know what playing the heel is, which is probably tied into the absence of the Internet in the country and because they often mistake buses for horses.
Tryouts for the show will take place in the coming weeks, during which time more info should be revealed about the format and location, but it’s unlikely the coaches will be announced until December or January. We’ll just have to watch Belfort’s Twitter posts the next couple months for any tweets about traveling to Brazil for six weeks or about being disrespected at the gym.
It would definitely fly in the face of Dana White’s earlier assertion that Vitor wasn’t ready for a title shot yet, but then again, that wouldn’t be the first time “The Baldfather” contradicted himself *cough* Kimbo *cough*.