Finding someone who still gets excited about The Ultimate Fighter is a lot like watching a guy wearing a gi or a Luchador mask in a cage fight: It’s a throwback to the days when our sport was arguably more pure and definitely more innocent. It’s oddly refreshing, incredibly confusing and somewhat disturbing, all at the same time. It’s the type of encounter that you’ll look back on a few months from now and say something like “Remember when we went to that event in the middle of nowhere and they let a guy compete wearing a Psicosis mask?” (Come on, stranger things have happened) or “Remember that night at The Korova when we met that guy who was all about TUF Live?”
That being said, TUF 16 actually looks like it has some promise. At the very least, head coaches Roy Nelson and Shane Carwin should provide some entertaining antics and some original trash talk. The fact that the two were originally set to fight each other at UFC 125 is a nice touch, too. And earlier today, Shane Carwin told MMAJunkie.com that UFC Heavyweight and one of MMA’s most recognizable personalities Pat Barry will be a part of his TUF 16 coaching staff.
If anything else, Carwin and company should be able to revolutionize the TUF coaches ribbing, which, let’s face it, has become pretty stale, predictable and disturbing throughout the history of the show. Looking over the rest of his coaching staff, his fighters will have one hell of a coaching staff to learn from. They’re listed for you after the jump.
Trevor Wittman: One of MMA’s most respected striking coaches, Wittman is the head coach at Grudge Training Center, which is located just outside of Denver, Colorado. Some of his pupils include Brendan Schaub, Duane Ludwig, Nate Marquardt and, of course, Shane Carwin. While he’s one of the most cheerful guys in MMA, he won’t hesitate to call out one of his fighters over their bitchassness.
Nate Marquardt: Former UFC middleweight contender, current Strikeforce Welterweight Champion. He’s coming off of a dominant performance over Tyron Woodley that won him the gold at Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy earlier this month.
Pat Barry: Come on, like you don’t know…
Leister Bowling: Wrestling coach at Grudge Training Center, extremely decorated amateur wrestler. His accomplishments include 3x Colorado state wrestling champion, Colorado career/season record holder for most wins (154), pins (131) and takedowns (785), 3x NAIA All-American, 4x Central Regional Champion, 4x Great Plains Athletic Conference Champion, 2005 National Runner-Up, and the 2004 Central Regional Outstanding Wrestler.
Loren Landow: Sports performance coach. Has worked with 400 professional athletes, including athletes in the NFL, NHL, MLB, UFC, WNBA and Olympic medalists.
That’s an impressive list of coaches. While we don’t have any word on who Roy Nelson’s coaches will be, we have to imagine he’ll bring in a killer jiu-jitsu specialist. And we won’t hold our breathe on Mike Dolche.
So, does this raise your interest levels for the next season of TUF?