Who could resist watching a whole season of this on reality TV?
Step aside Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva. Make way Urijah Faber and Miguel Torres. UFC boss Dana White is considering Brock Lesnar and Frank Mir as the coaches for the next season of The Ultimate Fighter.
Mike Chiappetta gets the scoop:
A surprising duo White mentioned was UFC heavyweights Frank Mir and Brock Lesnar. The pair has already fought twice, splitting the series 1-1. There was talk of a rubber match recently before White backed off the bout. However, with the added push of TUF highlighting the intense rivalry between the pair, the fight would likely do a monster number on pay-per-view, a serious consideration in deliberations.
During fight week, White mentioned that he would be speaking with Lesnar's management on Monday regarding his future, though it seems possible the camera-averse former champion might have little interest in a job that requires six weeks in front of a camera. Mir, on the other hand, has already coached TUF, leading a team during season eight of the show.
White made it clear to Chiappetta that he is still seriously considering Sonnen and Wanderlei or Torres and Faber as the alternative choices.
Lesnar and Mir on The Ultimate Fighter would be a ratings blockbuster I have no doubt. Lesnar's notoriously prickly personality and disdain for the limelight would make him a huge 'get' for the show. Frankly I'd be pretty astonished if White is able to convince Lesnar to do it.
It would certainly build a rubber match between Mir and Lesnar to unprecedented heights for a non-title match. Booking Mir and Lesnar for the show is a no-brainer, but the difficulty and expense of getting Lesnar to agree complicate matters greatly.
The Sonnan and Silva choice is an attractive option, but a distant second to Lesnar-Mir.
The legendary Silva is beloved by UFC fans after delivering a series of go-for-broke performances in the Octagon against the likes of Chuck Liddell and Rich Franklin. He's a natural for a turn at the helm of TUF.
Sonnen has emerged as a star after his UFC 117 star turn. He did an incredible job of building the fight by laying siege to Anderson Silva with a months-long barrage of trash talk that crescendoed with an epic appearance on the Jim Rome show in which Sonnen's absurd claims and blatant lies reached a near performance art level of unbelievability. But it was his in-cage performance against Silva that won fans over. Sonnen gave Silva everything the champ could handle for 4.5 rounds and seemed to be on his way to a decision and a title reign. Unfortunately he fell into a triangle choke and lost the fight.
Even worse, Sonnen failed a drug test after the fight and is serving a six-month suspension. Featuring Sonnen on the reality show while he's under suspension will truly send a message that the UFC is unconcerned with PEDs and might well force the promotion into direct conflict with NSAC ED Keith Kizer.
The third option would feature the two stars Zuffa managed to create in the WEC: Urijah Faber and Miguel Torres. Faber is new to the bantamweight division after having ruled the featherweight class for years before losing to Mike Thomas Brown and Jose Aldo and dropping down. Torres was considered one of MMA's best P4P fighters when he held the WEC 135lb belt.
Faber and Torres coaching the reality show would put a well-deserved spotlight on the UFC's newest and smallest division. The two are certainly charismatic enough to carry the show, but there is little doubt that the little guys will do the weakest numbers of the three choices facing White.
UPDATE: The news that Mir has verbally agreed to face Brendan Schaub in March 2011 indicates that White either couldn't or wouldn't book Lesnar and Mir for TUF.