Rivals Urijah Faber and Dominick Cruz are set to coach The Ultimate Fighter's debut season on FX, debuting this Friday March 9 at 9 p.m. ET. The two men have fought twice before with Faber beating Cruz in 2007 to retain the WEC featherweight belt and Cruz beating Faber last year to retain the UFC bantamweight belt. The pair will meet again at the end of this season of TUF, once again for a title.
Both men have been doing interviews to hype the season premiere. Faber spoke to MMA Weekly about the biggest story to come out of the nascent season so far -- contestant Dakota Cochrane's gay porn past:
"I'm interested to see where his head's at with the whole thing. That will be a big deciding factor on how everyone else deals with it. It's going to come up, there's no doubt about that. It's not a subject that just gets looked over.
"If these guys want to make fun of him or pick on him or whatever, they may be getting beat up by him, so I wouldn't make him look too bad cause if you're going to break a guy down and he beats you up then that kind of makes you look bad.
"I don't have a problem coaching the kid. I would maybe talk him out of doing something so degrading to himself if it comes up again, but other than that just wish the best for him."
Cruz spoke to UFC.com about the other novelty of this season -- the fact that all the fights will be taped live and that he and Faber will be training for their bout while shooting the show:
"I don't really know how you necessarily prepare for it and I don't really know if it's gonna be weird or not. This is one of those things that nobody's ever been through, so you can't really get advice on the live portion of this thing. But at the same time, other coaches have seen the guy that they're fighting on the show the whole time and it hasn't been an issue. So I know that I'll be just fine. Me and Faber are professionals, we'll go in there and do our jobs as coaches and at the end of the day we'll go home and get our training done on our own. The only downside to it is looking at his goofy mug all day long and hearing him talk. Other than that, it's just another day."
Cruz and Faber will fight next at UFC 148, expected to occur on July 7 in Las Vegas, Nevada.