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It’s Official: Rampage and Griffin are TUF 7 Coaches

The worst kept secret in MMA has finally been unveiled. Dana White has announced that current UFC light heavyweight champion, Quinton Jackson and the Ultimate Fighter 1 season winner, Forrest Griffin will be rival coaches on the upcoming 7th seaon of the Ultimate Fighter.

On the related article on it states that the two will square off for the title after the airing of the show. Filming is set to start early January and the show, which will be featuring middleweights, is expected to air in April of 2008.

Having two of the UFC’s most popular fighters as coaches can only serve to create more intrigue and anticipation for this season. Dana White has also promised a shake up of the Ultimate Fighter format which can only help as well.

However this obviously means that the UFC’s most talent rich division’s belt will be on hold until most likely around June or July next year. That will be at least 9 months since it was on the line at UFC 75.

On behalf of the whole MMA community, ugh.

  • Anton K says:

    such absolute s**t.

  • curt o says:

    what? beat the ex-champ and get no respect. beat a non-champ and get a titleshot? that’s BS.

  • jersey tomato says:

    You would have thought Dana learned his lesson with the TUF season just completed. …this is a bad idea.

  • Sam Cupitt says:

    Why would he do this with the two most stacked divisions? If he did it with middleweight it would be much better because then there is time for the UFC to build up 2 or 3 contenders to face the champ (I know Anderson Silva doesnt speak english but you get my point) but with Lightheavyweight and Welterweight they already had 2, 3, 4 even 5 contenders before the show begins.

    Sure this season will probably bring in a shit load of people, but they are gonna be hurting the light heavyweight division and denying the fans, ‘the ‘page”

  • Dan says:

    Don’t agree that this is a bad thing. Now Quinton gets proper time to heal up his hand, otherwise, such an injury could really hurt a fighters career if it never gets to heal.

    It also gives the ufc time to get a clear contender that faces the winner of rampage and forrest. The division is so stacked that it’s hard to see one single clear contender.

    In the long run, this is good for ufc. Rampage will become a huge star, forrest will become even bigger than he is today. Tuf will get two much needed charismatic and tv-friendly coaches.

    Everyone bashed them for not promoting rampage. Now when they let him heal up and take some time off, and at the same time build him up on tv, it’s suddenly a bad idea. In my opinion, champions shouldn’t have to fight every 3 months, and if they are injured, they should get time to heal up.

  • pr0cs says:

    This makes the most sense (if that’s possible with TUF). Both guys are hurt, both are camera friendly. As long as they change up the TUF format and make it less “real world” and make it more centered on training and fighting then I’m fine with it. Not like Rampage is fully healed yet anyway.

  • Why are dudes always crying about not having enough championship fights? Huerta/Guida was more competitive and compelling than any championship fight in 2007. I love Silva and GSP, but championship demolitions aren’t always the best thing for a fight card.

  • Dizzle says:

    I agree with Neal.

    I always see a slow paced fight with a 5 rounder. Just because the fighters are more strategic and try to save their energy during the fights.

  • Sam Cupitt says:

    I like the idea of having them as coaches and I like that they are using their best promotional tool to hype Rampage. I’m also cool with the idea of letting em heal up.

    But having to wait 10 months for a championship bout in the UFC’s most stacked division is just damn annoying. Just a little agitated because there’s so many great possible fights and the division is now stalled.

  • Anton K says:

    That’s the real problem: The division stagnates. I don’t think a champ should fight more than two or possibly three times a year, but to delay the progress of the division for a tv show takes legitimacy away from the sport.

    I agree however, that Griffin and Rampage will be a huge ratings draw.

    And I do agree that Jardine seems to be getting pushed aside… despite his win over Liddell. Perhaps his record doesn’t have enough depth. Maybe he should fight a super technical martial artist like Machida.

  • Mike Rome says:

    It’s got nothing to do with his record, everything to do with the fact that he’s a boring and unmarketable fighter. UFC is part of the entertainment world, marketability will always be a big part of it. Unless Jardine can start having exciting fights and make people care about him, he won’t ever see a title shot.

  • Dre says:

    I like Forrest but Rampage by Knockout in the 1ST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • I’m really against champions being coaches on the Ultimate Fighter because of what just happened with Serra. The welterweight division is completely loaded with top guys (Dana White already had the next two title challengers organised in GSP and Fitch) and now there won’t be a title fight for over a year. The same thing could happen with Rampage if he or Griffin get injured before this fight.
    Also I don’t think Griffin deserves the next crack at the title. After Alexander was destroyed by Thiago Silva, I think that honour had to go to Jardine. Jardine beat both Griffin and the former champ, and while Griffins win over Shogun was great, I think Jardines over Liddell was better. I can understand how they could pick Griffin over Jardine as coaches because Jardine looks like some sort of cannibilistic caveman and is no where as marketable as Forrest.
    The good thing about the division being put on hold though is that it’ll give the contenders a chance to sort everything out. Right now Rampage is on top, and the rest require careful examination to seperate. Hopefully in the time it takes for Rampage and Griffin to square off, the next top contender will emerge.

  • Anton K says:

    I’m not a fan, but think Jardine has exciting fights – the Liddell fight was pretty good and he knocked out Griffin… his charisma is what’s lacking, but if his record deserves a shot, he should get one.

    What about Machida? If he wins his next fight, he’s certainly deserving of a title shot… Is he supposed fight three or four MORE times this year to get one? I think it’s bs.

  • Zack says:

    I’m not a Jardine fan, but I have to disagree with you Mike. His fight with Chuck was a masterpiece of strategy in my opinion, and the fight with Forrest was exciting as well. At least he’s a striker. I think the thing that may kill our sport is too many “wrestling-only” guys that don’t have enough striking ability to end a fight.

    I’m not bothered by the fact that this TUF will be LHW, because it seems like all the guys drop down a weight class anyway. So in reality you may be building up the next MW contender.

  • zaire says:

    #14 I thought the coaches were going to be LHW, but the fighters were to be MW

  • Adam Morgan says:

    The UFC is moving to a model where their champions are only going to fight two times a year. With that, plus Rampage’s inury, in mind, TUF 7 with these two isn’t such a bad idea after all.

  • Dizzle says:

    It’s a great idea…only if the show is really revamped.

    I’d love to see Camp vs. Camp to be honest. I think there needs to be more exciting things in the next season of TUF.

    Watching the figthers do stupid stuff in a house really isn’t exciting at all. I always find myself channel surfing during TUF waiting for the fights.

  • Gareth says:

    Well its not bad,looking at it from a MARKETING point of view,love ’em or hate him,sorry to say this is a fight game,Rashad should be fighting either Keith Jardine or undefeated Thiago Silva (dont care if people are friends or in same camp,suck it up buttercup the dice are gonna roll against that friendship).Thats the matches Joe Silva needs to be making,as far as “TUF” is concerned they need more Heavyweights,all other weight classes are STACKED,oh yeah shout out to Sean Sherk,I knew there was no way a guy that big could cut weight “NATURALLY”,from 190 to 155lbs,he’ll back to take on Penn or Stevenson,hopefully Penn

  • Lance says:

    Wrong Wrong Wrong!

    This is a great move for the ufc and the fans for several reasons.

    1. Yes the light-heavy division is stacked, but not with people that deserve a title shot. The bulk of the fights that need to take place are people ranked at numbers 2 – 14. Rampage is clearly the frontrunner in the division.

    2. It makes sense for Forest to fight him and coach against him. Who else??? Even if Chuck beats Wanderlei does anyone want a Chuck vs. Rampage 3? I’m sure Chuck would think twice about it. Another likely loss sets up a potentional very dissapointing end to a successful carrer in MMA.

    3. You think Wanderlei should coach against him? Most of the US audience has never seen him fight and how many red neck fans would sit through shows full of TUF with severly broken english from the guy? Of course not.

    4. No one else is in title contention at this point. Jardine has a few more fights to prove himself. Alexander lost. Shogun has to work his way up from a dissapointing start in the UFC, Henderson is going down in weight and Rashad Evans has to fight some bigger names to get in place! Forest is the only option!

    5.Rampage is the funniest, most entertaining MMA fighter in the UFC! Great show material. It sets up the potential to send the show from luke-warm entertainment to fun tv!

    How can anyone complain? Yes the division is stacked, which means we can look foward to a lot of exciting Light Heavyweight action all year… not just the title fights! And the division definately needs to work itself out to get more people in line for a title shot. If Wanderlei beats Chuck and Rampage beats Forest, then we’ll see that fight. If Shogun wins 2 or 3 in a row then maybe a Rampage vs. Shogun. You can still market him avenging his losses and have thes great fights down the line.

    I am right. Face it.

  • Lance says:

    Jardine getting pushed aside? Ha!

    Did you see the thrashing he had just 2 fights ago? 45 second loss to a UFC Newbie! He’s got a lot more proving to do! So he beat lidell… big deal! He leg kicked a guy that should have known how to defend!

    I like Jardine, he just needs a little more exposure to more tough oposition to prove he’s ready to get a title shot.

  • Gladiator says:

    If he beat Chuck He deserves a title shot. Houston would get knocked out by Chuck and so would Griffin. Props to Jardine. He beat one of the greatest strikers in MMA. If you last against a man who knocked out 7 oponents in the first round I think that is enough tough opositon. Lol oh Yeah he didn’t even try to wrestle Chuck he stood toe to toe with that guy. And even out stiked him in some points of the fight. Yes leg kicks are strikes and do work. Too bad Chucks didn’t throw his. He was just looking for a one strike KO.

    Rampage against Forrest lol I hope Forrest doesn’t cry when he gets knocked out. Lol Nah mma is different you never know what is going to happen in there. But I am going for Rampage.

  • Metsubou says:

    TUF is good for promoting the sport and the 2 fighters yes. I also heard the fighters will be middleweights even though the coaches are LHW.

    But as for the championship fight itself? Forrest is gonna get rocked so hard.. hes not on the same level as Rampage, and you know it.

    He beat an un-motivated shogun with his first time in the cage… and they give him a title shot? Dana white is a fool, he’ll try to turn Forrest into the new Chuck, now that his cherished prize fighter is a washed up fat boy.

    Lets get Vitor Belfort back in the UFC, now theres a quality fighter…


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