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Dana White reveals Franklin vs. Henderson winner to become TUF coach opposite Bisping

UFC President Dana White revealed during a special Q&A session in Fort Bragg, North Carolina on Tuesday that the winner of a planned light heavyweight attraction between Rich Franklin and Dan Henderson at UFC 93 on January 17 will be named a head coach for the ninth season of The Ultimate Fighter.

TUF 9 will feature fighters at lightweight and welterweight representing both the U.S. and UK in a head-to-head format. Michael Bisping has already been announced as the head coach of the UK team and it’s expected that he will square off against Henderson or Franklin in a pay-per-view matchup to be scheduled after TUF 9 has finished airing.

White’s proclamation that the winner of Franklin vs. Henderson would be named the U.S. coach couldn’t have been expressed any more definitively. However, revelation was still somewhat surprising considering that Franklin has been lukewarm about the idea of a second turn as a TUF coach after having served in that capacity during the show’s second season. But the former UFC middleweight champion never completely ruled the possibility out and it’s possible that recent progress has been made towards securing a commitment from him.

Tryouts for TUF’s ninth season were conducted in England and Chicago during October with many fighters expected to travel to Las Vegas later this month for followup interviews. The finalized cast for the show will likely be determined by mid-January with taping possibly beginning in Las Vegas soon after. The show is tentatively scheduled to premiere in early-April and will be preceded by a live UFC Fight Night telecast.

UFC 93 will emanate from the O2 Arena in Dublin, Ireland. In addition to the main event between Henderson and Franklin, the show will also feature the return of Mauricio “Shogun” Rua taking on UFC Hall of Famer Mark Coleman.

  • Si says:

    so, Hendo and Franklin (two MWs) are fighting at LHW, for the right to fight Bisping at MW, who was until recently fighting at LHW?

    I know that they’re all pretty much MWs now, but that taken with BJ and GSP potentially weight-hopping kinda blurs the lines between divisions. Whether that’s good or bad is a whole different question.

  • egad81 says:

    weight classes are a joke.
    Look at the Randy vs Brock fight… 45+ Lbs

    MW & LHW are seperated by 15 lbs. I doubt it even matters.

    Hendo by TKO

  • Smokes says:

    I look at it like the real winner is the loser who doesn’t have to be on the show. Seriously? Put Hendo/Franklin through the whole tuf bs and then after that have him fight the unworthy Count? w/e the UFC is running tricks these days just let Franklin start his hand at LHW and let Hendo fight Bisping. I only wanted to see Hendo/Franklin to see who the true number 2 MW is.

  • Angry-tom says:

    @ egad81

    no one told randy to come in weighing 220 lbs, thats on him if he doesnt want to pack on the weight to be a heavier heavyweight, really hes built to be a 205 er

    Also what would this prove in the MW division, bisping would lose to either franklin or henderson who both have already had matches against silva. Franklin beating hendo will only worsen things cause at this point who wants to see a silva vs franklin 3, when the first two went so badly. I wouldnt mind seeing a rematch between hendo and silva, but it would probably end the same way.

    just make bisping the #1 contender and let him have his shot at the title, lose and go back to the UK.

    really there is no one at 185 that poses a threat to silva (besides hendo or franklin, but both have already taken their lumps)

    i know a yushin okami vs anderson silva fight would probably suck and not draw many ppv buys, but having that fight on a card with maybe another title fight would suffice. cause lets face it, having silva avenge a loss would be nice, or maybe thorugh ryo chonan and okami in the cage with silva and have him avenge 2 losses.

    the MW divison sux right now, the only thing silva is good for is fighting in super matches, i would like to see him fight GSP, liddell, rashad evans, wanderlei and griffin

    then retire

  • Abdullah the Butcher says:

    What is with White and Bisping? I just don’t get it. I can barely understand Bisping and he is gonna be on television for a few months. This is going to help TUF ratings?

    TUF is going into the dumper. I see an end to this series, very soon.

  • Jason G says:

    I’m not excited by either of the coaches, already seen Bisping & Franklin on TUF. Why can’t it be Silva & Okami or even Marquardt? I can live with dubs on everything as long as it’s exciting. I’m sure Okami would be able to pick up a little English so it wouldn’t be that bad.

  • JTM says:

    I’ve said this every time the subject has come up – USA vs UK is a bad idea for a format and will just emphasise the gulf in MMA that exists between the two countries. Besides, Franklin and Hendo both make Bisping look like a welterweight.

  • s00nertp says:

    I hope it is Henderson, I’d love to see him coach. Rich is a good guy, but I am not really a fan of his.

    I am far from a fanboy of UFC, but I do love watching TUF.

    I have never trained as a fighter (nor want to), so watching TUF for me in incredible. I love watching the mental craziness these guys go through (unrelated to the show antics), to prepare and the training. I loved seeing the massive difference in attitude between Mir and Nogueria for the current show. You can see Nogueria loves being a team, for Mir it is just a chance to give back a little.

    I really enjoy getting the exposure to the fighters as a whole (building up their story in marketing terms maybe), that is really never done outside of the show. Even in the show it still leaves a lot to be desired.

  • Cathedron says:

    Anything involving Bisping tends to annoy me, but the UFC needs someone/anyone to help their growth in the UK. Regardless of his talent level, Bisping is a major draw in the UK. UKers will flock to see him get his ass beat in a major card with Hendo or Franklin.

  • Lincoln says:

    A lot of people posting that make no sense one guy thinks Franklin is one of the threats to Silva at middleweight even though he’s been completely embarrassed twice,and someone else thinks Silva and Okami should have been the TUF coaches even though neither of them speaks English.The truth is no matter what how you want to spin it there’s no way it makes sense to talk Henderson into moving to middleweight (to fight Silva) then move Franklin to Light heavyweight and move Henderson back to fight Franklin at Light Heavyweight with the winner getting on TUF to fight Bisping at middleweight. Absolutely makes no sense.Not to mention Franklin was probably the worst coach they’ve had on TUF he couldn’t motivate to save his life and had zero personality.Bisping actually might not be too bad as a coach on the show.If Henderson gets on TUF he’ll be on the shelf for about 8 or 9 months for the show and he’s going to be 39.So it’s obvious he’s not going to be fighting too many more times.


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