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Stephan Bonnar-Forrest Griffin not in line for coaching spots on next season of TUF

With the Ultimate Fighter struggling to draw ratings on FX like the long-running reality series did on Spike TV the casting of coaches on the next season could be a crucial component in helping the show regain its foothold as a flagship program. In that vein, UFC light heavyweight Stephan Bonnar has been actively campaigning for a shot to lead a team against former 205-pound champion Forrest Griffin. The two are among the company’s most popular athletes and, as any fan worth a lick knows, helped launch MMA’s popularity into the stratosphere thanks to an extremely entertaining outing at the original TUF Finale as two of the finalists.

Unfortunately, it appears UFC President Dana White isn’t keen on the idea as he made clear to media this past weekend after the UFC 146 press conference.

“I know that’s what he wants (but) we usually bring in guys that are champions,” said White in a video captured by MMAWeekly. “Stephan and Forrest, believe me, you guys know I love Stephan and Forrest. We celebrate Stephan and Forrest every day. But it’s not going to happen.”

Though TUF 15 featured bantamweight champ Dominick Cruz as a coach, more often than not the show has not in fact featured gold being up for grabs with the previous season involving Jason Miller-Michael Bisping serving as a recent example. More specifically, of the fifteen American seasons a belt has only been involved four times (counting TUF 4 where winners earned title-shots rather than were coached by champions).

However, as it stands now, Bonnar and Griffin appear to be out of the running for TUF 16. The season is expected to make its debut this fall with a “real time” format featuring live fights each week.


  • MCM says:


    This was a great way to save the show. That and pull it off of Friday night and lose the false “live” aspect. Did Dana say anything about it coming back to it’s proper showtime on Wednesdays?

  • Lord Faust says:

    He admitted Friday is not the time slot he wants, but the show got dumped on FX who plan things very far in advance. They’re “working on it” is all he said.

    As much as I’d like to see Bonnar / Forrest as coaches, I think there’s a lot between the lines of what Dana said. Who knows if Forrest will be fighting again; a lot hinges on his performance against Tito. Also, Bonnar is not exactly on anyone’s radar.

    I think it would be a good idea, but I could also make a decent argument against it.

    Either way, though, TUF needs more work. I’ll keep watching, though, because I’m addicted to combat sports.

  • Mad_Hatter_XX says:

    Once Chael Sonnen beats Silva in July have him and anyone else on there. Title in the picture, someone comfortable in front of the camera, problem solved. Anyone besides Silva that is. Maybe Bisping.

    Yeah I know he has been coach recently but, he has charisma and already fought a real close fight with Sonnen and has been asking for a title shot for awhile.


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