The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 14 is officially in the books with the "Bisping vs. Miller" event this past Saturday night (Dec. 3, 2011), which means it's time to look forward to TUF 15, two new coaches and a gang full of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) hopefuls.
The UFC today announced that Bantamweight Champion Dominick Cruz will coach opposite his arch rival and number one contender to the 135-pound title, Urijah Faber. TUF 15 debuts on its new home on FX (no longer Spike TV) on March 9, 2012, with a two-hour premiere. Subsequent episodes will run for one hour every Friday night for 13 weeks and, thanks to the new format, will feature LIVE fights.
UFC President Dana White is unsurprisingly already dubbing it the "best season yet:"
"We're producing ground-breaking television with The Ultimate Fighter LIVE and we can't wait to kick this season off with FX in March. It's going to be can't-miss TV. Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber are two incredible personalities who also happen to be two of the best fighters in the world. They genuinely dislike each other and I expect this to make for the best season yet."Faber will now get the trilogy match for which he's been begging, taking on UFC Bantamweight Champion Dominick Cruz for the third time to see who will emerge with the belt and, perhaps more important, bragging rights.
Cruz and Faber have beef from their days competing under the World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) banner. Faber, the promotion's 145-pound champion, made quick work of "The Dominator" with a first round submission (guillotine choke) in March 2007.
Cruz dropped 10 pounds shortly after the loss, the first of his mixed martial arts (MMA) career, and went on to win the bantamweight belt. "The California Kid" eventually followed suit after two losses to Mike Brown and another to Jose Aldo, hoping a change of scenery would help get him back to the Promised Land.
However, in the most recent match up between Cruz and Faber at UFC 132 -- a fast-paced and furious, five-round fight -- Cruz would exact revenge in the form of a unanimous decision Ever since that fateful night on on July 2, 2011, in Las Vegas, Nevada, Faber has been calling for another crack at Cruz, who he believes he defeated when they last squared off.
He'll now get another (title) shot at the culmination of the coaching season.
TUF 15 will feature a mix of lightweights and welterweights competing for one "six-figure" contract up for grabs in each respective weight class.
Stay tuned to MMAmania.com for more on TUF 15-related news as it happens.