Reigning UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya was offered a coaching slot on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 29 opposite 185-pound frenemy Darren Till, and based on their existing chemistry, the show would have undoubtedly resulted in must-see TV.
Adesanya, who considers himself a master troll, believes he would have sunk to new lows in efforts to one-up Team Till, which combined with the “psychotic” rigors of reality television, led “The Last Stylebender” to pass on the weekly ESPN+ series.
“It got offered to me and Darren Till, and instantly I said no,” Adesanya told Flagrant 2. “Personally, I don’t want cameras in my face that much and I don’t want to be stuck in Vegas for that long. I mean, what does it take to make good reality TV? Drama, a lot of drama and I’m a troll, Darren’s a troll. I feel like I would have to go to the lowest form of myself. The pranks that they’d play, I could go lower. And people don’t understand like, I take the high road a lot, but when it’s time to go low, limbo.”
The coaching slots instead went to UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski and top 145-pound contender Brian Ortega. Just three episodes into the combat sports reality show and “T-City” is already up 3-0 in the preliminary fights.
Adesanya, fresh off his Marvin Vettori victory at the UFC 263 pay-per-view (PPV) last weekend in Glendale, is expected to make his return to the Octagon this fall, where he’ll run it back with former 185-pound champion Robert Whittaker.