Rumors have been swirling today as to who the coaches of the first international season of the Ultimate fighter will be. It has been confirmed that Brazil will begin filming a version of TUF in March 2012. However, it is unknown who the coaches will be. The rumors that came out today stated that Anderson Silva and Vitor Belfort would be the coaches, however UFC officials have denied those reports and stated that no talks have taken place yet regarding coaches.
We will take a glance at the most likely candidates for the TUF: Brazil coaching gig.
1. Anderson Silva
Though the reports that first came out mentioning Silva as a coach have been shot down, I would say that Anderson is the most likely to coach TUF in his native Brazil. Silva is the biggest star in the sport in Brazil. From what I hear, he is a mega-star. He would pull HUGE ratings. I do think that he will fight again before March, probably against Sonnen.
2. Vitor Belfort
Yes, Belfort was the other half of the shot down rumor, but he is probably the second biggest star in Brazil. Vitor is very big in Brazil. He also happens to be in the same weight class as Silva. The rumor is Belfort will face Anthony Johnson at UFC 142 in Rio. A win could get him a title shot and TUF coaching opportunity. The obstacle for Belfort is his family. His family lives in the U.S. and I am not sure he would be keen on being away from them for the duration of filming.
3. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira
Nogueira is a legend. He is very well respected in Brazil. He was a great coach in the U.S. version. Nogueira has a fight in December against Frank Mir. The decision of what to do with Nogueira will be determined by the outcome of that fight. However, Nogueira does have some momentum coming in as he is ont he heels of a big win over Brendan Schaub.
4. Junior Dos Santos
Dos Santos fight in a few weeks for the heavyweight title. I believe that this scenario is possible, but is held up by his next contenders. In other words if Dos Santos wins he would fight the Lesnar vs. Overeem winner and neither would coach TUF in Brazil. If he loses there are options for Dos Santos as the coach, but outside of Werdum, there are not many Brazilian heavyweights that Dos Santos would fight.
5. “Shogun” Rua
I believe Shogun is a real possibility. The timing would seem good for Shogun, who fights in 2 1/2 weeks. If this were to happen Shogun would need to beat Dan Henderson. I know, that the winner of that fight was mentioned as a contender, but the whole Rashad injury messed that up. There are also a plethora of Brazilian light heavyweights he could coach opposite of including Lyoto Machida, Rafael “Feijao”, Thiago Silva and even Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.
6. Wanderlei Silva
Silva appears to be in the twighlight of his career. If this were to happen Silva would have to beat Cung Le. Silva is stilla star in Brazil and could be a big ratings draw as a coach. Perhaps Silva could be paired up against Belfort if both win their next fights.
7. Jose Aldo
Aldo is a guy UFC wants to market and develop, this would be a big opportunity for Aldo. He is a guy who could get the coaching job. I like this pick, but am not holding my breath on it. The timing just doesn’t seem right for it.