There are a lot of reasons that someone would accept a slot as a coach on “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series. Maybe it’s a grudge that needs to be settled, like in the case of Rashad Evans and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, or maybe it’s just for the exposure the show provides.
For TUF 13 coach Brock Lesnar the motivation to go on the show was pure and simple.
It earned him a fight that will get him closer to regaining the UFC heavyweight title that he lost last year.
The former NCAA champion is already one of the most well known figures to ever compete in the UFC, but Lesnar admits that there are certain things that haunt him about the fight with now champion Cain Velasquez. He’s looking to exorcise those demons with the reality show and the fight with Junior Dos Santos.
“I was healthy physically, but mentally probably not so,” Lesnar said about his fight with Velasquez. “I don’t think it really registers to the general public on my year last year. From being sick and losing 42 pounds and just getting my ass to the gym to recover. Then have a title fight and on top of that, while I’m training for a title fight, a new baby boy, and then fighting Shane Carwin and I was expecting some time off.
“I really needed it mentally more than anything and physically. Then I booked the fight against Cain. If there was one thing that I could learn from that is to maybe spread title fights out a little farther than what I did.”
Hindsight is 20/20, but Lesnar is now focused on the goal of getting ready for the fight against Dos Santos in June at UFC 131, and then facing Velasquez with the title on the line.
The Minnesota resident admits that was the biggest reason for him to do “The Ultimate Fighter.” He hopes that motivation serves him well in June. He also knows that he would have had to fight Dos Santos eventually, so this all works out pretty well.
“Analyzing my loss against Cain, if I had won that fight I’d be fighting Junior, so I’m right back in the same position, but absolutely, it’s the closest thing to getting me a title fight, and getting my UFC heavyweight title back,” Lesnar commented.
One thing that won’t likely be showcased on this season of “The Ultimate Fighter” is a standing grudge between Lesnar and Dos Santos. In past seasons, with coaches like Evans and Jackson or even Dan Henderson and Michael Bisping, there always seemed to be a fuse just waiting to be lit any time the coaches interacted with each other.
Lesnar threw water on that idea right away because simply put, he didn’t spend enough time around Dos Santos to build a grudge during the show.
“I don’t know what them guys are referring to. I probably spent a total of 30 minutes with Junior on the show. I didn’t make it a point to run into him or anything of that nature. I saw very little of him other than what we were doing for television,” Lesnar disclosed.
Regardless of any pent up aggression boiling over from six weeks together on the show, Lesnar and Dos Santos are battling for a shot at the UFC heavyweight title when they meet in June, and that needs no extra build up.
“The Ultimate Fighter Season 13? debuts this Wednesday night at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Spike TV.
Damon Martin is the lead staff writer and radio host for MMAWeekly.com.
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