WINNIPEG – There’s no rocket science necessary to realize there’s no love lost between Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate.
So when it was announced that the two would be coaching “The Ultimate Fighter” opposite each other, with Tate stepping in when Cat Zingano suffered a knee injury requiring surgery and rehab, some reality-show fireworks had to be expected.
UFC President Dana White on Thursday said those fireworks have already started. The show currently is taping for a September premiere on FOX Sports 1, and Rousey, the UFC’s women’s bantamweight champion, will defend her title against Tate, the woman she took the belt from, likely in December.
“It’s going exactly the way you thought it would be going: bad,” White said following a media event for Saturday’s UFC 161 pay-per-view in Winnipeg. “Dead serious. Miesha and Ronda hate each other. It’s literally crazy drama every day. It’s irritating.”
White went so far as to compare the rivalry between the two – and apparently some heated moments – to Season 3 of the show, which featured fierce rivals Tito Ortiz and Ken Shamrock.
“It’s Ken-Tito type stuff,” White said. “I don’t even know if some of the stuff will make TV. Those two do not like each other, and their camps do not like each other. And it’s just pure f—ing mayhem every day.”
Rousey and Tate never have been shy about a certain level of disdain for each other. Rousey recently even fired some barbs the way of Tate’s longtime boyfriend, UFC bantamweight Bryan Caraway – who is one of her coaches on the show.
White wouldn’t predict whether or not “TUF 18? will be a big success based solely on the Rousey-Tate rivalry. But there are other factors that could steer the fall season to new life.
To go along with being the first season with female head coaches, it will be the first season with both women contestants – living in the “TUF” house at the same time as male contestants. The longtime series also moves from FX to FOX Sports 1 on Wednesday nights.
White said he hasn’t heard of any issues yet for the co-ed version of the show.
“(The men and women together) is going well,” he said. “There are some men and women there who are serious and want to be in the UFC and want to fight for a living, and they’re doing their thing. I don’t know if there’s any romance – I don’t see that stuff till it gets to the end. I know what goes on at the gym, and if I show up at the house, bad s–t happened. That’s all I know about.”
Season 18 of “The Ultimate Fighter” premieres Sept. 4 and will be preceded by UFC on FOX Sports 1 3.
For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.
(Pictured: Ronda Rousey)