For the first time in the history of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series, women will serve as both coaches and contestants.
UFC President announced during Saturday’s UFC 158 event that women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey will coach “The Ultimate Fighter 18? against the winner of April’s Miesha Tate vs. Cat Zingano contest.
The season will feature both male and female 135-pound fighters, according to White.
“I’m going to announce tonight the coaches of ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ for the next season,” White said. “It will be Ronda Rousey vs. the winner of Tate and Zingano, who are fighting in the TUF Finale on April 13. For the first time ever, two women coaches, and we will have 135-pound men and 135-pound women living and training in the house together.”
The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale takes place April 13 at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. Tate vs. Zingano takes place on the FX-broadcast main card.
Open tryouts for “TUF 18? take place April 15 in Las Vegas.
Further details about the show and the tryouts are expected to be announced shortly.
Currently in the middle of its 17th season, “The Ultimate Fighter” airs Tuesday nights on FX. “TUF 18? will air later this year, though exact broadcast plans have yet to be announced.
“TUF” debuted in 2005 and has launched the UFC career of nearly 200 fighters. However, only males have served as head coaches and contestants.
This is the latest high-profile assignment for Rousey, who recently headlined UFC 157 and beat Liz Carmouche in the UFC’s first-ever female fight. UFC officials no doubt expect her star power to bolster the show’s ratings.
(Pictured: Ronda Rousey)