On Tuesday evening, the UFC announced reigning bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber will rekindle their rivalry as opposing coaches on “The Ultimate Fighter 15.” After 14 seasons on Spike TV, the reality series moves to FX courtesy of the UFC’s new blockbuster contract with FOX.
“We’re producing ground-breaking television with The Ultimate Fighter LIVE and we can’t wait to kick this season off with FX in March,” UFC president Dana White stated. “It’s going to be can’t-miss TV. Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber are two incredible personalities who also happen to be two of the best fighters in the world.
“They genuinely dislike each other and I expect this to make for the best season yet.”
TUF 15 features lightweight and welterweight contestants that will be competing for two, six-figure UFC contracts. The two-hour season premiere takes place Friday, March 9th on FX at 9PM ET/PT. The show will then air for one hour on every Friday for the next 13 weeks at 10PM ET/PT.
The for first time in series history, the elimination bouts will be aired live.
“Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a gym rat and love learning and teaching mixed martial arts,” Cruz said. “This is a dream come true. To get a chance to coach TUF and beat Faber again is all the motivation I need. This is going to be an insane season of The Ultimate Fighter.”
Their feud began back in March 2007, when Faber handed Cruz the first and only blemish on his resume in a WEC featherweight bout. Cruz went on to avenge the loss by posting a highly controversial decision win over Faber to retain his 135-pound UFC title this past July.
With the series now knotted up at one apiece, Cruz and Faber look to settle the score inside the Octagon once the season wraps in mid-2012.
“I can’t wait to be the next coach on The Ultimate Fighter,” Faber stated. “I am looking forward to mentoring a bunch of hungry and talented fighters. The new cast needs to be ready to work hard and learn! Having Dominick coach on the opposite side couldn’t be more perfect. I’m not too thrilled about being in each other’s space for an extended period of time, as I am sure we are going to get on each other’s nerves.
“But I can’t wait to mentally beat him up as a coach, and then literally beat him up in the cage and swipe that UFC strap.”