History will be made on The Ultimate Fighter this year, as the long-running reality TV show will prominently feature female fighters for the first time.
Of course, Season 18 will see Ronda Rousey as the first-ever female TUF coach. But the cast of bantamweight competitors will also have a co-ed household division—another notable "first" for the series.
In fact, Tate teased the idea it would be pretty funny if all the female competitors were all lesbians, leaving the men on the show to "hope" that they could be "the first guys" to have sexual intercourse with their housemates:
My first question was "coaching guys or girls?" and [Dana White] said "both." He said "It's going to be crazy." I said "you better have mandatory birth control and lots of condoms available, 'cause it's going to get crazy, and getting knocked up isn't very good for your career." And he said "yeah I know, [it's] worse than getting knocked out."
I'm excited for it, I think it's going to be wild. I think it's going to be Real World meets TUF, and I don't know, I have this idea or joke actually that all the girls are going to be lesbians or hooking up with all the girls, and all the boys are going on there with hope they're thinking we'll be the first guys and this is going to be awesome.
Having women on the show certainly makes for an interesting dynamic, especially with the recent changes that the UFC and Fox have made to the show since it moved to the FX channel.
For one, Season 17 seemed to drastically cut down on the amount of alcohol available in the house, with more focus on the show geared more towards interpersonal relationships between the fighters, their teammates and their families.
Not only is television and Internet access completely banned for the show's fighters during all six weeks of filming, but the TUF competitors are also not permitted to go anywhere without the UFC's permission.
Aside from having little to no contact with the outside world during the harsh MMA tournament, that kind of monotony is frequently cited by fighters as the worst part of the show—but things could significantly change with Season 18's dual-gender dynamic.
Still, Miesha Tate won't officially be part of the show until she defeats fellow bantamweight Cat Zigano at the upcoming TUF 17 finale on April 13 in Las Vegas.
Her bout with Zingano—a notable, undefeated 7-0 submission specialist—will be the UFC's second-ever female fight in the company's history, with the winner promised a title shot against Rousey at a future UFC event, in addition to the TUF coaching position.
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