We all know the story of The Ultimate Fighterby now; take 32 fighters give them a chance to fight for a UFC contract. As with all seasons The Ultimate Fighter 9 is looking for fighters to coach the American team. Middleweight contender Michael Bisbing has signed on to coach the United Kingdom team.
As per usual the season's coaches will fight each-other on a pay per view card, or maybe even at the finale. The winner will most likely get a middleweight title shot at Anderson Silva. So one question remains,"Who will coach the American Team?"
I'm here to break down the top five candidates, enjoy!!
5. Demian Maia
The pros with Demian Maia is that he's a very likable, and he's also undefeated. Although they'd have to drop the whole U.S.A. v.s. U.K. theme, the fight between Bisbing and Maia would be great. Many people seem to think that Maia could challenge Silva with his world class submissions, but think that he's not ready yet. A win over a name like Bisbing would surely shoot him up the middleweight ladder.
One big con would be they whole changing of the theme. They obviously couldn't go with U.S.A. v.s. U.K. because Maia is from Brazil. They could however change it to Brazil v.s. U.K. and I'd still watch it.
I think Maia is a great candidate, but will not get the call because Dana seems set to have U.S.A. v.s. U.K. Also because they'll most likely build his record up more before he faces off with Silva or another big name.
4. Rich Franklin
This would be a great candidate, he's a very well known name, and he's previously coached on The Ultimate Fighter. He would also test Bisbing in ways no one else has, this would also give Rich a third chance to avenge his losses against Anderson Silva. Although Franklin has went up to 205, I think a promise of a title shot if he beats Bisbing might get his attention.
I know that Dana has already offered this position to Rich and he declined, but that answer may change depending on the UFC 93 outcome. A loss could force him down to 185, but on the other hand a win could make 205 his permanent home. Time will tell, but Rich Franklin is a great candidate.
3. Nate Marquardt
Nate Marquardt is a very good candidate, he's fought Silva once, and he's well known. He has a record of of 6-2 in the UFC, with loses to Anderson Silva and Thales Leites. Mant thought he would've won the bout with Leites, but was deducted a points for an illegal knee, and a elbow to the back of the head.
Marquardt is a marketable guy, and is hungry to get another shot at the champ. A win over Michael Bisbing could sky rocket his chances of a re-match. Marquardt may not get the position because of Dana White not thinking he's a big enough name. Give him time and he'll win fans over.
I might just have to vote Marquardt in '09!
2. Chael Sonnen
He is technically the WEC middleweight champion after dominating Paulo Filho. He is almost certainly going to the UFC, and not well known by the casual fan. What better way to give him exposure than put him on T.V. as a coach? Everyone watches The Ultimate Fighter, and again a win over Bisbing could volt him to the top of the heap.
He's already beaten Silva's ex-training partner, now give him a chance to fight against Silva himself. He's a very classy guy, and I think would represent Team America well. What better way to introduce him into the UFC than throw him in as a coach.
1. Dan Henderson
Dan Henderson is a very well known and very marketable fighter. He's also the man most believe is capable of beating Anderson Silva. He was the Pride FC'smiddleweight champion before hand. His nick-names are Hendo and Hollywood, what more could you ask for?
Hendo is a great fighter, and has also been offered the position, he didn't seem too enthused. After UFC 93 we'll see how the 185 division will turn out, I believe the loser of Franklin/Henderson will move back into the middleweight pool. Henderson has also been seeking a re-match since his loss at UFC 82. What a perfect scenario; coach a team for your country, if you win your country can brag to produce the best fighters, if you lose you can fight the other country's coach and maybe get a chance at Anderson Silva.
Henderson is my No. 1 pick right now, what do you think?