Former UFC light heavyweight champions Quinton Jackson and Rashad Evans face off following Jackson’s win over Evans’ training partner Keith Jardine at UFC 96. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship announced on Thursday that former UFC light heavyweight champions Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Rashad Evans would serve as opposing coaches on the upcoming tenth season of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality show.
The show will premiere on Wednesday, September 16 at 10:00 PM ET and will feature a total of 16 heavyweights, who it seems will not be required to fight their way into the house as has been in the case for the past couple of seasons. In addition, the season premiere will be preceded by yet another edition of “UFC Fight Night”.
Production on the show is set to begin in early June.
“The tenth season of The Ultimate Fighter is going to be the most highly anticipated one in years, and with two of the greatest pound for pound fighters in the world today, both of which have personalities as large as their skill-sets, it promises to deliver,” UFC President Dana White said in a press release earlier today.
Since dropping a controversial decision and his UFC light heavyweight title to Forrest Griffin last summer, Jackson has gone on to win two straight fights - a knockout of longtime rival Wanderlei Silva in December and a unanimous decision win over Keith Jardine at UFC 96 in March.
Following Jackson’s win over Jardine, Evans, a training partner of Jardine’s, confronted “Rampage” since the two were set to clash for Evans’ light heavyweight belt at the show until Evans withdrew from the bout. Words were exchanged and bad blood created. The two were then set to collide at UFC 98 until Jackson was forced to pull out due to lingering injuries. Lyoto Machida took his place and promptly defeated Evans for the title this past weekend.
In signing up to coach the show, Jackson reportedly requested that Evans be his opponent following the airing of the series and in turn, gave up a title shot against Machida this fall. “The Dragon” may now reportedly face former PRIDE standout Mauricio “Shogun” Rua in his first title defense.
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