Dan Henderson. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
In a situation that was already heavily rumored to be taking place, the winner of former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin and former multi-division PRIDE title holder Dan Henderson’s light heavyweight battle at UFC 93 in January will be offered a coaching spot opposite Michael Bisping during the ninth season of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality show.
Brian Knapp of Sherdog.com reported the news on Monday, citing a Spike TV representative as confirming the scenario. Shooting for the show is expected to begin in late January, following the conclusion of UFC 93, which takes place on January 17 in Dublin, Ireland.
UFC President Dana White officially announced Bisping as one of the show’s coaches during Saturday evening’s post-fight press conference for UFC 89, where Bisping defeated fellow ‘TUF’ alumnus Chris Leben in the show’s three-round main event.
After losing twice to current middleweight champion Anderson Silva, Franklin fought once more at 185 lbs before moving back to the light heavyweight division, where he started his career. Franklin took on one-time training partner Matt Hamill at UFC 88 on September 6 and defeated him via third-round TKO.
Henderson recently snapped a three-fight losing streak at UFC 88 as well, earning an unanimous decision over skilled Brazilian grappler Rousimar Palahares. Despite an urge to compete at 205 lbs again, Henderson has opted to stay at middleweight for a chance at another shot at Silva, who also beat Henderson at UFC 82 earlier this year.
The reality show’s upcoming ninth season will bring a new twist to the series, pitting contestants who will compete in the middleweight and welterweight divisions against each other through teams from the United States and the United Kingdom. Bisping will serve as the UK’s coach will the USA will be headed by either Franklin or Henderson.
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