This September, the Ultimate Fighter will return to FX for the groundbreaking reality show’s sixteenth season. This time around a pair of heavyweights will head the respective teams, as the UFC has announced Roy Nelson and Shane Carwin have been slotted in as coaches. Each man will lead a group of eight welterweights whittled down from an initial field of 32 fighters in hopes of outdoing the other where total wins and the Ultimate Fighter 16 crown is concerned.
The UFC revealed Nelson-Carwin earlier today in a press release to media. Nelson will join Rashad Evans, Forrest Griffin, and Matt Serra as past TUF champions returning to the show in a coaching capacity, while Carwin has been sidelined for more than a year due to health-related issues.
However, despite the extended absence from competition, Carwin is clearly amped about the chance to coach against Nelson.
“I’m very excited to get this opportunity,” said the 12-2 Carwin in the organization’s official statement. “Coaching TUF is something I asked for and really wanted to do. I see myself being an MMA coach when my own career is over and can’t wait to start working with my Grudge Training team to help the next generation of UFC stars achieve their dreams.”
“I also asked to coach against Roy Nelson. The fans know how I like to conduct myself both in and out of the Octagon, and I respect every fighter, coach, official and fan in the UFC. But I cannot respect a man like Roy Nelson – because he shows no respect himself,” Carwin continued, alluding to some personal issues with Nelson. “He is a keyboard warrior who doesn’t have the guts to talk trash to my face, but now he’s going to have to be in the same room, the same gym and finally the same Octagon as me. I know I am a better fighter and trainer than he is. I will prove I’m a better trainer in TUF and then, when we fight, I will hit him harder than anyone has ever hit him and teach him some respect.”
Nelson fired a few verbal shots in Carwin’s direction as well, stating, “When I found out I was coaching against Shane Carwin I was so happy to get a chance to compete against this guy. As for being in the same room as him, I try not hang out with people that make me feel icky on the inside but, to coach TUF, I will make an exception.”
Taping for TUF 16 will begin in August.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC