The latest season of TUF is in the can and so while we all suffer through that (just kidding, I’m actually cautiously optimistic about this season), the UFC and Spike are already putting together the ingredients for TUF 9. Perhaps the angry calls for change have finally hit a unignorable roar, since for once it looks like the concept is getting shook up a bit. Personally, I didn’t consider the 32 fighter change to be that significant. Sure, it made for two good episodes. But when a season lasts 12 episodes, that’s only a 16% change from every other stale season.
Anyways, the change being made: next season’s TUF will feature a US versus UK theme. Coaches being discussed are Dan Henderson and Michael Bisping. The caveat at the moment on Bisping’s participation is that he needs to win against Chris Leben. I have no idea why … it’s not like the UFC has another viable UK star to stick in the coaching role if Bisping loses. Just stop putting dumb conditions on shit, Dana. Bisping should be the UK coach and that’s all there is to it. If the entire UK vs US concept gets scrapped because Leben knocks out Bisping, I’ll be pissed.
As for Dan Henderson’s involvement, I think I get that choice. Hendo came across as a real cocksucker up to and after his title shot against Anderson Silva. You just get the feeling that he’s something of an ego-maniac – sure he might be a nice guy with friends, fans, and family. But put him into a professional situation and he thinks he’s the best no matter what. Hell, he still claims he could whup Anderson Silva in a rematch! That kind of delusion could play out in very entertaining fashion on TV.
Overall, the concept of a UK team battling a US team is interesting enough to make me sit up and take notice. It would be extra cool if they moved the show’s filming over to the UK but I doubt that will happen since it would involve getting a new TUF house, training facilities, and having the Dana live in England for a month. Regardless, let’s hope they have a few extra tricks up their sleeves.