Former UFC champions Anderson Silva and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua were announced as the head coaches for the fourth season of The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil on Wednesday.
Tryouts recently took place in Brazil for the season with nearly 600 lightweight and bantamweights competing. The series will be filmed in Las Vegas, and unlike past seasons, Silva and Rua will not compete against one another.
Silva (33-6) is set to make his return after a year-long hiatus this January against Nick Diaz. The former UFC middleweight champion suffered a broken leg last December in a loss to Chris Weidman.
“I think I can offer this next generation of Brazilian talent real insight into what it takes to succeed in the UFC,” he said. “I will bring everything I know about the martial arts, and my own values of what it means to be a martial artist, to my team.”
Rua meets Ovince St. Preux next Saturday at UFC Fight Night 56. Rua was scheduled to meet Jimi Manuwa, but a broken foot knocked the Brit from the contest.
“To coach on The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil is a dream come true, and an opportunity I wanted for a long time. To have my team compete against a team coached by a legend and former training partner like Anderson Silva makes it even better,” he said. “Me and Anderson go a long way, training together back when we were both aiming to be stars, and to do this with him now on the biggest platform and having a chance to show people what MMA is really about is just amazing. I look forward to finding great talent and helping them become winners.”
Past coaches on TUF: Brazil include Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Fabricio Werdum, Vitor Belfort and Wanderlei Silva.
“A lot of people were worried we’d never see Anderson Silva back in the UFC. But, not only is he back in the Octagon on January 31 at UFC 183, he’s coaching TUF for the very first time,” UFC president Dana White said. “Anderson Silva is as committed to the UFC and the sport of mixed martial arts than he’s ever been, and I cannot wait to see one of the greatest of all time pass his knowledge on to a new generation of Brazilian fighters.
“And if there’s any Brazilian fighter who can go up against Anderson as a coach, it’s Shogun. Shogun Rua has done everything in the sport and if he trains his team to fight in the same attacking style he’s always used, Anderson’s team is in for one hell of a season.”
The series will air live on Globo and stream on UFC Fight Pass beginning in April.
“Once again, The Ultimate Fighter Brazil was designed and developed by the great partnership between Globo and the UFC,” said Brazilian TV producer Boninho. “We’ve come up with some great concepts for this new season and supervised the creative execution of what I know will be another hit season.”