Former Interim UFC heavyweight champion Shane Carwin and Roy “Big Country” Nelson will be the coaches for the upcoming season of The Ultimate Fighter on FX, which beings filming in early August. The season will debut in September.
“This is going to be a very interesting dynamic between these two heavyweights,” said UFC President Dana White. “They both have huge punching power and great chins but, outside of the Octagon, they couldn’t be more different. These two have been going at it on social media for a while and don’t seem to like each other very much, but they are going to be seeing a lot of each other during this series and I guarantee it’ll make for great TV.”
Carwin, 12-2, has been out of action since a unanimous decision loss to Junior dos Santos at UFC 131 in June of 2011. Now fully healthy after back surgery, the former NCAA Division II champion asked for the chance to coach on the show.
“I’m very excited to get this opportunity. Coaching TUF is something I asked for and really wanted to do,” Carwin admitted. “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. 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.”
Roy Nelson, 17-7 in his MMA career, is coming off of a first round knockout victory over Dave Herman at UFC 146 last May. He entered The Ultimate Fighter house in 2009 and defeated Kimbo Slice and Brendan Schaub to become the season 10 TUF champion. He is the fifth TUF champion to return to the series as a coach, following Forrest Griffin, Rashad Evans, Michael Bisping and Matt Serra.
“When I found out I was going to be a TUF coach I was like ‘Wow me!’ When I found out I was coaching against Shane Carwin I was so happy to get a chance to compete against this guy,” Nelson said. “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.
“Shane Carwin can think he is the better fighter and coach, but I will do my best and try to represent the Average Joe and show my team that, with hard work, you can walk away a winner against any fighter.”