UFC Tonight made quite the announcement on its new night and network, announcing that former UFC lightweight champions Frankie Edgar and BJ Penn will serve as coaches on The Ultimate Fighter 19.
Edgar, now a member of the featherweight division, will remain at 145 pounds to face Penn in 2014. “The Prodigy” last competed at welterweight.
The season will begin airing on FOX Sports 1 in April, with Edgar and Penn set to collide sometime after. TUF 19 will feature middleweights and light heavyweights.
Edgar won the UFC lightweight title from Penn, and defeated him in the rematch.
Many felt Penn was all set to retire following a loss to Rory MacDonald, but UFC president Dana White confirmed he has signed a new deal and is “fired up.”
“BJ Penn is moving down to 145 pounds to coach The Ultimate Fighter against Frankie Edgar,” White said. “BJ really hates the fact that he lost to Frankie Edgar. It’s something that’s been burning deep inside of him for three years now. So he’s moving down to 145 pounds to not only avenge those defeats, but to try and become the first fighter in UFC history to win titles in three different weight classes.”
Original plans were to pair Edgar with Urijah Faber, but Penn asked to coach opposite Benson Henderson instead. When offered Edgar, Penn jumped at the opportunity and said he plans to fight for the featherweight title.
The series will begin filming in Las Vegas this October.
Below is White making the formal announcement on the show: