After rumors swirled surrounding who would be coaching the upcoming twenty-sixth season of The Ultimate Fighter, the selection has been made. Sorry Kevin Lee, but it seems Eddie Alvarez has been given the nod against Justin Gaethje. Dana White confirmed the news in a scrum with reporters as part of the Mayweather-McGregor International Press Tour. The season will feature the launch of the women’s flyweight division in the UFC, crowning a champion at season’s end.
Gaethje (18-0), the former WSOF lightweight champion, made a huge splash in his UFC debut, beating Michael Johnson within two rounds in a Fight of the Year contender that saw both fighters rocked multiple times. That earned Gaethje double bonuses, with both Fight of the Night and a Performance of the Night bonus. It also made him into an overnight sensation with those not familiar with his fight style during his WSOF run.
Eddie Alvarez (28–5 (1)), the former UFC lightweight champion, made his return to action at UFC 211, but wound up with a No Contest due to illegal knees against opponent Dustin Poirier. Prior to that, he was knocked out in the second round of his title defense against Conor McGregor at UFC 205 in Madison Square Garden last November.
The idea of a fight between Alvarez and Gaethje is tantalizing, as it pits a couple of former underground favorites against one another. Alvarez is a former Bellator champ who was successful in his jump to the UFC, and Gaethje is looking to follow in his footsteps after ten wins in the WSOF. Styles make fights, and both men like to go toe-to-toe. This could be killer.
The only down side is that it’s going to keep them out of action for a while as the show airs. Per White, filming began just this week on TUF 26.