After a two-year hiatus, The Ultimate Fighter may be returning with two fighters with a building rivalry as the coaches. According to UFC commentator Joe Rogan, there are talks that TUF will be returning for what would be the 29th season and middleweight champion Israel Adesanya and Paulo Costa will be the coaches.
Rogan discussed the news on a recent episode of his podcast this week with guest Joe Schilling, and said that Adesanya and Costa will be the coaches when the show does return.
— Nicole Bosco (@NikBos) June 26, 2020
“Oh, they’re bringing TUF back, Paulo Costa, Israel Adesanya. Holy s**t . Tell me you’re not going to watch that.”
There has been no confirmation or announcement from the UFC about the return of TUF, but normally there is a rivalry between the two opposing coaches on the show, and that will be the case if Adesanya and Costa indeed are the coaches.
After Adesanya defeated Robert Whittaker at UFC 243, he took aim at Costa who had cemented himself as the next contender for the title, and the feud has been growing ever since. Costa had been in line to fight for the title but a torn biceps injury cost him the fight at the time, and Adesanya would go on to defend his title against Yoel Romero at UFC 248.
Last month Adesanya spoke about a fight with Costa calling it a “picture perfect” fight for him to bounce back from his less than exciting fight against Romero in March, which Costa was highly critical of afterwards.
While no official announcement has been made yet, UFC President Dana White did confirm earlier this year that TUF would be returning, and it seems according to Rogan, the coaches are set. The last time TUF had a season was between heavyweights Daniel Cormier and Stipe Miocic, and Cormier would go on to win their first matchup coming out of the show.