In what seems on the surface to be an odd bit of casting, UFC Hall of Fame light heavyweights Chuck Liddell and Forrest Griffin will be coaching the third season of “The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America” this summer.
The UFC announced their appointment on Monday for the season, which will begin airing in August and will culminate in a Nov. 5 event in Mexico City.
“We have come a long way from the first season of The Ultimate Fighter,” said Liddell in a press release. “I feel honored to be a part of the Latin American series. We have great fighters competing in the region and I’m excited to get a chance to train them and teach them a few things I learned during my career. Expect a great finale in Mexico City November 5.”
Added Griffin, “I’m very excited to be participating in The Ultimate Fighter Latin America 3. I know how much of a competitor Chuck is so I will be bringing my A game. UFC is still very new in Latin America and for that reason I am thrilled to be a part of this opportunity in helping grow the sport in the region.”
This will be Liddell’s third time coaching an iteration of the long-running reality series. The former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion coached opposite rival Randy Couture on the very first season, where Griffin competed and won the light heavyweight tournament. Griffin would go on to become the first TUF competitor to win a UFC Title when he defeated Quinton “Rampage” Jackson for the belt in 2008.
Liddell retired from active competition in 2010 following a loss to Rich Franklin, while injury brought an end to Griffin’s run following a 2012 win over Tito Ortiz.
“TUF: Latin America 3” will air on UFC Network, Televisa’s Chanel 5 in Mexico, and other networks in Latin America, and will be available worldwide to subscribers of UFC Fight Pass.
Penick’s Analysis: Going for some recognized names to bring viewers to the show is a smart idea, even with that meaning no coaches fight to sell at the end of it. Still, it’s probably a better draw than Efrain Escudero and Kelvin Gastelum were for the second season. I don’t know what the business has been for TUF in the Latin American countries, but they’re trying to do something here to draw more eyes into a November return to Mexico City.
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