Rumours were circulating of The Ultimate Fighter season 11 to feature Georges “Rush” St Pierre and Brit welterweight challenger Dan “Outlaw” Hardy as coaches. Recently it has now been confirmed Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell and Tito Ortiz are booked in as TUF 11 coaches.
Channel 5 once again pick up the deal to the host the series on UK TV, scheduled to air spring 2010.
Previously free-view channel Virgin 1 aired the UK vs US season of the Ultimate Fighter. Following TUF 9, the MMA reality show was picked up by Sky owned Channel 5, airing the recent Heavyweights season every Saturday night on their free-view channel FIVE USA.
Channel 5 had this to say:
“We have acquired the rights to Series 11 but no broadcast dates are scheduled at the moment”.
“We currently only have an agreement to broadcast five UFC Main Event programmes and are planning to transmit UFC 105 on Sunday 3rd January.”
TUF: 11 premieres in March and sees former UFC light-heavyweight champions Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz renew hostilities as they coach 16 middleweights en route to a third meeting in the Octagon.
The Iceman, 40, was a coach on the first season in 2005, either side of TKO victories over Ortiz in 2004 and 2006.
This is why I enjoy the UFC so much, the booking. More often than not there is a question to be answered, where we receive the answer inside the octagon. Will it be like before? Has he still got it. Is he back on form? It works well to have that element of intrigue and draw on their old rivalry.
Perhaps if they chose GSP and Dan Hardy as the fight to build up on weekly TV it wouldn’t have quite the same intrigue? Sure Hardy has knockout power but is he worthy of that elite bracket as St Pierre? Most UFC experts would say no, although that is not taking anything away from the worthiness of Hardy as challenger to the gold.
The Ultimate Fighter season 11 is a long way off, the light-heavyweight scrap between octagon legends Liddell and Ortiz is even further off but I’m looking forward to it already, can’t wait! Ortiz is sure as ever to be great for TV.
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UFC & MMA blog by Duane Farr