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Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Frank Mir named "TUF 8" coaches
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Frank Mir named "TUF 8" coaches | MMAjunkie.com
by MMAjunkie.com Staff on May 12, 2008 at 9:03 pm ET
Interim UFC heavyweight champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and former title-holder Frank Mir will serve as coaches on the eighth season of "The Ultimate Fighter," which debuts Sept. 17 on Spike TV.
Spike TV made the announcement on Monday.
The two fighters will not compete again until a tentatively scheduled pay-per-view match-up that will take place after the season is finished airing in December.
Casting has already begun for the show, which will begin filming this summer. Nogueira and Mir will coach rival teams that will include heavyweight and welterweight fighters.
Although rumors of Nogueira and Mir as potential coaches began in February, they really heated up last month, as MMAjunkie.com (UFC blog for UFC news, UFC rumors, fighter interviews and event previews/recaps | MMAjunkie.com) reported. Contracts were signed during the past couple weeks.
Nogueira (31-4-1), a former PRIDE heavyweight title-holder, defeated Tim Sylvia at UFC 81 for the UFC's interim belt. The UFC created the interim title after Randy Couture resigned from the organization in October. The main-event victory over Sylvia was Noueira's second straight win in the UFC -- and his seventh win in his past eight fights. Prior to accepting the coaching slot, he had been tentatively scheduled to fight in August.
Mir (11-3) won the title in 2004 but was stripped of the belt after suffering a motorcycle accident that kept him sidelined for nearly two years. He is 3-2 since the comeback, and he's won his past two fights, including a February 2008 bout with former WWE performer Brock Lesnar. He had been scheduled to fight Justin McCully July 5 at UFC 86, but the bout was recently pulled from the card.
"The Ultimate Fighter" debuted in January 2005, and to date, has featured more than 100 fighters from around the world.
In seven seasons of the show, "TUF" has never featured heavyweight coaches, and heavyweight fighters were featured only in the second season (though most cast members have since dropped to light heavyweight.)
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