Upon returning to his Las Vegas office on Monday morning after a hugely successful UFC 124 event, company president Dana White
has several items that will require fairly immediate attention. Among the most pressing is selecting coaches for the upcoming season 13 of The Ultimate Fighter
The series is scheduled to begin taping in just a few weeks, and White admits he's late in picking the men who will lead two teams in competition and later battle it out themselves.
Though he says the decision is far from made, he shared with MMA Fighting some possibilities for the job.
Among the pairs he named as possibilities were a duo rumored to be up for the job, MMA legend Wanderlei Silva
and recently suspended middleweight Chael Sonnen
On Dec. 2, Sonnen's suspension for using testosterone was reduced from one year to six months, making him eligible to fight in March. The show is scheduled to begin taping in January and the season-ending pay-per-view featuring the coaches is usually sometime in June, giving Sonnen a clear window to participate.
However, coming off the suspension, the UFC might not opt to immediately give him such a high-profile role.
Anther possibility? UFC bantamweights Miguel Torres
and Urijah Faber
Torres has a fight scheduled in February, a bout that would seem to preclude him from the taping schedule, but he could be pulled if the UFC sees more upside in having him on TUF alongside Faber in a fight MMA fans have been interested in for years. Admittedly, White has been so busy in recent weeks he might have forgoten about Torres' scheduled fight.
A surprising duo White mentioned was UFC heavyweights Frank Mir
and Brock Lesnar
. The pair has already fought twice, splitting the series 1-1. There was talk of a rubber match recently before White backed off the bout. However, with the added push of TUF highlighting the intense rivalry between the pair, the fight would likely do a monster number on pay-per-view, a serious consideration in deliberations.
During fight week, White mentioned that he would be speaking with Lesnar's management on Monday regarding his future, though it seems possible the camera-averse former champion might have little interest in a job that requires six weeks in front of a camera. Mir, on the other hand, has already coached TUF, leading a team during season eight of the show.
After rattling off the possibilities, White admitted he was no closer to finalizing a pairing than he ever has been, saying it was one of his highest priorities on Monday.
"I really don't know what we're going to end up doing," he told MMA Fighting. "I've got a board with a list of things that need doing, and this is one of the big ones, but it depends on a lot of things. Here's the one thing I know: I have to make a decision really soon."