As The Ultimate Fighter's ratings dropped during its less-than-memorable 16th season, one of the most frequently discussed ideas for reviving the brand involved the inclusion of women.
UFC women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey has made it clear you won't exactly have to twist her arm to get her to participate as a coach, whether the fighters are men or women.
"I'd love going on TUF," she said. "It would be very interesting, whether we would coach guys or girls. It would be really good for people to see a woman in the position of coaching the men and the men respecting the women. That would be very positive.
"If it was all women, I think it would be hilarious if Dana [White] had to deal with the girls having ‘girl issues.' You know, if someone was like ‘I can't fight, I have cramps!' and see him lose his mind. He would lose his mind if he had to deal with girl stuff, I don't doubt that some issues would come up. So just for my own personal amusement, I think it would be really funny. But I also think all guys would be really fun, extremely positive. I'm open to anything."
While White hasn't committed to the idea of women on TUF, he admits it's a thought he's kicked around. And if such an idea came to fruition, he sees Rousey nemesis Miesha Tate as the woman most likely to take the other coaching slot.
"It could happen," White said. "If there's two people who would probably coach, you kick [the idea] around, this could happen, that could happen. If they did, it could be her and Miesha. You know, we'll see. Timing has a lot do with it."
With that, on to this week's Fightweets. Between Christmas and travel to UFC 155 fight-week events, there will be no column next week. But if you want to get in on the first Fightweets of 2013 early, you can always go to my Twitter page and leave me a tweet.
@davedoylemma: DW says AS will fight GSP, JJ and keep defending his belt at MW. Is there really time for that?
At this point it looks like Silva's next fight will be a title defense, likely against Michael Bisping, if (and this is a big if) Bisping can defeat Vitor Belfort next month. If Bisping beats Belfort in Brazil, Silva vs. Bisping becomes a monster fight in that country, and Bisping's mouth will help sell the fight in the rest of the world. After that? We'll see. These superfights are a bit more complex than Joe Silva sending out fight agreements to 6K to show/6K to win guys. How many times has the window seemed right for Silva vs. either St-Pierre or Jon Jones? And yet they still haven't come close to sealing the deal. I can understand why Georges St-Pierre didn't want to jump straight from his win over Carlos Condit to a bout with Silva. He was out for 18 months and then went through a war. And it could be awhile before the planets align to make Silva vs. Jones. Oh, and Silva turns 38 in April. So yeah, Silva defending his belt and fighting a pair of superfights sounds great on paper, but with the clock ticking and all the moving parts involved, color me skeptical.
@JosiahRenaudin: Which current champion do you think is most likely to lose his belt in 2013?
Interesting question. Let's run through the list here. Junior dos Santos? Assuming he gets by Cain Velasquez on Dec. 29, I guess the next question is whether you think Daniel Cormier will position himself for a title shot in 2013, or whether Cormier is more on pace for 2014. Short of that, JDS looks pretty safe. Jon Jones? His only fight in the first half of 2013 is against a middleweight. He looks safe barring a huge upset late in the year. You have to figure on Silva fighting twice at most, and the way he does things, he could wake up one morning and decide he wants another light heavyweight fight or some form of a non-tile fight. With GSP, sorry, I just don't see him coming close to losing to Nick Diaz. After that, it becomes a question of how many more title defense he has in 2013, or if he commits to a Silva fight. Benson Henderson looks as safe as any champion next year. Bantamweight depends on how long Dominick Cruz will be out, and how he'd match up with Renan Barao after he returns. At flyweight, the way Demetrious Johnson schooled Ian McCall in their rematch and then had an easy time with presumed favorite Joseph Benavidez, that makes him look like a solid candidate to still be champ on Jan. 1, 2014.
You'll notice I skipped over featherweight. That's for a reason. Jose Aldo Jr. has a pretty tough challenge coming up in Frankie Edgar. If you're clicking on this website to begin with, you probably don't need to be told Edgar's credentials. By the time Aldo enters the cage to meet Edgar at UFC 156, the champion will have been out of action over a year and will be meeting a former champion from a higher weight class who has never been finished in his career. I'm not predicting an Edgar victory, but Aldo faces the gravest immediate threat among the UFC's championship roster.
@JosiahRenaudin: Will Chad Mendes ever fight a Featherweight at his level again?
Hey, there's no law saying you can't submit two Fightweet questions. Mendes' case has been one of those matters of bad timing. He's not going to be rushed straight into another title shot against Jose Aldo. Chan Sung Jung has been injured. Clay Guida is fighting Hatsu Hioki on Jan. 26. Dustin Poirier just fought last week. And so on. Mendes wants to stay active, so he's got to basically take what's available. Assuming he defeats Manny Gamburyan at UFC 157, Mendes should finally be back in position to take a big-name fight.
@RuckerYeah: What's up with all these stories from steakhouses in Burbank? How do I get in on that racket?
What happens here is, the UFC will bring a fighter with a big upcoming fight through Los Angeles to do a day of media rounds, and as part of it, they'll invite a group of local reporters to lunch with the fighters. Sometimes it's done the day before a main eventer heads out to Las Vegas for the week, sometime's it's to promote the first day of ticket sales.
But these gatherings often produce great material, for several reasons. It's a relaxed setting. Once the fighter realizes it's not like fight week, where he's being whisked from quick interview to quick interview as if he's just a cog on an assembly line, he or she tends to open up quite a bit more than usual. Likewise, if White is there, since he's not being assaulted with a string of asinine "Who do you think will fight for the flyweight title in 2078?" and "When is the UFC coming to Madagascar?"-type questions, he'll open up with his thoughts on things he might not usually discuss, like his thoughts on gay fighters and his take on how MMA camps are run. True, you don't exactly have to twist a sportswriter's arm to get them to go to lunch at a steakhouse, but the events serve their purpose.
@charlietaylor17: If Lombard continues to perform like saturday, how many fights do you think he is away from fighting for the title
Several. Last Friday's fight against Rousimar Palhares was as close to a gimme as Hector Lombard is going to get in the UFC. Lombard's striking skills are his strongest point. Palhares' only career TKO in 14 wins was an injury stoppage in 2006. During the fight, Palhares played right into Lombard's hands by keeping it standing. Palhares, unlike Tim Boetsch this summer, looked psyched out by Lombard from the moment the bout started. UFC lowered the bar for Lombard's second fight after the huge hype before his first fight. He cleared the bar. But he's still got a ways to go before he's part of the title conversation again. A fight with the winner of Alan Belcher vs. Yushin Okami on Dec. 29 sounds about right.
@JUSTOSLICE: How do you beat Benson Henderson?
Easy: You springboard off the fence and kick him in the head.