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TUF 13 Coaches Not Set, but Faber, Torres Want Shot Eventually

DETROIT – Though the tryouts for Season 13 of "The Ultimate Fighter" took place earlier this month, and the show is scheduled to begin taping in January, UFC president Dana White said no decisions have been made yet about the coaches.

"We haven't decided who the coaches are going to be yet," White told a small group of reporters on Wednesday after the press conference for UFC 123. "I've been on the road for two weeks now and I don't go home till Sunday. Then I'm back on the road again, like Wednesday. So I've got to get back in the office Monday and Tuesday and get some (stuff) done."

Season 13 will feature welterweight and middleweight fighters. Candidates for the show went through tryouts in Las Vegas on Nov. 4. The Spike reality competition last featured welterweights in Season 9 and middleweights in Season 11.

But now that the WEC-UFC merger has been announced, there are two fighters whose names are gaining the most traction among fans to coach opposite each other – if not on Season 13, then down the road: Urijah Faber and Miguel Torres.

Faber, the longtime WEC featherweight champion, won his debut at bantamweight a week ago against Takeya Mizugaki at WEC 52. And Torres, the longest-running bantamweight champ in the promotion's history, snapped a two-fight skid when he submitted Charlie Valencia at WEC 51.

Fans have long talked about a superfight between the two popular fighters, and now that they're in the same weight class, and both wanting to be in the hunt for the title currently held by Dominick Cruz, a season of the show with them coaching against each other, culminating in a fight as traditionally happens, seems to make sense.

Torres, who runs and teaches at his own gym in Hammond, Ind., told MMA Fighting it's an opportunity he wants – and one that has been talked about before.

"I would jump all over that in a heartbeat," Torres said. "It's something they talked about doing with Versus and the WEC a long time ago but it never materialized. And now that we're in the UFC, I think it would be a great way to showcase the talent and 135 and 145."

Faber, who is also familiar with coaching aspects as the leader of Team Alpha Male at his own gym, Ultimate Fitness in Sacramento, also said coaching on the show is something he wants to do.

"I'd love to do that," Faber said on a media call for his WEC 52 bout against Mizugaki. "I'm not the guy that's coaching my guys every day, but I give a lot of talks on mentality and things like that, and I've got a ton of knowledge. I think it'd be awesome to be a coach – I'd love to do that."

White said Wednesday he's heard plenty of questions about a possible Faber- and Torres-coached season of "The Ultimate Fighter," but reiterated he doesn't know when that would take place.

"Everybody's been asking me that – I don't know," White said. "I honestly, and swear to God to you guys, I really have not thought about it yet."

Torres next fights against Antonio Banuelos at UFC 126 on Feb. 5, his UFC debut, meaning even if the UFC wanted him and Faber to coach fighters three and four weight classes up, he wouldn't be available for Season 13.

But Torres said he's not in a hurry to do it, and thinks the best move would be to get him and Faber another fight or two before pairing them on the show.

"I think it would be smart to slow play it a little bit," Torres said. "There's no need to rush into it, in my opinion. Before, I was all about doing it tomorrow. But now I'm smarter after the last couple (losses). There's no rush for me. I think if anyone's in a rush, it's Urijah. I'm not in a rush – I'm destined for greatness. If they want to do it now or if they want to wait until next year, it's not going to matter for me – it's going to get done. The world's going to know who Miguel Torres is and they'll see what I can bring to the table for a UFC audience."

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