Two of the biggest names in the history of Brazilian MMA will serve as opposing coaches on that country's next version of The Ultimate Fighter.
UFC.com's Brazilian site reported on Wednesday that longtime middleweight champion Anderson Silva and former UFC light heavyweight champion and PRIDE Grand Prix champ Mauricio "Shogun" Rua will serve as coaches on the fourth TUF: Brazil season, which airs on the Globo network.
Unlike most versions of TUF, however, there will be no coaches fight at the end of the season. Nor will the season's filming interfere with either fighter's upcoming bouts: Rua's Nov. 8 main event against Ovince St. Preux, or Silva's much-anticipated Super Bowl weekend return against Nick Diaz.
Silva says he looks forward for the challenge of coaching a team of future stars.
"I think I can offer this next generation of Brazilian talent real insight into what it takes to succeed in the UFC," stated Silva in a press release. "I will bring everything I know about the martial arts, and my own values of what it means to be a martial artist, to my team."
For his part, "Shogun" says he specifically looks forward to the opportunity to coach against his fellow Brazilian superstar.
"To coach on The Ultimate Fighter Brazil is a dream come true, and an opportunity I wanted for a long time," Rua said. "To have my team compete against a team coached by a legend and former training partner like Anderson Silva makes it even better. Me and Anderson go a long way, training together back when we were both aiming to be stars, and to do this with him now on the biggest platform and having a chance to show people what MMA is really about is just amazing."
According to the UFC, more than 600 lightweight and bantamweight fighters showed up for tryouts in Rio de Janeiro on Oct. 27.
"A lot of people were worried we'd never see Anderson Silva back in the UFC," UFC president Dana White said. "But, not only is he back in the Octagon on January 31 at UFC 183, he's coaching TUF for the very first time. Anderson Silva is as committed to the UFC and the sport of mixed martial arts than he's ever been, and I cannot wait to see one of the greatest of all time pass his knowledge on to a new generation of Brazilian fighters."