For the first time in UFC history, The Ultimate Fighter will not only feature a female coach, but also a cast that includes both men and women.
On Saturday night just before the conclusion of the UFC 158 prelims on FX, UFC president Dana White announced that UFC women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey would serve as coach for the next season of The Ultimate Fighter, which is expected to kick off later this year.
Opposing Rousey as a coach will be the winner of the upcoming fight at The Ultimate Fighter 17 finale between former Strikeforce women's champion Miesha Tate and undefeated prospect Cat Zingano on April 13 in Las Vegas.
The other announcement on Saturday is a first for the long-running reality show: Not only will 135-pound men be featured, but a class of 135-pound women as well.
"For the first time ever, two women coaches," White announced. "We will have 135-pound men and 135-pound women living and training in the house together."
The tryouts for the new season of the reality show will take place on April 15 in Las Vegas, just two days after the other coach is officially named.
Rousey and the winner of Tate vs. Zingano will then coach the new season of the bantamweights, with the show likely to debut either in the summer or early fall 2013. The two women's coaches will then square off at a later date with the UFC 135-pound title up for grabs.
This is a landmark decision by the UFC for a number of reasons.
Obviously, the show has never featured women's coaches, and until UFC 157 last month the promotion had never even had a women's fight. But bantamweight champion Rousey changed that.
The 18th season of the show will showcase the women's division for the first time ever, but maybe even bigger is the fact that both the men and the women competing will live under the same roof at the new Ultimate Fighter house in Las Vegas.
More details for the reality show will be available in the coming weeks regarding filming and debut dates for the new season.
Damon Martin is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report
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