Featuring both men and women, TUF 18 was expected to generate plenty of drama between the contestants. However, according to UFC president Dana White, coaches Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate are causing the majority of the chaos during filming.
Women's bantamweight champion Rousey was initially supposed to coach opposite Cat Zingano on the reality show. However, when Zingano suffered a knee injury, UFC officials were quick to jump on the opportunity to match their 135-pound titleholder against rival and former Strikeforce champion Tate.
Drama between the coaches could help with the show's ratings, but the tension between Rousey and Tate appears to be driving White up a wall.
"(Tate) and (Rousey) hate each other," White said during a UFC 161 media scrum, as reported by MMAJunkie.com. "It's literally crazy drama every day. It's irritating."
Hostility between Rousey and Tate began when the two met in a Strikeforce title fight in March 2012. Rousey won decisively with her usual first-round armbar, but the bad blood between them was not alleviated whatsoever after they tried to settle their differences inside the cage.
It's been awhile since we've seen TUF coaches who truly despised one another. White went all the way back to Season 3, which took place in 2006, for comparison.
"It's Ken (Shamrock)-Tito (Ortiz) type stuff," White said. "I don't even know if some of the stuff will make TV. Those two do not like each other, and their camps do not like each other. And it's just pure f***ing mayhem every day."
Many have argued in the past that TUF has focused too much on drama and not enough on fighting. So, this news along with the idea of men and women living together at the TUF house could be troubling for some fans of the series.
At the same time, rivalry between Rousey and Tate should intrigue many casual fans and non-MMA viewers, which can only be a good thing for the future of the women's bantamweight division.
Sean Smith is a Featured MMA Columnist for Bleacher Report who has also had work promoted on UFC.com and TheMMACorner.com.
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