Chael Sonnen, Wanderlei Silva and the 5 Best TUF Coaches' Rivalries
The Ultimate Fighter has a long history of featuring up-and-coming prospects in a competitive tournament format. It also has a history of utilizing coaches who are feuding with each other with the intent of creating good television.
Over the years, we have seen some great coaching rivalries and some duds. For every awesome coaching rivalry, we have had Brock Lesnar-Junior dos Santos or Shane Carwin-Roy Nelson.
So, what are the best five coaching rivalries in the show's history? Let's take a look.
5. Tito Ortiz vs. Ken Shamrock
Season: TUF 3
The origin of Tito Ortiz and Ken Shamrock's rivalry stems back to a bout between Ortiz and Shamrock's Lion's Den teammate Guy Mezger.
After Ortiz avenged an earlier loss to Mezger via TKO, he gave the middle finger to Ken Shamrock and the rest of Mezger's corner men. An outraged Shamrock had to be physically restrained.
It was on since then, with Shamrock being outraged at Ortiz's brash personality and attitude. It would amount to a fight at UFC 40, which Ortiz won.
Then they were brought together on TUF 3 as coaches. They would fight after the season was over, but they came close to fighting several times while filming the show.
After their entertaining feud on the show, Ortiz and Shamrock fought twice. Ortiz won both bouts, giving him a 3-0 career record vs. Ken.
Their feud was entertaining and one of the best coaching rivalries in the history of the show.
4. Chuck Liddell vs. Tito Ortiz
Season: TUF 11
Much like the feud between Ken Shamrock and Tito Ortiz, the feud between Chuck Liddell and Ortiz was based on an in-ring feud that had happened before.
Ortiz ducked Liddell for years when he was the champion but was eventually forced to face Liddell...twice.
Both times, "The Iceman" smoked Ortiz with his sprawl-and-brawl tactics. He knocked out Ortiz both times, likely squashing the feud.
Then TUF 11 was announced with Ortiz and Liddell as the coaches. The rivalry was renewed and a fire rekindled.
The show saw several near-physical altercations, including one that almost dragged cast members against opposing coaches as seen in the aftermath of the Brad Tavares vs. Seth Baczynski fight.
Their rivalry was great on the show, but it never amounted to a third fight. Ortiz dropped out from injury, and Liddell would be retired by replacement coach Rich Franklin.
3. Chael Sonnen vs. Wanderlei Silva
Season: TUF Brazil 3
It hasn't aired yet, but the coaching rivalry between Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva has already been wild.
I can only imagine the interactions these two have had during the show. We will find out soon when it airs on UFC Fight Pass.
There is no way this won't be entertaining or one of the best coaching rivalries in the show's history.
2. Ronda Rousey vs. Miesha Tate
Season: TUF 18
The most recent edition of TUF that has completely aired featured one of the most personal and intense rivalries in the show's history. That's because of the hate and bitterness Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate had toward each other.
The rivalry can be traced to their Strikeforce bout for the belt in March 2012. They didn't have nice things to say about each other in the lead-up to that fight, but when fight time came, Rousey dominated and finished Tate via armbar.
Then the rivalry intensified when Tate showed up on the set of TUF instead of Cat Zingano, who was supposed to coach opposite Rousey. That rekindled the animosity, which was on full display during the 18th season.
The two settled their beef at UFC 168, where Rousey again submitted Tate. "Cupcake" went for a handshake after the fight, but Rousey blew her off.
The rivalry ended like it started: ugly.
1. Rashad Evans vs. Rampage Jackson
Season: TUF 10
I remember watching TUF 10 like it was yesterday. It was literally the most entertaining season in terms of the coaching rivalry.
Quinton "Rampage" Jackson and Rashad Evans had hilarious interactions of them one upping each other's accomplishments and misfortunes. Their constant bickering was humorous, which made this the best coaching rivalry of all time.
In addition to their funny interactions, they had some serious confrontations as well. People needed to get in the middle and restrain the two, as they could have come to blows.
In the end, Evans won their eventual fight, ending the beef. However, the two gave us the most entertaining and best rivalry in TUF history.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!