UFC Champ Dominick Cruz, Urijah Faber to Coach 'TUF 15' Live on FX

Joshua CareySenior Analyst IDecember 6, 2011

ANAHEIM, CA - NOVEMBER 12:  Mixed martial arts fighters Carlos Condit (L) and Dominick Cruz attend UFC on Fox:  Live Heavyweight Championship at the Honda Center on November 12, 2011 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Jason Merritt/Getty Images

UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz and No. 1 contender Urijah Faber will coach the inaugural season of The Ultimate Fighter on FX, UFC officials announced.

The Ultimate Fighter moves to FX as part of the UFC's seven-year deal with Fox and will feature a live format. As part of the move to FX, the show becomes The Ultimate Fighter LIVE and debuts Friday, March 9 as a two-hour premiere broadcast. The Ultimate Fighter LIVE will regularly air for one hour Friday nights at 10 p.m. EST for 13 weeks.

“We’re producing ground-breaking television with The Ultimate Fighter LIVE and we can’t wait to kick this season off with FX in March,” UFC President Dana White said in the press release. “It’s going to be can’t-miss TV. Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber are two incredible personalities who also happen to be two of the best fighters in the world. They genuinely dislike each other and I expect this to make for the best season yet.”

Cruz and Faber are rivals in the bantamweight division with each fighter possessing a victory over the other.

Faber defeated Cruz in 2007 by submission, which to this stage in his career is Cruz's lone career defeat. Since the loss Cruz has defeated many of the divisions top-ranked fighters, including Scott Jorgensen, Brian Bowles, Demetrious Johnson, and avenged the loss to Faber this past July at UFC 132 in Las Vegas.

“Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a gym rat and love learning and teaching mixed martial arts,” Cruz, who trains at Alliance MMA in San Diego, said via press release. “This is a dream come true. To get a chance to coach TUF and beat Faber again is all the motivation I need. This is going to be an insane season of The Ultimate Fighter.”

As for Faber, he remains a pioneer for the lighter weight classes as he held the World Extreme Cagefighting featherweight champion for from 2006-2008.

Faber made the 10-pound drop in weight to bantamweight after suffering a title loss to featherweight champion Jose Aldo.

Since the move to 135 pounds, Faber is 3-1 with two victories inside the Octagon. His most recent win came against Brian Bowles at UFC 139, where he defeated the former champion by a second-round submission.

The organization's decision to feature Cruz and Faber on the inaugural season on FX is a perfect move.

Faber, who trains alongside featherweight contender Chad Mendes and bantamweight contender Joseph Benavidez at Team Alpha Male in Sacramento, Calif., is one of the most popular fighters in the world's fasting rising sport.

Cruz hones his skill set under the tutelage of head coach Eric Del Fierro at Alliance MMA in Chula Vista, Calif. alongside light heavyweights Phil Davis and Alexander Gustafsson, featherweight Ross Pearson and a host of others.

With the featherweight and bantamweight divisions being new to casual UFC fans, Cruz and Faber will not only educate fans on the talent they possess, but their rivalry will certainly make for one exciting season.

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