Dana White knows who to turn to for a “TUF” coach. | File photo: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
Last month, UFC President Dana White suddenly announced that Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva will coach the next iteration of “TUF: Brazil.”
White’s confession on “Fox Sports Live” came as a surprise to many given Sonnen’s prior remarks about Brazil and some of the country’s most beloved competitors. However, White declared on Saturday night following UFC Fight Night 32 that the decision to pit Sonnen and Silva against each other as coaches was an easy one.
“I think choosing them as coaches was a no-brainer. When I asked Chael, he jumped at the opportunity. He wants to be a coach down here,” White said at the post-fight press conference from Goiania Arena in Goiania, Brazil. “This is a big rivalry. I don’t know how many Brazilians will want be on Chael’s team, but he was a great coach on [‘TUF 17’] in the U.S.”
Sonnen and Silva have engaged in a war of words this year, ranging from Sonnen calling out “The Axe Murderer” on “UFC Tonight” to Silva filming his own promotional material that culminated with an in-person altercation at the Mr. Olympia expo.
Though Sonnen initially suggested the bout for UFC 167, that idea was scrapped after White revealed that Silva would require more time to heal from an injury. Instead, Sonnen will face former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans next Saturday at the event, which marks the UFC’s 20th anniversary and takes place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
While little information about “TUF: Brazil 3” has been released up to this point, more details could soon be on the horizon, as White revealed that he will meet with executives from Brazilian network Globo to discuss the third season of “TUF: Brazil” after departing Goiania.
“Tonight, I’m flying to Rio [de Janeiro]. Globo has lots of ideas for the show, and I think you’ll see a lot of different things than what you’ve seen in past,” White said. “We have two great coaches, and we’ll mix it up a little bit. Yes, Chael will be coaching Brazilians. I think this will probably be best season you’ve ever seen.”