New Octagon sensation Justin Gaethje will coach opposite former UFC lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez on Season 26 of “The Ultimate Fighter.”
UFC President Dana White confirmed the news to Sirius XM’s Luke Thomas prior to the Brooklyn leg of the Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor promotional tour on Thursday. According to White, filming for the upcoming season of the long-running reality show is already underway. “TUF 26” is expected to premiere in September.
Gaethje and Alvarez will square off after coaching a season that will determine the UFC’s inaugural female flyweight champion. The “TUF 26” finale will likely take place in December, but it is unclear if Gaethje vs. Alvarez will be on that card.
A former World Series of Fighting lightweight champion, Gaethje debuted with the Las Vegas-based promotion in spectacular fashion, besting Michael Johnson via second-round TKO at the “TUF 25” finale on July 7. “The Highlight” is 18-0, with 16 of those triumphs coming inside the distance.
Alvarez, meanwhile, is coming off a controversial bout against Dustin Poirier that was ruled a no contest after Alvarez landed two inadvertent illegal knees while his opponent was down. Prior to that, Alvarez relinquished the 155-pound crown to Conor McGregor in a second round TKO defeat at UFC 205.