Cain Velasquez will do some coaching before his next title defense. | Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
The Ultimate Fighting Championship on Tuesday announced that heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez and No. 1 contender Fabricio Werdum will coach the next international season of “The Ultimate Fighter.”
UFC officials made the announcement from Mexico City, which will host Velasquez’s title defense against Werdum at the conclusion of “TUF: Latin America.” The heavyweights will collide in the main event of UFC 180 on Nov. 15, highlighting the UFC’s Mexican debut.
The Las Vegas-based promotion began casting for the show in February, seeking fighters that both spoke Spanish and were citizens of one of the following nations: Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay or Venezuela. The show, which features featherweights and bantamweights, begins shooting on May 12 and will debut the week of Aug. 18. Televisa will air the program in Mexico, and the series will additionally be shown on other free-to-air networks throughout Latin America.
Velasquez, 31, rides a four-fight winning streak into his upcoming title defense. The American Kickboxing Academy standout recaptured his heavyweight crown from Junior dos Santos in 2012 and then defended the belt twice more, stopping Antonio Silva roughly 11 months ago before scoring an October finish of dos Santos in their UFC 166 rubber match.
Werdum earned his title shot by posting four consecutive wins in his second run with the UFC, outpointing Roy Nelson and then stopping Mike Russow and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. Most recently, the 36-year-old used a varied and accurate standup attack to batter Travis Browne, cruising to a clear-cut unanimous decision victory 10 days ago at UFC on Fox 11.