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The Ultimate Fighter 29: Six Possible Coaching Duos

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The greatest fighting reality show on television returns in the summer of 2021 and fans are ecstatic! The show took a two-year hiatus, with the most recent winner being the current welterweight king, Kamaru Usman. Makoa Goble touches on the interest from both Usman and Jorge Masvidal to fight, and possibly coach on The Ultimate Fighter 29.

It would be quite the story if The Ultimate Fighter 29’s coach is Usman, which is where the UFC is looking to head, considering he has convincingly beaten almost everyone in the division.

Season 29 of the UFC’s staple show will air on ESPN+ and the UFC will want to capitalize on this season, considering the strange times we’re going through. Historically, TUF has received greater viewership when it included an intense rivalry between the coaches.

The Ultimate Fighter 29 will feature the men’s bantamweight (135 lbs) and middleweight (185 lbs) divisions with castings currently open on the UFC’s Website. TUF has a huge showing and can be a platform for many future champions, with many previous winners eventually capturing UFC gold.

Below we take a look at six possible coaching duos for The Ultimate Fighter 29, and what this year’s installment could mean for the UFC.

Six Possible Duos for The Ultimate Fighter 29

1. Jorge Masvidal vs Colby Covington

The rivalry every fan wants to see: “Chaos” Colby Covington vs old friend and now enemy, Jorge “Street Jesus” Masvidal. Imagining what The Ultimate Fighter 29 would look like with these two as coaches gets me as excited as watching Rampage Jackson and Rashad Evans way back at The Ultimate Fighter 10. These two simply hate each other and this is the fight the UFC needs to make. It’ll be guaranteed to pull in millions of PPV buys.

Masvidal has repeatedly claimed that the figures weren’t right for him to fight Covington, so maybe a coaching position on The Ultimate Fighter 29 might interest the welterweight contender. It would be incredibly exciting to watch as these two go back and forth and add to the buildup of the potential fight. Usman recently called out Masvidal following his UFC 258 victory, so should the UFC decide to move in that direction, we could see Colby either facing Leon Edwards, or possibly Wonderboy Thompson instead.

2. Amanda Nunes vs Valentina Shevchenko

Amanda Nunes and Valentina Shevchenko. The Ultimate Fighter 29
EDMONTON, AB – SEPTEMBER 09: (L-R) Amanda Nunes of Brazil celebrates her victory over Valentina Shevchenko of Kyrgyzstan in their women’s bantamweight bout during the UFC 215 event inside the Rogers Place on September 9, 2017 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

It’s highly unlikely to happen, but the last time TUF featured female coaches, it didn’t fail to deliver. Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate simply hated each other and their intense rivalry was definitely one for the ages. There hasn’t been quite as intense a rivalry in the female’s division since, but Amanda Nunes and Valentina Shevchenko are two badass women and would surely make The Ultimate Fighter 29 exciting.

Nunes has decimated all before her and is 2-0 up against Valentina, so Valentina would definitely want to try and get one over on the GOAT. These women are savages and would definitely be an exciting addition to TUF history. Valentina has proven to be incredibly tough against all other opponents and this will be her chance to show how elite she is, and also add a little spice to the rivalry.

3. Stipe Miocic vs Jon Jones

Stipe Miocic is set to face Francis Ngannou at UFC 260 on March 28th and is surprisingly an underdog in that fight, despite having already beaten Ngannou. A TUF with Ngannou and Jon Jones would be exciting, but aside from their somewhat recent Twitter feud, there isn’t really an intense feud between them. Stipe is widely considered to be the heavyweight GOAT and Jones is considered to be the pound-for-pound best fighter ever. What more incentive do we need to put these two as coaches in The Ultimate Fighter 29?

Jones currently awaits the winner of Stipe vs Ngannou 2, so the UFC could pit Jones against the winner in The Ultimate Fighter 29. It would also be exciting and inspirational for prospects to have one of the greatest of all time as a coach, and viewers would love to see Jones more often. He has lost a lot of fans due to his personal issues outside of the octagon, and a coaching position on TUF might help him reinstate his claim as the greatest ever.

4. Israel Adesanya vs Jon Jones

Israel Adesanya. The Ultimate Fighter 29
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – SEPTEMBER 27: Israel Adesanya of Nigeria celebrates after defeating Paulo Costa of Brazil in their middleweight championship bout during UFC 253 inside Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on September 27, 2020 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)

Israel Adesanya is set to face a monster in Jan Błachowicz for the light heavyweight championship on March 7th at UFC 259. Adesanya is set to challenge for the opportunity to not only become the fastest champ-champ in UFC history, but the first African to accomplish that.

He also aims to win the title previously held by Jones. And following their very public feud, Adesanya would love to make it personal. Jones is in the heavyweight division right now and is scheduled for at least two fights, so unless something drastic happens, the likelihood of these two coaching this year’s TUF is unlikely. However, if Dana White is ready to accept that this feud could ignite PPV dynamite and possibly be one of the greatest rivalries and fights to ever happen in the UFC, we could just get exactly what we desire.

5. Dustin Poirier vs Michael Chandler/Justin Gaethje

Many thoughts have been sprung around the lightweight division following Khabib Nurmagomedov’s retirement, including who the next champion should be. Conor McGregor fell to Dustin Poirier in their rematch and the UFC is looking to schedule a trilogy fight sometime later in the year, while Michael Chandler announced his UFC debut with a scintillating victory over Dan Hooker.

Michael Chandler posing in the octagon. The Ultimate Fighter 29
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – OCTOBER 20: Michael Chandler poses for a portrait on Yas Beach on October 20, 2020 on UFC Fight Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Juan Cardenas/Zuffa LLC)

Justin Gaethje isn’t convinced that Chandler should be considered for the lightweight title picture just yet, and many fans concur. The question then is how does the lightweight title picture play out? Mind you Khabib is still considered the champion. If Dustin is the man to beat and is one-half of that title fight, then we could have a mini-tournament to decide the number one contender and the second puzzle piece to The Ultimate Fighter 29 coaching duo.

Poirier has already beaten Gaethje, and Chandler has hype around him following his migration from Bellator. The other big, albeit quiet, name in the lightweight title contention picture is Charles Oliveira. However, there isn’t yet any hype around him considering he isn’t very public on the mic. There also isn’t any intense rivalry in the division at the moment, but do expect things to heat up should these guys be considered for The Ultimate Fighter 29.

6. Kamaru Usman vs Colby Covington

Is there any rivalry at the moment that is as intense and as desired as Usman vs Covington? These guys purely hate each other, and Covington believes he is the man to beat the welterweight king. At the moment there isn’t any opponent for Colby considering Masvidal would rather rematch the champion, and the UFC is quite liking that prospect.

Should the UFC decide to give the fans what they want, we could be in for one hell of a ride at The Ultimate Fighter 29. Usman and Covington as coaches would be epic. They would bring in tons of PPV buys and viewership, as their rivalry will only intensify as the show airs. Many fans love a rivalry and a rematch with an intense rivalry is always hyped. And more often than not, it delivers in full.

Usman called out Masvidal following his victory against Gilbert Burns but he knows that Colby lies waiting in the spotlight. Wherever the champion goes next, he knows that he is due for another war with Covington.

The Ultimate Fighter 29 couldn’t come at a better time and no matter who the coaches are, we sure are in for more incredible fights, knockouts, and future UFC stars!

Who do you think will be the coaches for this season? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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A martial arts enthusiasts as well as practitioner of traditional chinese martial arts. I'm an avid mma fan and love writing. I also love football and have great insight into behavior and psychology of athletes.