LAS VEGAS – Faced with the challenge of outdoing its current historic, adrenaline-charged season of The Ultimate Fighter®, the Ultimate Fighting Championship® (UFC®) today confirmed that the next season of its long-running reality series will feature former champions BJ “The Prodigy” Penn and Frankie “The Answer” Edgar as coaches. The storied foes will coach a cast of middleweight (185 lbs.) and light heavyweight (205 lbs.) fighters in their quest to win the title of Ultimate Fighter and a six-figure contract with the UFC.
“BJ Penn is moving down to 145 pounds to coach The Ultimate Fighter against Frankie Edgar,” said UFC President Dana White. “BJ really hates the fact that he lost to Frankie Edgar. It’s something that’s been burning deep inside of him for three years now. So he’s moving down to 145 pounds to not only avenge those defeats, but to try and become the first fighter in UFC history to win titles in three different weight classes.”
Widely considered one of the greatest fighters in UFC history, Penn (16-9-2 in MMA) is one of only two men to win UFC world titles in two separate divisions. The former welterweight and lightweight champion has defeated a Who’s Who of MMA, including UFC champions Matt Hughes, Matt Serra and Sean Sherk. His reign over the UFC’s 155lbs division was ended in 2010’s Upset of the Year, when he was outpointed by Frankie Edgar. “The Prodigy” not only returns to the UFC but also The Ultimate Fighter, after coaching season five back in 2007.
After defeating Penn in two fights, Edgar (15-4-1) established a reputation for lightweight excellence. “The Answer” defended the lightweight championship in a pair of all-time classic battles with Gray Maynard before losing the title on a controversial decision to Benson Henderson. Edgar then dropped to featherweight, where many believe he will join Penn as a two-division world champion.
The series begins filming in mid-October in Las Vegas. Catch all new episodes of this season of The Ultimate Fighter at 10 p.m. ET on FOX Sports.
Edgar, Penn to Coach TUF 19
September 11, 2013