Volkanovski & Ortega Set To Coach The Return Of The Ultimate Fighter
We were set to see a monumental clash for the UFC Featherweight Championship at UFC 260 last week, as reigning champ Alexander Volkanovski was scheduled to put the title on the line against top contender Brian Ortega. Unfortunately, COVID reared its ugly head, striking Volko and taking him out of the planned fight just days before.
While it seemed that Volkanovski was headed home to be with his family after recovering from the virus, for now he remains in Las Vegas. Per ESPN, Volkanovski and Ortega will coach on the next season of The Ultimate Fighter. TUF is a reality TV series that was a staple of the UFC for many years, with its first season and epic Finale fight pitting Forrest Griffin against Stephan Bonnar largely credited for the UFC's explosion in popularity in the mid 2000s. With the series rumoured to make a return this year, it was thought that Kamaru Usman and Jorge Masvidal would serve as coaches, but UFC made the decision to have them headline the upcoming event in Jacksonville, UFC 261, which will see the return of fans to UFC arenas.
Volkanovski and Ortega will each coach a team of fighters, comprised of middleweights and bantamweights. Those fighters will compete in a tournament of exhibition MMA fights, with the winners in each division winning a UFC contract. This upcoming season will be the first TUF since 2018, and the first since ESPN became the UFC's broadcast partner. Following the filming of the season of TUF, Volkanovski and Ortega will finally have their championship fight on PPV shortly after.