Source: MMA Weekly
Even the Urijah Faber mystery opponent announcement couldn’t save this season’s TUF Live from hitting a ratings low last week with only 821,000 viewers. The dip is the lowest in series history. While FOX executives and the UFC have said they are happy with the amount of viewers for a Friday night, Dana White has agreed that the ratings are not up to his expectations. White has already gone on record as saying there are a few changes he would like to see for next season although he did not mention anything in particular. There is one fighter that has a few suggestions for White–Stephan Bonnar. Bonnar and Forrest Griffin are TUF season 1 alums credited with putting the UFC on the map with their amazing finale fight. Their fight even overshadowed the main event between Rich Franklin and Ken Shamrock. Bonnar suggested that the next season of TUF be reinvigorated by having him and Forrest Griffin coach against each other. And of course, the two would fight at the end of the season to complete their trilogy even though Griffin has already beaten Bonnar twice before.
With the way this season and the past couple of TUF seasons has gone, I don’t think its that ridiculous to have Bonnar and Griffin coach TUF 16. They are TUF royalty. Both are funny and charismatic guys who could inject some life into the show. It can’t get any worse right? Bonnar has already gone on record as saying he will be funnier than Griffin and will “outdo” the first fight they had. Thats all I needed to hear from Bonnar. He has been on an impressive streak of late winning three in a row. Griffin is coming off a loss to Shogun Rua in August of last year. You could argue that Griffin has not been the same after his loss to Rashad Evans in 2008 when he lost his belt. Both Bonnar and Griffin are nearing the ends of their MMA career, why not send them off with a bang TUF style? Maybe one or even both of them can regain their mojo after they face each other again. You already know I think TUF should be moved to a weekday other than Friday. Bonnar and Griffin coaching the next season of TUF could turn the show around. TUF has been so emphatic about having opposing coaches that hate each other for the drama, but having two guys that are funny and would like to fight at the end of the season could be a good change of pace. Like I said before, change couldn’t hurt, especially with the way this season is going.
Update 5/31/2012: Dana White said he is a big fan of Stephen Bonnar and Forrest Griffin and celebrates what they have done for the UFC every day but choosing them as coaches for season 16 is not going to happen. White said the coaching spots are usually saved for champions and their contenders although we have to note that last season featured Michael Bisping and Mayhem Miller who are hardly considered champions. It will be interesting to see who White chooses for the TUF 16 coaches especially when White says there is a possibility of another come back type season.
Update 6/13/2012: Dana White confirmed that the next season of TUF will return to a taped format instead of a live version like season 15. Like previous seasons, it will only require 6 weeks of filming compared to 12 for the live season. White has not revealed who will coach next season but promises an emphasis on the fighter’s lives. One idea I have heard lately is to not lock the fighters in the house. It might be a good idea to follow the guys as they roam around the city. Some will get in trouble, others will be good. But it will make for better television.