Dana White has sorted out the coaches for the next season of The Ultimate Fighter. UFC featherweights Alexander Volkanovski and Brian Ortega have been appointed to coach on Season 29 of TUF.
UFC president Dana White told ESPN that Volkanovski and Ortega would fight for the featherweight belt to conclude the season. The two combatants were slated to face each other at UFC 260, but the bout had to be called off since the champion tested positive for COVID-19.
Last month, Dana White hinted at the fight being postponed to a later date. However, no indication was made regarding the two featherweights being the coaches at The Ultimate Fighter. In an interview with TSN, White mentioned re-scheduling the fight as soon as possible:
"Did we schedule that?", said Dana White as he glanced at his matchmaking board. "I think we did. Let me look here. Off the top of my head, I don't know, and it's not on the board here but, yeah, we are talking about rescheduling that one ASAP..."
Season 29 is set to commence in March and will be exclusively aired on ESPN+. The two teams will feature athletes from the bantamweight and middleweight divisions. The promotion also plans to release all of TUF's previous seasons on ESPN+.
Why did Dana White appoint Volkanovski and Ortega as TUF coaches?
When Kamaru Usman called-out Jorge Masvidal in a post-fight interview, it was being speculated that the two fighters would be the opposing coaches at TUF season 29. Usman's manager Ali Abdelaziz was reportedly in talks with the UFC about 'Gamebred' and 'The Nigerian Nightmare' coaching on TUF.
It appears that the UFC digressed and decided to make the fight for UFC 261. The pay-per-view is going to be the first fight with a live audience in attendance since the advent of COVID-19. Hence, a fight of this magnitude headlining the card in Miami (Jorge Masvidal's hometown) must have made sense for the promotion.
It appears that Dana White eventually greenlighted Alexander Volkanovski vs. Brian Ortega to be contested at the end of TUF season 29. The promoter was keen to re-book the fight promptly after it was pulled from the co-main event slot at UFC 260.