Newly-minted UFC women’s bantamweight champion Julianna Pena will be going back to her roots when she coaches the upcoming season of “The Ultimate Fighter” opposite former UFC double champ Amanda Nunes.
MMA reporter Ariel Helwani was first to report Pena and Nunes as the frontrunners to coach the 30th season of TUF, but more details were made available on Friday. According to MMA Junkie, Pena and Nunes will coach teams comprised of four women’s flyweights and four men’s heavyweights. Filming is expected to begin later this month in Las Vegas.
Pena, who won her own season of TUF back in 2013, made an appearance on “Ellen” on Friday to discuss her upcoming coaching stint and what it means to her to return to the show that sparked her MMA stardom.
“I was the first (woman) to (win) on that show, ‘The Ultimate Fighter.’ I won the whole season,” Pena said. “I’m going to now be giving back to these young fighters. I am going to be the coach on ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ for this next season coming up. Amanda will be coaching alongside me. So it will be me and Amanda’s teams. It’ll be my team vs. Amanda’s team and then at the end of the season, we’re going to rematch.”
In case you forgot, Pena is coming off a legendary upset win over Nunes back at UFC 269 this past December. She was a massive underdog, but ended up submitting “Lioness” and snapping her incredible 12-fight win streak in the process. The two women are expected to meet in a highly-anticipated rematch later this year following the conclusion of TUF. Nunes will likely be a heavy betting favorite yet again considering she is recognized as the greatest female fighter of all time.
Late Friday, UFC.com revealed the contestants for the upcoming TUF season. Check them out below:
Nyle Bartling | 29 | 6-0 | Unadilla, NE
Chandler Cole | 27 | 8-3 | Coeburn, VA
Jordan Heiderman | 30 | 5-0 | Norfolk, NE
Bobby Maximus | 43 | 5-4 | Salt Lake City, UT
Zac Pauga | 33 | 5-0 | Denver, CO
Eduardo Perez | 27 | 4-1 | Berkeley, CA
Mitchell Sipe | 25 | 5-2 | Bakersfield, CA
Mohammed Usman | 32 | 7-2 | Denver, CO
Chantel Coates | 34 | 2-1 | Leavenworth, KS
Claire Guthrie | 26 | 3-1 | Denver, CO
Juliana Miller | 25 | 2-1 | San Diego, CA
Kaytlin Neil | 30 | 5-4 | Lindon, UT
Kathryn Paprocki | 28 | 3-2 | Denver, CO
Melissa Parker | 35 | 2-1 | Houston, TX
Helen Peralta | 33 | 4-2 | Fairfield, IA
Brogan Walker | 32 | 7-2 | Guam