Best coaches in TUF history

by Mitch Ciccarelli | source:

With The Ultimate Fighter season 12 set to premiere on Spike TV on September 15, Heavy MMA takes a look back at the top ten coaches in the series history.

Criteria will be based on a combination of overall team victories, positive influence on the careers of young fighters and pure coaching ability.

10. Randy Couture

9. Frank Mir

8. Jens Pulver

7. Forrest Griffin

6. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira

5. Michael Bisping

4. Chuck Liddell

3.  Matt Serra

The owner of Serra Jiu-Jitsu Academies in Long Island, NY, Serra has been instructing martial arts for years. The heavy handed BJJ black belt understands the importance of building his fighters up mentally to improve their physical skill sets. On season 6, Serra was an excellent motivator and mixed in with his natural ability to instruct and corner fighters he made for a phenomenal coach on the show. Rival coach Matt Hughes almost had a nervous breakdown after losing six straight fights to Team Serra.

2. Rashad Evans

Evans came closer to clean sweeping the opposing team than any other TUF coach before him. Team Rashad went 7-1 in the preliminary round over Team Rampage and that is due mostly to Evan’s superb guidance. Evans’ focused on the one area which is often neglected in MMA training camps—the mental game. Evans is an extremely confident athlete so it was only natural that he was able to rub off some of that poise onto his team. In addition, Evans won season 2 in the heavyweight division so from being in the situation before he was able to relate to the fighters on his team more so than “Rampage” was able to.

1. Tito Ortiz

On season 3 “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” opened eyes with his impressive coaching approach. In fact, after watching Ortiz coach on the reality series many of his haters were converted into fans. The former light heavyweight champion poured his heart and soul into his team. Unlike opposing coach and arch rival Ken Shamrock who seemed to care more about himself than being there for the young guys.

Ortiz wasn’t as successful in terms of team victories on season 11 but he still treated every fighter on his team as if they were his children. Despite losing a majority of the matchups to Chuck Liddell’s team, Ortiz never once gave up on his fighters. Love him or hate him, we may never see another TUF coach care for his team as much as “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” did.

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Recent Comments »

KimuraCrunch site profile image  

9/9/10 5:04 PM by KimuraCrunch

"BJ impersonating Wang is still one of the best moments in TUF history."is there a vid of this? I never saw it.

stillmatic site profile image  

9/9/10 4:57 PM by stillmatic

Season 5 was the best season to me. It had a real rivalry with BJ and Jens going at it and a bunch of quality LW's that went at it too. BJ impersonating Wang is still one of the best moments in TUF history.

humphrey sphinctermuscle site profile image  

9/9/10 4:18 PM by humphrey sphinctermuscle

but making fights in the UFC isn't based on results, it's based on personality. So why not this too?

MCchoke site profile image  

9/9/10 4:15 PM by MCchoke

Matt serra and Tito....way better than any of the other coaches Rashad wasn't all that great its just that Rampage was so efin bad anyone would have looked great opposite him that season.

Steve4192 site profile image  

9/9/10 3:52 PM by Steve4192

This is the reason Koscheck will dominate TUF 12.  His team will view him as a guy who has been through the same process and made it work for him.  GSP's team will most likely be in awe of him and not able to relate. Also, Koscheck comes from a team-based wrestling background, has coaching experience, and his coaches are the braintrust of one of the greatest teams in the sport (AKA).  GSP is going to have some fantastic technicians coaching for him, but none of them have much experince running a team of fighters.  If things start going south, Koscheck's team has the kind of leaders who can take the wheel and right the ship.  I'm not sure GSP's team does.  GSP has the better technical trainers, but no real leaders.

970 site profile image  

9/9/10 3:07 PM by 970


awilson82 site profile image  

9/9/10 2:57 PM by awilson82

 No body talks about Chuck but I think hes had more wins than any other coach plus won almost all the challenges he and his team have been in and its not like he coached against Rampage it was against Randy and Tito.

GodSaveTheQueen site profile image  

9/9/10 1:34 PM by GodSaveTheQueen

BJ should be on there for the whole Andy Wang affair alone.

Wovito site profile image  

9/9/10 1:30 PM by Wovito

 Agreed, Tito was an awesome coach.

TheTFC site profile image  

9/9/10 1:30 PM by TheTFC

Tito and Serra.