Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweight contenders Roy Nelson and Shane Carwin will serve as coaches on the 16th season of "The Ultimate Fighter," and they'll meet in a season-ending fight in the show's live finale.
UFC president Dana White exclusively revealed the coaches' selections to USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com
) on Wednesday.
"TUF," the UFC's long-running reality series, returns to FX in September, and taping begins next month. FX also will air the live finale from Las Vegas in December.
"This is going to be a very interesting dynamic between these two heavyweights," White said. "They both have huge punching power and great chins, but outside of the octagon, they couldn't be any more different.
"These two have been going at it on social media for a while and don't seem to like each other very much, but they are going to be seeing a lot of each other during this series."
The Ultimate Fighter has launched the UFC careers of nearly 200 mixed martial artists during its seven-year, 15-season run.
Each season, two established stars serve as coaches of opposing teams.
This year, the show will start with 32 welterweights, and 16 elimination-round winners will become official cast members. Cameras will document their training sessions and fights, and one tournament champion will be crowned in the live finale.
TUF has produced former UFC champions such as Rashad Evans, Forrest Griffin and Matt Serra. Nelson (17-7 MMA, 4-3 UFC), in fact, entered the UFC after winning The Ultimate Fighter 10. He scored a knockout victory against Dave Herman in May to get back into the title picture.
Carwin (12-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC), meanwhile, is a former UFC interim titleholder who has been on the sideline for more than a year after neck and back surgeries.
The differences between the two fighters are numerous.
Bulked-up and wrestling-oriented Carwin is a mechanical engineer by day, while portly jiujitsu ace "Big Country" Nelson is a full-time fighter.
White loves the differences.
"I guarantee it will make for great TV," he said.