Regardless of the outcome of his fight with Chris Leben at Saturday's UFC 89 event, Michael Bisping will be tapped as a coach for the upcoming ninth season of "The Ultimate Fighter."
Additionally, UFC 93 headliners Rich Franklin and Dan Henderson are being considered for the second coaching slot.
The news comes from Fighters Only Magazine, which cited UFC President Dana White.
) today spoke to J.T. Stewart, Franklin's business manager, who said he wasn't aware of any definite plans but, "like everything else, it's something we'd consider."
"The Ultimate Fighter: U.S. vs. U.K.," which is tentatively scheduled to commence taping in January 2009 (with a debut date in April 2009), will feature teams representing the two countries.
Bisping, a Brit who fights Chris Leben in Saturday's UFC 89 main event, will head the U.K. squad. Bisping actually found his way to the UFC via the reality series. The 29-year-old was the light-heavyweight winner of the series' third season.
Franklin, who coached the second season of the Spike TV reality series, recently moved from middleweight to light heavyweight after losing his title and a subsequent rematch to Anderson Silva. He meets Henderson, a fellow fighter who's bounced between the two weight classes, at a Jan. 17 event in Dublin, Ireland.
The winner of that headline fight could determine who gets the coaching slot on "TUF" and would presumedly fight Bisping at the conclusion of the reality series.
"The Ultimate Fighter" reality series debuted in January 2005. In addition to launching the careers of more than 100 UFC fighters, "TUF" has featured rival coaches while to some of the UFC's biggest fights, including Chuck Liddell vs. Randy Couture II (season-one coaches), Tito Ortiz vs. Ken Shamrock II (season three), and Forrest Griffin vs. Quinton Jackson (season seven).