After last season’s live format, the UFC’s famed reality series, The Ultimate Fighter, will return to its usual six-week taped format for its 16th season. Speculation as to who would coach the upcoming season has run rampant, but the promotion has revealed that heavyweights Shane Carwin and Roy Nelson have been selected for the duties. The pair will meet in the season finale in December.

This isn’t the first time that Carwin and Nelson have been scheduled to meet. They were expected to be the co-main event of UFC 125 over a year ago but Carwin was forced out with a neck injury. The two have publicly feuded over Twitter as well.

The former interim champion Carwin has not competed since UFC 131, where he dropped a decision to Junior dos Santos. After the fight, the 37-year-old underwent back surgery and only recently received medical clearance to fight.

I’m very excited to get this opportunity. Coaching TUF is something I asked for and really wanted to do,” said Carwin. “I asked to coach against Roy Nelson. The fans know how I like to conduct myself both in and out of the Octagon, and I respect every fighter, coach, official and fan in the UFC. But I cannot respect a man like Roy Nelson – because he shows no respect himself. He is a keyboard warrior who doesn’t have the guts to talk trash to my face, but now he’s going to have to be in the same room, the same gym and finally the same Octagon as me”.

“I know I am a better fighter and trainer than he is. I will prove I’m a better trainer in TUF and then, when we fight, I will hit him harder than anyone has ever hit him and teach him some respect.”

Like Carwin, Nelson has also fallen at the hands of the current champion dos Santos, also by decision. The season 10 TUF winner has gone 2-2 since that loss, including a 51-second KO of Dave Herman at UFC 146 in May.

“When I found out I was coaching against Shane Carwin I was so happy to get a chance to compete against this guy,” declared Nelson. “As for being in the same room as him, I try not hang out with people that make me feel icky on the inside but, to coach TUF, I will make an exception.”

“Shane Carwin can think he is the better fighter and coach, but I will do my best and try to represent the Average Joe and show my team that, with hard work, you can walk away a winner against any fighter.”

Both fighters are known for their knockout power and their durability. In their 38 combined fights they share 27 finishes (15 for Nelson, 12 for Carwin), while only being finished twice (once each).

The reality show is expected to begin taping in August. It will air on FX starting in September. Unlike seasons past, the promotion did not hold open tryouts. They instead opted to hand select fighters from past tryouts. However, at this point in time, no cast members have been revealed.

Photo: Shane Carwin (Rob Tatum/The MMA Corner)