Roy Nelson and Shane Carwin are great choices as coaches for season sixteen of The Ultimate Fighter. They are both established fighters with proven grit that share a dislike of one another. The UFC has made a safe bet in selecting these two for several reasons.

A personality clash between them is already guaranteed, as Nelson is boisterous and facetious, whereas Carwin is more of a straight-laced type of guy. It will be fun watching this odd-couple relationship play itself out on reality television.

Some of the more memorable TUF shows are a direct result of the banter between the coaches. Season ten, with Rashad Evans and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, was full of smack talk and proved to be very entertaining—some might say more so than the actual fight. In this case, I don’t think Nelson and Carwin have the talent of previous TUF peers in that department, but if their Twitter exchanges or objections towards each other in interviews are any indication of what’s to come, then fans should get a show.

The issue of testosterone replacement therapy and performance-enhancing drugs in the sport of MMA has been a topic of interest for Nelson. A top fighter in the UFC addressing the issue will be a good thing for fans to see.

In recent months, Nelson has been vocal about the need for pre-fight drug testing, even offering to pay for it out of his own pocket. Carwin has been linked to steroids through speculation, but nothing has been proven for his involvement or use of the drugs. The Ultimate Fighter 16 can be a platform for each fighter to state their opinions on the matter. It will give Carwin the opportunity to address any lingering allegations, though I doubt that will be his focus. Given Nelson’s outspoken nature, fans can at least tune in to see if he uses this topic as fodder to annoy his rival.

Another reason that the UFC made the right decision is that the eventual fight between the two is an appealing match-up. Neither fighter is near No. 1 contender status, but fans shouldn’t have much to complain about with two veteran UFC heavyweights going at it. Both have faced top competition and fought for the title, and each has lost to the current UFC heavyweight champion, Junior dos Santos. Their fights with dos Santos are noteworthy because they are the only decisions of dos Santos’ entire professional career—the rest of his opponents were finished by stoppage. While it is doubtful either will fight for a UFC title again, their names are still relevant in the division.

It will be fun to see the two heavyweights back in action. Fans anticipate Nelson to play the role of jester and getting to see Carwin make his return to the UFC after over a year’s layoff. It can be argued that there are better choices for coaches for The Ultimate Fighter, but I don’t see anything wrong with these two.

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

About The Author

David Massey
Staff Writer

David Massey studied Humanities and Art History at the University of Central Oklahoma. He first found interest in MMA from the first TUF show and has been hooked ever since. He began posting on mmajunkie then submitting Sunday Junkie entries and that began his interest in writing about MMA. Through twitter David found other MMA enthusiasts and began contributing articles to He looks forward to growing as a writer and being a part of the sport he loves.