Last night on the pre-taped Spike TV Video Game Awards Dana White confirmed a foregone conclusion: Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Forrest Griffin will be the coaches on the seventh, all-middleweight season of The Ultimate Fighter and will then clash after the season concludes.
Griffin won the first season of The Ultimate Fighter and most-recently defeated top light heavyweight Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at UFC 76 in September. The win shot Griffin to the top of the 205-pound division and instantly earned him a shot at Jackson’s title.
“Rampage” came to the UFC in February and posted a debut win over Marvin Eastman. The lone-win and his impressive career earned him a shot at then-champion Chuck Liddell in May. Jackson seized the title opportunity and connected with a right hook to drop Chuck before pounding out the champ to steal the title from one of the UFC’s top public figures. In his first title defense Jackson topped PRIDE champion Dan Henderson in September.
Jackson entered his fight with Henderson with an injured hand while Griffin underwent shoulder surgery following his win over Rua. By having both fighters as coaches on the upcoming season of The Ultimate Fighter they will both have ample time to heal from their respective injuries. The UFC will also be able to use the airtime to constantly promote their title bout.
The Ultimate Fighter 7 is expected to debut in April of next year meaning the light heavyweight title clash will not happen until June at the earliest.