Rich “Ace” Franklin never seemed all too enthused about coaching the ninth season of The Ultimate Fighter: U.S. vs. U.K., but now it seems he really, really doesn’t want to. His hints aren’t exactly subtle:
“I have not personally spoken to Dana, the UFC or any of the production people about the show,” Franklin said. “Six weeks in Vegas, I’ve gotten to the point where I could care less for staying in Vegas for that period of time. It’s time away from my family and time away from doing the things I can do to make money. The show doesn’t pay very well. … But anything the UFC asks me to do, I’m always on board for.”
Hear that Dana? You can force Rich to eat his broccoli but hes not going to like it and you can’t make him. Franklin added some more nonplussed words regarding the possible drop back down to middleweight:
“I guess they would more than likely — whoever, between Dan and I wins — they’d do that fight at 185 pounds,” Franklin said. “How that makes sense to me I’m not sure, but I take it one fight at a time. So if the UFC comes to me and says, ‘We’re doing the Bisping fight at 185 pounds,’ then it is what it is.”
Sadly, the royal mess that is TUF 9 could have been easily avoided if UFC brass weren’t so bent on the U.S. vs. U.K. theme. But why make things easy when you can add a pointless gimmick that will hopefully pep up your stale programming, right?