B.J. Penn will coach Season 19 of “The Ultimate Fighter.” | Photo: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
Two familiar foes will go head-to-head in the next installment of “The Ultimate Fighter,” as B.J. Penn and Frankie Edgar compete as coaches on the 19th season of the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s long-running reality show.
UFC officials announced the news on Sept. 11. Season 19 of “The Ultimate Fighter” debuts on Fox Sports 1 in January 2014 and will feature light heavyweights and middleweights. Edgar and “The Prodigy” will then do battle the following April at 145 pounds, marking Penn’s featherweight debut.
Penn and Edgar first met back in April 2010, when Edgar took the Hawaiian’s lightweight title in a contentious unanimous decision. A rematch was then booked four months later, with Edgar winning decisively at UFC 118.
Following his second victory over the highly regarded Hawaiian, Edgar defended his belt twice against Gray Maynard before relinquishing the strap to Benson Henderson. The New Jersey native then came up short in his rematch with “Smooth,” dropping a controversial split decision at UFC 150. “The Answer” later cut to 145 pounds for a hard-fought but ultimately unsuccessful run at Jose Aldo’s title, but he returned to his winning ways in his last outing, taking a unanimous verdict from Charles Oliveira at UFC 162 in July.
Penn, meanwhile, has competed just twice in the last two years, dropping a unanimous decision to Nick Diaz in October 2011 before suffering the same fate against Rory MacDonald in December. A former two-division UFC champion, Penn reigned as the promotion’s lightweight king from January 2008 to April 2010, when he was dethroned by Edgar. The 34-year-old owns notable wins over Matt Hughes, Jens Pulver and Takanori Gomi and has finished 13 of his 16 career victims by either knockout or submission.
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