Alexander Volkanovski and Brian Ortega will act as opposing coaches for “The Ultimate Fighter 29”.
UFC President Dana White confirmed the news to ESPN. The long-running reality show, which has not been shown since 2018, is expected to start shooting later this month. The last iteration will include medium and small weight competitors and will stream ESPN +.
Volkanovski and Ortega were scheduled to start in a featheweight championship match at the UFC 260 co-main event on March 27, but Volkanovski was forced to retire after testing positive for COVID-19. Volkanovski will book somewhere after “TUF 29.”
The reality show was scheduled to premiere in March, but was postponed when trials were delayed due to the pandemic. The latest version of the series, “TUF 28”, premiered in August 2018 and featured Robert Whittaker and Kelvin Gastelum as rival coaches. The show featured heavyweight men’s and women’s featherweights, with Juan Espino and Macy Chiasson emerging victorious in the “TUF 28” finale.
Volkanovski won a gold featherweight five-round verdict against Max Holloway at UFC 245 and successfully defended the crown with a controversial decision for Hawaii in their rematch at UFC 251 last July. The 32-year-old City Kickboxing representative has won 19 consecutive games – including nine in the UFC.
Ortega, meanwhile, will take a second shot in the 145-pound zone after a loss to Holloway in a fourth-round TKO defeat at UFC 231 in December 2018. After nearly two years on the sidelines, “T -City “returned with a unanimous victory over the decision for Chan Sung Jung at UFC Fight Night 180 on October 17.