TUF Talk: Ultimate Fighter coaches Anthony Pettis and Gilbert Melendez
The stakes are higher than ever on the new season of The Ultimate Fighter as the 16 best women’s fighters at 115-pounds compete with one goal in mind — to win the strawweight championship at the end of the year.
On the latest edition of TUF Talk — the official podcast of The Ultimate Fighter — we welcome in coaches Anthony Pettis and Gilbert Melendez to preview the season ahead where a champion will be crowned once the dust settles at the end of the year.
For Pettis this experience was a real eye opener, both personally and professionally, because while he’s the reigning UFC lightweight champion, he’s never been in charge of an entire team before now. He was the student and now he becomes the teacher.
"I think there was a lot of emotion going into the show. For sure women are a lot more emotional than men so knowing that I knew we had to keep a good atmosphere on the team and make sure everybody was on the same page," Pettis said on the show.
"Being a leader, what we’re practicing, what we’re training, usually Duke (Roufus) does all that, I just show up and I’m an athlete. It was cool to do. It’s a totally different way of looking at training."
Melendez had a leg up on Pettis when it came to coaching on the show because he spends almost everyday in his normal life running his team, The Skrap Pack, out of Northern California.
The real joy for Melendez this year was working with the best of the best in the division. Usually The Ultimate Fighter is a breeding ground for the next great prospect — this year it was about finding the best fighter in the world at 115-pounds.
"They are the top in the world," Melendez said. "That’s one thing I was totally excited for and I got a lot of professionalism from most of them. I was happy with the experience as a whole. Not everyone gave 100-percent, but the women that I had on my team that really gave it to us and trusted us, they really let us do our thing and really respected us for it and gave an effort. It was a pleasurable experience."
To hear the entire interview with both Pettis and Melendez listen in to the show below and then make sure to tune into The Ultimate Fighter: A Champion Will Be Crowned when it debuts Wednesday night, September 10 at 10p ET on FOX Sports 1.