Thursday, May 28, 2009 | noon
The UFC’s popular reality TV series, “The Ultimate Fighter” will definitely be bigger for season No. 10 — hard not to be considering the show will feature the heavyweight division for the first time since season No. 2.
But UFC president Dana White promises even bigger fireworks for the latest installment on Spike TV that will feature former light heavyweight champions “Suga” Rashad Evans and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson as coaches.
“We’ve got some other pretty cool surprises about this season and I’m not just talking (expletive), I don’t do that,” White said.
“I’m telling you right now I think season No. 10 is going to be the highest-rated season in “Ultimate Fighter” history.”
After Saturday’s loss by Evans to Lyoto Machida, White announced Jackson was going to get the first crack at the new light heavyweight champ.
But Jackson decided to pass on the title fight for the time being and instead try to settle a personal score with Evans.
“When I found out who I would be coaching, I couldn’t turn it down. Rashad left a bad taste in my mouth,” said Jackson, who got into a verbal fight with Evans in the Octagon immediately after his win over Keith Jardine at UFC 96 in March.
“He got up in my face with his badass breath. You know I’m from Memphis man, we don’t like that (expletive).”
But Jackson said he was disappointed that Machida gave Evans his first setback before he could.
“No I wasn’t happy to see him get knocked out, because I wanted to be the first one to knock him out,” said Jackson, who was a coach on “TUF” No. 7.
“I’m kind of jealous of Machida, but that’s what he (Evans) gets for running his big-ass mouth.”
White said he's currently working on Machida's opponent for his first title defense and hopes to have a name very soon.
"I don’t like to announce anything until it’s signed. As soon as it’s signed I’ll announced it, which I’m hoping will be today or tomorrow," White said.
'TUF' begins taping next week in Las Vegas with the first show airing in September and the finale taking place on Dec. 5.