Spike TV and the UFC held a conference call today to help promote the upcoming season of The Ultimate Fighter: Team Lesnar vs. Team dos Santos.
Lesnar is known for being a very private guy and a lot of people were surprised he even took a job where he would be in front of the cameras so much.
Ultimately though, Lesnar wanted to take the fastest route back to a title shot and this was it. Lesnar explained what it was like being in front of the cameras for six weeks while taping the show.
“I don’t know, you just kind of get used to it,” said the former heavyweight champ. “I was there to do a job and my job was to be the coach for The Ultimate Fighter, and I got a job to do June 11th and that’s to fight Junior dos Santos. I’ve been in front of the cameras a lot in my career so I just approached as any other thing, as professionally as I could.”
And while Lesnar did seem to make the most of the experience, don’t expect him to be calling up Dana White requesting to do it again anytime soon.
“I did enjoy the show. I did, yeah. … I don’t know if I would or not [do the show again]. Looking back from the beginning of the show, you know, I was very hesitant just because I did not want to get out of my comfort zone too much, but we had a great group of guys. It was a good opportunity for me to learn as well. I probably wouldn’t do it again, no. But I did enjoy it.”
Dos Santos also spoke positively about his experience doing the show.
“Being in front of the cameras for that long and being in the house and on the show was a new experience for him [Junior dos Santos] and he really enjoyed it,” said Junior dos Santos through his translator. “And being on the show with Brock was great cause he is so used to the media spotlight and being in front of the cameras. He’s a professional guy, a serious guy, so it was a great experience for him [Junior] and he feels that both guys really did their best on the show.”
Lesnar talked about the talent level we can expect to see this season.
“There was great talent and then there was not so great talent,” said Lesnar. “And It becomes very evident on the show. The cream rises to the top and the guys that are supposed to win, win. It was pretty well etched in stone.”
Dos Santos also commented on what it was like working with his team of fighters.
“It was a great experience working with all the guys,” said dos Santos. “They all had already pro MMA fights. None of them were debuters. All of them knew what they were doing, so it was good just to be able to pass on the experience and be able to work with them everyday.”
This was Lesnar’s first time coaching fighters and he brought the same staff of coaches with him that had turned him into a champion in such a relatively short period of time. He talked about his approach.
“I actually had one of my mentors with me, Marty Morgan,” said Lesnar. “I brought my own coaching staff there, Marty Morgan, Erik Paulson, Greg Nelson, Comprido, Luke Richardson. So I was surrounded with guys that have taken me to the top and hopefully… I really wanted everybody there to do well and I tried to, I just tried to influence them… You know, it really is a short bit of time that you’ve got these guys. You’ve really got to manager your time well with them. Five-and-a-half weeks is a short period of time and there’s a lot of fighting going on in that period, so if these guys bring bad habits to the table or they lack experience in one area, it’s pretty hard to… you gotta be pretty creative and to figure that out really fast.”
One of Junior dos Santos’ good friends and mentors is UFC heavyweight Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, who served as coach on The Ultimate Fighter season eight. Dos Santos said he looked to Nogueira for advice about doing the show.
“He [dos Santos] said that as soon as he heard he was going to be coaching on TUF, he called Nogueira,” explained dos Santos’ translator. “Nogueira gave him a few pointers on what he should expect and how to act, and he said to act like himself and the first week will be the most difficult but then he’d just get the hang of it and Junior felt that’s exactly what happened.”
Be sure to listen to the conference call audio above to hear everything Lesnar and dos Santos had to say about being coaches on The Ultimate Fighter season 13, and tune in Wednesday night to The Ultimate Fighter: Team Lesnar vs. Team dos Santos on Spike TV.