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Justin Gaethje and Eddie Alvarez named newest TUF coaches

Justin Gaethje, right, in action against Luiz Firmino for the WSOF lightweight title fight at the Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York on Saturday, December 31, 2016. Gaethje won by doctor stoppage after the 3rd round when Firmino could not see out of his right eye. (AP Photo/Gregory Payan)
(AP Photo/Gregory Payan)

Justin Gaethje and Eddie Alvarez will be the coaches for “The Ultimate Fighter 26,” UFC president Dana White confirmed that to MMA Fighting’s Luke Thomas on Thursday. There has yet to be an announcement on when the show’s latest season will begin airing.

UFC confirmed in May that this season’s “The Ultimate Fighter” will introduce a women’s 125-pound flyweight division.

Alvarez is a former UFC lightweight champion and two-time Bellator MMA lightweight champion. He still remains the only fighter to win championships in both UFC and Bellator MMA. Alvarez locked up the UFC’s lightweight championship with a win over  Rafael dos Anjos at UFC Fight Night 90 in July 2016, but lost the belt after suffering a TKO defeat to Conor McGregor at UFC 205 in November at Madison’s Square Garden. McGregor was also the UFC featherweight champion at the time.

Alvarez’s last fight was against Dustin Poirier at UFC 211 in May, but the fight was ruled no contest following a controversial finish. The two were expected to sign on for an immediate rematch, but that’s no longer the case. Poirier had some thoughts about Alvarez facing off against Gaethje at the end of this season’s show.

Gaethje is currently fighting in UFC’s lightweight division and is coming off a TKO win in his debut against Michael Johnson at TUF 25 Finale earlier this month. The Safford, Ariz., native is a former World Series of Fighting lightweight champion. He has an 18-0 career mixed martial arts record and is ranked as the UFC’s No. 6 lightweight fighter.

Cody Garbrandt and T.J. Dillashaw were the coaches for the last season of “The Ultimate Fighter” as welterweight Jesse Taylor won, with Dhiego Lima as the runner-up.

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