Fixing the Ultimate Fighter

TUF logo

If I was put in charge of the Ultimate Fighter show here is the next two shows I would put in place, and rules I would place for the show.

1. No more coaches vs coaches- the Drama is not worth it- and it takes the emphasis off the fighters- watch season 1 and 2 vs Season 3 and 6 – Sometimes it works – such as season 7 (Rampage and Forrest) but for the most part it bores me.

2. Use the coaches for fighters that WANT TO COACH- witness Ken Shamrock or Forrest’s teams- one didn’t want to coach- didn’t care about coaching and it showed- the other didn;t want to coach, but did his best.

3. Make sure you get fighters that are going to STAY in the weight class- sometimes they can;t help it (Kenny Florian in TUF-1 obvious example) but sometimes they pop up a class just to get on the show (Rashad Evans – last HWY fight was the TUF2 Finale)

4. GET BETTER FIGHTERS- look at some of the ones that have done well- they were unknown- but some had CHAMPIONSHIPS- heck the WEC lost most of its champions to the show (before they were bought) King of the Cage- etc they all lost top-level fighters for this show- compare to Mac Danzig, who I first saw on a Youtube’s best KO’s clips show- he was the one getting KTFO! Mac WALKED through the show.

5. Once you lose, you GO HOME- concentrate on the GOOD fighters- if you want to bring them back later on, like in season 3

So- how to FIX the show? Or at least bring it back to its roots?

First Lets look at the weight classes that have been showcased on the show.

Heavyweight Season 2 ONLYRashad Evans

Light Heavyweight season 1,3 and 8

Welterweight season 2,4,6 and 9

Middleweight season 1,3,4 and 7

Lightweight season 5,8,9

Season 10.

I would go with one weight class only- I think that works better on the show’s format.

Here is the change for this season.

We have 8 fighters from ONE GYM and 8 fighters from another gym – coaches have brought fighters they were training with – season 2 being a perfect example, Rich Franklin with Jorge Gurgel and Mike Whitehead with Matt Hughes

Pick 2.TUF 21 Logo

Royce Gracie Brazilian Jiu-jitsu

Team Quest

American Top Team

Miletich Fighting Systems


Invite the head of those schools to bring 2 trainers and 8 students- I would prefer Heavy, but if pressed I would take Middleweights- as they are the second longest without a show.


1. The Schools will make sure they don;t send scrubs- this will answer once and for all who has the dominate school (the Gracies would LOVE this- that’s why we have the UFC to begin with)

2. Sets up following shows, if Gracie beats ATT- you can bet Team Quest wants a crack at them.

3. Guest coaches GALORE- Randy might even come back and coach!

4. Say goodbye to the stupidity that has dragged down the last few shows- can you imagine representing Team Punishment and showing up hungover for a practice?


1. No matter how good they may seem a few people will show up that don’t belong (Mike Whitehead, Serra’s boy in season 6) But I would place my money that by and large Pat Miletich shows up with 8 guys that won’t have to struggle to make weight.

2. The fighters & coaches may want to make this an infomercial for the camps- I would trust the editing and the fact that the UFC started OUT as an infomercial to limit this.

3. Say its Quest vs ATT- and Quest wins 6 of the 8 first round matches, no way they trade 2 fighters to the other team. This is the only “problem” I can see here- but I’m sure that members of a school fight each other in a regular basis anyway- and teammate vs teammate has happened on each show so far.


Season 11

Here is the fun one.

32 fighters- 265+cabbage vs tank

What’s that? there is not 265 and up weight division in the UFC? There is now. What better way to push this division than with the show?

32 fighters, 16 make the show- the UFC can have several coaches come and go here- Kind of like season 4, but instead of these being mid-card fighters looking for a job, they are simply the big men- who may or may not be able to compete at 255 (I would cut this number to 245 or 250 for that class)

Akhmet Sultanov, Eric Pele, Antonio “Big Foot” Silva,Jonathan Wiezorek are some of the fighters that could VERY easily headline the house, along with some unknowns- true not like Dana could get the top 32 to show up- but maybe give some like the ones I mentioned above “byes” into the house with the rest fighting to get on.


1. Some people LIKE the big fellas- we MISS Cabbage! having two guys that weigh as much as I did back in elementary school sprawl for 15 minutes is fun and exciting- but sometimes we want to see two guys like Monsoon and Cain stand back and throw punches that shake the cage when they hit the padding- drop elbows that dent the floor!

2. With the UFC having almost monthly PPVs- another title could give something else to build around, You have a Lightweight champion {BJ Penn} that can sell PPVs that hasn’t defended his title in 10 months (and counting- and if he waits for UFC 101 it will be 15 months), a MW champ {Anderson} that can sell fights, a WW champ {GSP} that is simply too good to be threatened enough, but is not as bankable as he should be, a Light Heavyweight championship {Forrest} that is on its 3rd title holder in the past 12 months- soon to be 4 in my personal opinion, and even if Rashad wins- the title holder will not be bankable either, and who KNOWS what will happen in the heavies, if Mir wins- does he keep up the schedule? If Brock wins- does he become Anderson Silva with a VERY thin division?

Bottom line is this- Titles sell fights- would you care about a Mauricio Rua vs Rich Franklin fight in November? If the Winner got the next crack at Rampage how about then? How much higher would the PPV buys had been if Rampage was defending vs Jardine.

Randy Couture vs Nog – Title or Non-Title? With Randy it don’t matter- but Nog vs Gonzaga, Herring, Monsoon or even Silvia if he comes back NEEDS a title to headline a PPV. Sorry, love the guy- but he’s not going to sell a PPV over 100K buys without a STRONG undercard.

Rich Franklin vs. Dan Henderson at UFC 93 was a great matchup- had the Middleweight title been on the line how many PPV buys would that have earned the UFC?

Submitted 5/19/2009

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