A Brief Reflection on 15 Years of the UFC
by Jordan Breen (firstname.lastname@example.org)
"Hello ladies and gentlemen. You are about to see something you have never seen before ... the Ultimate Fighting Challenge."
Uttered 15 years ago to this day, the introduction for the promotion that would bring mixed martial arts to the masses wasn't even competent, let alone stirring. More like taking forceps to the eyeball during delivery.
"Hello, I'm Bill Wallace, and welcome to McNichols Ar ... "
The birth moment went from awkwardly inept to outright ignominious as the man dubbed "Superfoot" quite literally belched through the foreword to fighting history. This was not "Call me Ishmael." More like dropping the newborn skull-first on the floor.
A difficult delivery, fortunately, didn't have any bearing on the spectacle of the evening's proceedings. With a thunderous kick to the face in less than 30 seconds, Gerard Gordeau liberated the teeth of hapless sumo Teila Tuli, freeing them to explore the thin Denver air. And that was just a prelude to the skinny Brazilian fellow in his pajamas.
Yes, every ardent MMA fan, whether they were watching live on pay-per-view from day one thanks to a Black Belt magazine subscription or whether they became smitten with the sport one Saturday night on Spike TV, can appreciate the milestone, the magic and the mockability of the first Ultimate Fighting Championship. By now, it is nothing short of cultural fact that Royce Gracie revolutionized fightsport with his early UFC dominance and fully held up his end of the bargain to his big brother Rorion in what began as an infomercial for Gracie jiu-jitsu. Today, the magnitude of that moment is a mandate to the point where it becomes almost drained and dull.
Dana White Not Happy With New TUF Format
In an article for The Sun, Dana White expressed his displeasure with the next season of TUF.
I said from day one I hate the UK v USA idea.
It's dumb, I don't like it — it's not USA v the UK, we're looking for the best fighter in the world.
We put on a card one time, the USA v Canada, it was f***ing retarded.
I don't care if you're from the UK, Croatia or Brazil because at the end of the day, when Michael Bisping comes to America — Americans don't boo him.
When GSP comes down and fights in the US more people cheer for him than the guy who's from America!
When Tim Sylvia from the United States fought Antonio Nogueira from Brazil, everybody booed Sylvia on the way in and cheered for Nogueira. The reason is because in this sport it's not country versus country.
You either like the guy's fighting style or personality — nationality has nothing to do with it.
That's the way it used to be with boxing, with the exception of Ricky Hatton because everybody hates Floyd Mayweather!
But with the exception of that, you never saw guys from one country cheering a guy from a different country.
That's what's changing in what we're doing.
We're looking for the best fighters in the world — this country versus that country is irrelevant."
"The Ultimate Fighter 8" ratings improve; Junie Browning to thank?
This past Wednesday's episode of "The Ultimate Fighter: Team Nogueira vs. Team Mir," which featured controversial cast member Junie Browning's quarterfinal fight with Roli Delgado, scored 1.7 million viewers, an increase of nine percent from the season's first five episodes.
Additionally, the Oct. 22 episode had an audience 35 percent larger than the season low of 1.1 million that tuned in for the third episode of the reality series on Oct. 1.
Spike TV today sent the ratings information to MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) via email.
With the recent ratings revival, in doubt aided by the antics of Browning, the eighth season of the show is now averaging 1.6 million weekly viewers. The seventh season of the show ("The Ultimate Fighter: Team Rampage vs. Team Forrest"), which aired earlier this year, averaged 1.3 million viewers for its 11 regular-season episodes.
The only basic cable stations that beat Spike TV and "TUF" this week were Comedy Central (with "South Park" and "Chocolate News") and FX ("Son of Anarchy").
Wednesday's episode of "TUF" peaked with 1.9 million viewers for the Browning-Delgado fight, which took place in the final quarter hour of the show. Browning, whose drunken rampages and confrontations with other cast members have resulted in ratings jumps over the past few weeks, recently told MMAjunkie.com that his actions were the result of being locked in the "TUF" house.
"You're in Vegas, and you can't go anywhere or do anything, so you let loose a little crazier than I normally would." Browning said. "I don't necessarily act like that at home. I can go out to a bar and drink, but I don't mess with people or anything. Once you're in the house, it's almost like being in high school again. You're around a bunch of young guys, we're all crazy and drinking, and I don't like being messed with at all."
New Rashad Evans Interview!
Rashad Evans ‘Almost Undisputed’
#1 UFC Lightheavyweight Contender ‘Sugar’ Rashad Evans took some time to talk with PDG about his victory over the ‘Iceman’, training for his title shot against Forrest Griffin, his mixed martial arts career and ‘Devil May Cry’.
PDG: Another big UFC fight in your division that is coming up is Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson vs. ‘The Axe Murderer’ Wanderlei Silva version 3.0; what do you think of that match-up and possibly facing the winner of that fight sometime down the road? Evans: I think it's great and I would love to be in a position to fight the winner of that match. It would be an honor in itself to fight either one of those two guys since I've been a fan of both of them for a very long time. ‘Rampage’ nearly got killed though the last time that he fought Wanderlei, Wanderlei could have got arrested for what he did to him in their last fight [laughs]. But in all seriousness if ‘Rampage’ goes into the fight like a quarterback who had a really bad game the last time he faced that opponent and has a short memory. Then just like the quarterback who bounces back and has a great game, so can ‘Rampage’. It is going to be tough though because of the blows that he was dealt in their last fight. Sometimes a fighter just has your number and if Wanderlei stays true to him self....
Escudero turns wrestling into MMA/UFC career
Efrain Escudero grew up in Somerton, Ariz., wanting to fight. Now the Grand Canyon University wrestler is doing it professionally.
Escudero, who is still attending the Christian university, was selected by Ultimate Fighting Championships for "The Ultimate Fighter," a Mixed Martial Arts reality show based in Las Vegas.
TUF 8 debuts number one in timeslot; UFN 15 beats ESPN and ESPN2 combined in the ratings
UFN 15 served as a lead-in for the TUF premiere and aired live from 8-10 p.m. ET. Competing against ESPN’s telecast of Major League Baseball and ESPN2’s college football broadcast in the same time slot, UFN 15 outdrew both shows combined in the coveted young male demo.
To be exact, the Spike telecast drew 913,000 men 18-49 and 465,000 Men 18-34. By comparison, ESPN’s telecast of the Red Sox vs. Rays and ESPN2’s Louisville vs. Kansas St. college football game drew a combined 858,000 men 18-49 and 373,000 men 18-34.
Then, between 10-11 p.m. ET, TUF 8 debuted to a 1.2 household rating with an average audience of 1.6 million viewers. According to Spike, the show was number one in its timeslot on basic cable in the male 18-49 demographic, garnering a 1.5 rating. The premiere also drew a 1.5 rating in males 18-34.
Nate Diaz Ready for the Spotlight
On September 17th “The Ultimate Fighter” season five winner Nathan Diaz will face his toughest opponent in Josh Neer. The fight will be the main event on a card that also boasts a fight between season six winner, Mac Danzig, and Clay Guida. “It’s great that this fight will be the main event. It’s good to get the exposure. I don’t want to let my team down so my thing is to go out and get it done,” Diaz recently told GracieFighter.
Sometimes the limelight is too much for certain fighters, but Diaz is ready to go out and get the job done. When we last spoke with Diaz, he admitted that it was the hard work that he put into training that helped him defeat Kurt Pelligrino at UFC Fight Night 13.
ULTIMATE FIGHTER'S HUTCHERSON TO FACE CROW
Sometimes it can be a good thing to fall through the cracks.
After his experience on the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s third season of “The Ultimate Fighter” television series ended with a loss to Luigi Fioravanti on the series finale in 2006, Solomon Hutcherson faded from the limelight.
Surfacing a year later in smaller shows, Hutcherson has been allowed the opportunity to sharpen his skills and become a true MMA veteran in the process without the pressures of performing on a Pay-Per-View stage.
Spike TV Releases 'TUF 8' Cast
Spike TV executives on Monday made public the cast for season eight of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series, set to premiere on Sept. 17 at 10 p.m. EST. The show served as a launching pad for current UFC stars Forrest Griffin (Pictures), Kenny Florian (Pictures) and Michael Bisping (Pictures), among others.
Former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir (Pictures) and reigning interim heavyweight titleholder Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (Pictures) will coach hopefuls on the eighth season, which will feature fighters from the lightweight and light heavyweight divisions. Mir will then challenge Nogueira for the interim belt at a pay-per-view event in December.
The 32-member cast includes Shane Nelson (Pictures) -- a 24-year-old B.J. Penn (Pictures) protégé who will enter the competition on a five-fight winning streak -- and John Polakowski (Pictures), 26, a World Extreme Cagefighting veteran who trains alongside former UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell (Pictures) at The Pit in San Luis Obispo, Calif. They are among the 16 lightweights who will vie for the UFC contract.
Efrain Escudero and Brandon Garner are among other notables who made the lightweight cut. Escudero, an unbeaten Rage in the Cage mainstay, has secured his last nine wins by submission. Garner, meanwhile, remains the only man to submit UFC veteran Jason Dent (Pictures).
Undefeated UFC light heavyweight contender Rashad Evans (Pictures), himself a product of “The Ultimate Fighter,” will have a rooting interest in the eighth installment of the reality series. His brother, Lance Evans (Pictures), will compete as a light heavyweight on the show.
Other notables who made the light heavyweight cut include Ryan Bader (Pictures), a former All-American wrestler at Arizona State University, rising Canadian prospect Ryan Jimmo (Pictures) and Jason Guida (Pictures) -- the 30-year-old brother of UFC lightweight contender Clay Guida (Pictures). International Fight League veteran Krzysztof Soszynski (Pictures) and American Top Team product Tom Lawlor are also in the mix at 205 pounds, along with Team Quest’s Vinicius Magalhaes (Pictures), a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt under Royler Gracie (Pictures).
As with last season, preliminary bouts will be held during the first two episodes to pair down the field from 32 to 16. The two finalists in each weight class will meet in “The Ultimate Fighter 8” Live Finale on Dec. 13 in Las Vegas live on Spike TV.
Dana White Goes Deep About The Ultimate Fighter
Three years ago, Forrest Griffin fought Stephan Bonnar in what is widely regarded as the most significant fight in mixed martial arts history. On Saturday night, Griffin was part of another significant fight, wresting the UFC light heavyweight championship away from Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.
It won’t shift the course of the sport the way that the inaugural Ultimate Fighter Finale did, but Griffin’s title win does shine a glaring spotlight on the impact of the reality series.
Following Griffin’s title winning performance on Saturday night, Ultimate Fighting Championship president Dana White held court and went deep into the tectonic shift The Ultimate Fighter has had on what is now the fastest growing sport in the world.
“It is one of the biggest things that’s ever happened to mixed martial arts,” he stated. “The people that are on the inside know. Young, up-and-coming talent can’t wait to get on that show. And the talent that’s coming out of that show… if you look at half the guys that are on our cards, they’re coming from this show.”
Not only does the show sling talent into the Octagon, White says it puts the development of that talent on fast forward. “The fact of the matter is, the guys that are on the show are on a certain level, and when they come off they’re at a whole other level.”
Forrest Griffin is White’s quintessential example.
“This whole week I’ve been telling everybody this guy is the American Dream. He was going to quit mixed martial arts. He was going to do the white picket fence, become the cop in Georgia. He didn’t fly out like he was supposed to. We had to get on the phone and talk him in. All the things that happened, he gets cut in that fight against (Alex) Schoenauer. He wins the fight easily, but gets cut bad,” White recounted.
“If we didn’t have Dr. (Gregory) Shu – the guy we used to stitch guys up – Forrest Griffin would have never fought that fight. So if it wasn’t for him, Forrest would have never fought Stephan Bonnar in the finale. And I swear to God, I don’t know if we’d be sitting here talking right now if that fight didn’t happen.”
White Says UFC 86 Paves The Way For 205 Future
“The (light heavyweight division) is so stacked right now. What's going to happen in the light heavyweight division is going to depend on what happens Saturday night,” stated Ultimate Fighting Championship president Dana White on Thursday. “Obviously if Forrest Griffin wins the title, there's a ton of different things that could happen. If Rampage Jackson wins it, there's a ton of different things that could happen.
Is Joe Duarte “The Next Anderson Silva”?
[Dana White] said he’s found “the next Anderson Silva,” a lightweight who is competing in Season 8 of TUF at 155 pounds, though he declined to release the fighter’s name because it might spoil the season. “I was going off when I saw this guy,” White said. “He’s 24 and he’s destroying people. It’s sick how bad ass he is. I’m getting goose bumps talking to you about him.”
Sin City Sentinel: Burnett Sues ‘TUF'
Mikey Burnett, one of the original Lion's Den members, has filed suit in Clark County District Court against TufGuy Productions, Inc. d/b/a Ultimate Fighting Productions, Inc., the company that produces "The Ultimate Fighter" for Spike TV, as well as American International Group, Inc., an accident and health insurance company associated with the TV show.
I know this should probably be filed under rediculous
This guy is a waste of space..
Dana White Makes The Case For Jesse Taylor
The UFC’s decision to include the newly-mature Jesse Taylor on their July 19 Fight Night has taken some heat lately. That’s because taking the moral high ground only works if you stick to it even when you desperately need to throw together a show designed to screw with your competitors. But Dana White is doing his best to make the decision to bring Taylor back into the UFC sound like a reasonable one. He’s also trying to battle the perception that the UFC encouraged the fighters to destroy the house and generally act the fool for the cameras.
Ultimate Fighter Finale Scores Huge With Young Males
The Ultimate Fighting Championship® on Spike TV proved yet again to be a knockout hit in reaching the elusive young male viewer as the live finale of the seventh season of “The Ultimate Fighter” delivered more men 18-34 (645,000) and 18-49 (1,057,000) than anything on television (broadcast or cable) in its timeslot on Saturday, June 21 (9:00pm-12:15am).
Overall, “The Ultimate Fighter 7? finale earned a 1.4 household rating, a 1.9 in Men 18-49, a 1.4 in Persons 18-49, a 2.3 in Men 18-34, and an average audience of 2.0 million viewers.