Five observations about TUF 18
Whenever the colors of the "Ultimate Fighter" franchise begin to bleed together a little bit the UFC gets to experimenting. Over the years we’ve seen the shake-ups: There was the live version. There was Kimbo Slice season, which produced the single most comical epiphany of all time ("The enemy is the inner me," realized the back-alley brawler). There was the invisible season (purportedly TUF 16, which nobody can confirm because nobody watched).
And there was the "comeback" season, which regurgitated the likes of Shonie Carter and Matt Serra back into existence.
This season -- the 18th -- is sort of being rolled out as an evolution. It’s the first time we’ve seen an elixir of women and men in the same house. That the women are part of the enterprise isn’t so much a movement for fistic equality as a long-overdue inevitability. And this was all made possible by current UFC champion Ronda Rousey, who made up for Dana White’s concerns regarding divisional depth by containing multitudes, star appeal and armbars...
With Bisping fight a no-go, UFC's Cung Le focused on 'TUF: China'
Cung Le really wanted a fight with Michael Bisping, but with the potential bout now a no-go, the UFC middleweight is hoping to focus his efforts on China.
More specifically, he's hoping a potential coaching gig on "The Ultimate Fighter: China," which MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) recently reported as likely, comes to fruition. Le, a longtime Sanshou kickboxer, believes a footprint in the country could be massive for the UFC...
UFC Brings The Ultimate Fighter to China in November as well as Live Events Starting in 2014
The Ultimate Fighting Championship announced on Thursday a new, multi-year partnership which will bring regular live UFC events to Asia, as well as a Chinese version of the UFC’s hit reality series The Ultimate Fighter.
Beginning in 2014, the UFC will stage a series of live events at both The Venetian Macao and Marina Bay Sands.
TUF China will be a 12-part series where the best Chinese mixed martial artists will live, train and compete with each other to win a six-figure contract with the UFC...
Cung Le favors 'TUF' coaching over fighting, but Bisping still on his radar
Cung Le said he's waiting to hear whether his next career move involves fighting or coaching. At the moment, he doesn't know which one it will be.
Le (9-2 MMA, 2-1 UFC), who his past November knocked out ex-champ Rich Franklin, said he still wants to fight Michael Bisping. And until recently, he was under the impression he would do so.
"Before [Bisping's] last fight, my camp was talking to (UFC matchmaker) Joe (Silva) about a potential matchup, and they said that if he wins, it looks good," Le told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). "Next thing I know, two or three days ago, I saw that Bisping was going to fight in October in England...
'The Ultimate Fighter: China' tryouts announced for July and August
A long-discussed Chinese version of "The Ultimate Fighter" is now a step closer to reality following the UFC's announcement of show tryouts that begin next month.
Officials are searching for featherweight, lightweight and welterweight hopefuls to try out for the show, which will air on the Chinese-language Liaoning TV. North American broadcast plans weren't announced.
Officials today posted the announcement on the UFC-China website...
Signal to Noise: TUF 17 Finale's best and worst
From the sensational bout between Miesha Tate and Cat Zingano to the overhyping of Uriah Hall to there was much to love and hate at the TUF 17 Finale at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday night.
It's time separate the winners from the losers, the good from the bad an the signal from the noise...
The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale weigh-in results
MAIN CARD (FX, 9 p.m. ET)
-Urijah Faber (136) vs. Scott Jorgensen (135.5)
-Kelvin Gastelum (186) vs. Uriah Hall (185) - "TUF 17" tournament final
-Miesha Tate (135.5) vs. Cat Zingano (136)
-Travis Browne (239) vs. Gabriel Gonzaga (261)
-Robert McDaniel (184.5) vs. Gilbert Smith (185)
PRELIMINARY CARD (FUEL TV, 7 p.m. ET)
-Kevin Casey (185) vs. Josh Samman (184.5)
-Luke Barnatt (185) vs. Collin Hart (184.5)
-Dylan Andrews (186) vs. Jimmy Quinlan (185)
-Clint Hester (185) vs. Bristol Marunde (185.5)
PRELIMINARY CARD (Facebook, 5:30 p.m. ET)
-Cole Miller (146) vs. Bart Palaszewski (145)
-Maximo Blanco (146)* vs. Sam Sicilia (146)
-Justin Lawrence (145) vs. Daniel Pineda (145)
* Blanco was 147 on his first attempt. He was given one hour to cut to the featherweight max and made weight on his second attempt.
The Ultimate Fighter 17 Episode 11 Recap: Semifinal Matchups Announced
Episode 11 of The Ultimate Fighter 17: Team Jones vs. Team Sonnen featured the last two quarterfinal bouts and the announcement of the semifinal matchups.
Having to face Uriah Hall in the quarterfinal round didn’t sit well with Team Jones’ Bubba McDaniel from the moment it was announced. Last week he was having trouble getting mentally prepared. In this week’s episode, McDaniel’s concerns turned to his physical state.
“I’ve fought three times in a short time period now and I feel completely drained. Like, I’m pretty much just wanting to be asleep, and then my back has been hurting again too around my kidney area,” said McDaniel...
Episode No. 10 recap: 'The Ultimate Fighter 17: Team Jones vs. Team Sonnen'
As episode No. 10 of "The Ultimate Fighter 17" opens, Team Jones' Robert "Bubba" McDaniel admits he's not thrilled about the way the quarterfinal matchups were made and that Team Sonnen's Uriah Hall is basically in his head.
Team Sonnen's Kelvin Gastelum, meanwhile, thinks his opponents ares till underestimating his skills. He's paired up with Team Jones' Collin Hart, who's known as a jiu-jitsu specialist. Hart admits he wasn't satisfied with his opening-round win over Kevin Casey and wants to instead throw his hands and be exciting. Chael Sonnen seems to believe that would be fantastic, as he sees Kelvin as a brawler – not the wrestler most seem to believe...
'The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 2' cast unveiled with 28 welterweights
The 28 welterweights competing in the second edition of "The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil" have been revealed.
"TUF: Brazil 2," which features UFC heavyweights Antonio Rodrigo Noueira and Fabricio Werdum as coaches, debuts March 17 in Brazil on Globo. U.S. broadcast plans have yet to be announced, but the series is expected to be available in North American as an online stream...
The Ultimate Fighter 17 Episode 7 Recap: Styles Make Fights
Josh Samman scored a knockout win of Tor Troeng in last week’s episode, but injured his leg in the victory. He woke up the following morning in “severe” pain.
Samman pulled a quad muscle during tryouts for a previous season of The Ultimate Fighter and formed a blood clot in his leg that required an extensive surgery to correct. He was worried history was repeating itself.
He was taken to the hospital for observation and tests. After an ultrasound, it was determined that he did not have a blood clot...
The Ultimate Fighter 17 Episode 6 Recap: Bowling, Bets and Wild Card Talk
In last week’s episode, Team Sonnen’s Kelvin Gastelum upset Team Jones’ Bubba McDanial, giving Team Sonnen match making control.
Following the loss, the wild card scenario began being discussed. McDaniel, a training partner of Jones’ outside of the show, is a front runner for one of the wild card slots that will give him a rebirth back in to the tournament.
“Bubba lost his fight, but he’s completely healthy. He has very little damage. I think Bubba’s definitely a candidate for the wild card,” said Coach Jon Jones...
The Ultimate Fighter 17 Episode 5 Recap: Reversals, Sweeps and a Submission Finish
In last week’s episode of The Ultimate Fighter: Team Jones vs. Team Sonnen, Team Jones got their first win of the season and gained matchmaking control. Coach Jon Jones picked the most seasoned fighter in the house, Bubba McDaniel, to take on the youngest contestant in The Ultimate Fighter history, 21-year old Kelvin Gastelum.
“My strategy leading into this fight is to utilize Bubba’s experience and just overall game. We believe we’re going to win this fight everywhere against Kelvin,” said Jones. “We called out Kelvin because we thought he was the weakest link and the smartest decision for our team.”
“Me being the youngest guy, I’m probably the one with the least experience in the house. People probably underestimate me, and that’s fine with me. I know how tough I am, and I know how good I am, and I know what I can do. I’m not really worried about what other people are thinking,” said Gastelum...
TUF 17 TV Ratings Dip Slightly, but Remain Strong Two Weeks into the Season
The Ultimate Fighter: Team Jones vs. Team Sonnen opened to the series’ strongest ratings ever since making the move to FX last January.
The third season on FX opened to 1.51 million viewers.
But what is the show’s staying power on a new night and timeslot – Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET – and a revamped production style that has more of a documentary type feel than the shock value of season’s past?
We’re only two episodes into the TUF 17 season, but the early returns are good. The second week of the series held strong at 1.3 million viewers in the follow-up to last week’s two-hour season premier...
TUF 17 Recap, Week 2: Disagreement, Dissension, and Control
Shortly after Coach Jon Jones made the first match-up of the season, dissension spread throughout his team.
After teams were selected in the debut episode, members of Team Jones submitted a list of when they wanted to fight and whom they wanted to face. The list was presented to the coaching staff, but Coach Jones had other plans.
Jones selected Gilbert Smith to face Team Sonnen’s Luke Barnatt. Barnatt has a sizable height and reach advantage over Smith, and the decision didn’t sit well with members of the team...
Early returns indicate Ultimate Fighter move made a big difference
The move of Ultimate Fighter to Tuesday night, with bigger name coaches in Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen, led to a significant increase in viewership.
The two-hour debut episode, which showed the fights to get into the house, did 1.51 million viewers based on the fast nationals. That would be significantly ahead of any episode of the show since moving to FX, but still below the levels the show generally did in its previous incarnation on Spike. The final daily numbers were not yet available at press time due to delays caused by a Monday holiday.
If those numbers hold up, it would be 59 percent ahead of the 947,000 viewers for the open of season 16. That season finished averaging 796,000 viewers, barely half of what the first episode of season 17 did...
TUF 17 Recap, Week 1: A New Take Rejuvenates Ultimate Fighter Team Jones vs. Team Sonnen
The Ultimate Fighter returned on Tuesday night with a two-hour premier, narrowing the 28 welterweight hopefuls down to the 14 fighters that fought their way into the house.
The essence of the series is primarily the same as past seasons. There are 28 fighters trying to win a spot in The Ultimate Fighter house via a series of elimination bouts in the opening episode. The winner goes in the house; the loser goes home.
The series will see the 14 competitors fight their way through a series of tournament bouts, while shacked up in close quarters for six weeks...