Current TUF cast member, Mike Dolce, had some strong words on the production of The Ultimate Fighter in his latest blog entry at MMAWeekly.com.
Personally, I knew something was seriously wrong with this production when, as a sequestered, professional athlete in the midst of a major sporting event, I could not obtain a free range chicken breast for almost 48 hours of repeated requests, but a bottle of tequila, a half rack of beer and a funnel could be delivered in twenty minutes at any time of day or night with a single belligerent phone call. All under the guise of trying to determine just who was The Ultimate Fighter…the epitome of professional athletics.
Is Spike TV, The Ultimate Fighter, the UFC or our rapidly growing fan-base really interested in finding the next great representative that can cause the most destruction to a rented home while getting drunk, pissing his pants and sacrificing his dignity?
I don’t think so.
What was once a ground-breaking format that introduced the world to the most exciting combat sport in history, has slowly degraded into a low-brow compilation of alcohol induced, frat boy antics that could serve to destroy the very concept it was intended to create.
Take the alcohol out of the house that is supposed to be filled with the next generation of professional athletes. Fine the athletes for any destruction of property or lewd conduct, or better yet, send them home. Force the athletes to treat the set, the production and the sport with the respect it deserves and then see who makes it through.
As a testament to that option, would you believe that some of the cast members showed up to the fights drunk? Some made it a point to get trashed just to go to the weigh-ins and fight-picks? Would you even believe that some of my fellow cast members showed up to team practices too drunk to participate in any meaningful capacity other than captivating the cameras with their slurred speech and bouts of random uselessness?
Believe it friends, because it happened, often!
There’s even more in the blog entry so check it out.
I can’t express enough how much more respect I have for Mike Dolce to come out and say this. Richie Hightower, from season six, said similar things on a radio show awhile back, describing how the producers of the show encourage everyone to drink and destroy the house.
Remember the backyard brawl between Marlon Sims and Noah Thomas from season five? Dana made it a point to give the fighters a speech about how fighting outside the cage makes the UFC and MMA look bad, but they aired it anyways.
Everytime Dana White gives us the high and mighty we don’t do freak shows act, I take issue with it.
First of all, that’s not true since they gave Sean Gannon a fight in the UFC after he beat Kimbo on YouTube.
Secondly, the main premise of his argument is how the the “freak show” makes the sport look bad. Well what exactly does forcing a bunch of young guys to be sequestered inside a house for six weeks with no outside contact, provide them alcohol, encourage them to drink like fish and destroy the house do for the image of the sport?
How the hell is using Kimbo Slice in your main event to get ratings any different than what they do with the TUF cast to get ratings?
Mike Dolce. Thank you. You just got a new fan.