TUF 17: A Franchise Reborn?

Through four weeks, I’ve found myself a much more interested observer of The Ultimate Fighter than in recent years.

Yes, the idea of a live fight each Friday night was cool to start, but that quickly faded. I felt those episodes lacked a lot of background story, and when you already don’t know much about the fighters competing, the background story is of much importance.

Maybe it’s just the idea that Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen are serving as head coaches and a blowup could happen at any moment? Maybe it’s that pre-hyped KO from Uriah Hall that devastated Adam Cella? I don’t know what it is, but I feel like watching TUF each week.

On my DVR, Tuesdays are not a very busy night. There’s some sporting events on every once in a while, but as far as “regular” shows, TUF is the only thing saved. Right there, as far as I am concerned, moving the program to Tuesday evenings was a perfect decision by the UFC, FOX and whoever else had a hand in it.

Second, the talent on this season – as UFC president Dana White has stated several times – appears to be at its best in years. As MMA continues to grow, more and more fighters are going to be looking to sign deals with the UFC. Not every single talented athlete can do that, but if they go on TUF, perform well, and maybe even capture the title, they can become a star.

Hall has it. Bubba McDaniel appears to have it, as well. Kevin Casey, despite his recent loss, seems poised for a potential career inside the Octagon.

Luke Barnatt will be a big-time star, especially with the continuing expansion in the United Kingdom. Zak Cummings is a veteran, and I’m very interested in seeing how Clint Hester, Josh Samman and Tor Troeng fare down the road.

One other added idea that played well was the decision to bring in family members and friends for the elimination fights. It showed how much this meant to each fighter, and gave the two-hour episode more of a “real” card atmosphere.

So, is The Ultimate Fighter back to producing champions such as Forrest Griffin and Rashad Evans, along with contenders like Michael Bisping, John Dodson, Roy Nelson and Nate Diaz?

Only time will tell.

  • MMAJedi

    becker ……. tues night line up for you – TUF,Tosh.0, The Daily Show

    get it done !

    • Dana Becker

      No thanks! Enjoyed Tosh and his stand-up BEFORE he became a pompous, know-it-all jackasses. Now, he’s just annoying and avoided! And The Daily Show, major no thank you.

  • Aaron_johnson425

    Nope. Bringing in somebody’s girlfriend to watch him get wrecked inside a cage does nothing for me. You talk about fighters wanting to do well on TUF and get signed to the UFC like its something new this season. It’s not. The show is still retarded. It’s just slightly less stale.

  • http://twitter.com/MortenKaae Morten Kaae

    Im not sure what Bubba McDaniels has, So far all hes done is talk a big game and call out guys who are 2-3 heads shorter than him or a lot less experienced. He actually reminds me a lot of Cole Miller. Uriah Hall on the other hands, seems extremly polite and willing to take on all comers. I think he has a good shot at making it far in the UFC

Follow MMAConvert

Fight Cards

UFC on FOX 12: Lawler vs. Brown

Event Date: July 26, 2014
Broadcast: Fox, Fox Sports 1

UFC Fight Night 47: Bader vs. St. Preux

Event Date: August 16, 2014
Broadcast: Fox Sports 1

UFC Fight Night 48: Bisping vs. Le

Event Date: August 23, 2014
Broadcast: UFC Fight Pass

UFC Fight Night 49: Henderson vs. Dos Anjos

Event Date: August 23, 2014
Broadcast: Fox Sports 1

UFC 177: Dillashaw vs. Barao II

Event Date: August 30, 2014
Broadcast: Pay-per-view, Fox Sports 1, UFC Fight Pass

Bellator 123: Curran vs. Pitbull 2

Event Date: September 5, 2014
Broadcast: Spike TV