Last modified on 29 July 2014, at 04:09

The Ultimate Fighter

The Ultimate Fighter
The Ultimate Fighter Logo.jpg
Format Reality, Sports
Created by Craig Piligian, Frank Fertitta III, Lorenzo Fertitta, Dana White
Starring Dana White, UFC Roster
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 150+ (including 18 live Ultimate Finales)
Production
Executive producer(s) Craig Piligian
Running time 60 minutes
Production company(s) Pilgrim Films & Television
Broadcast
Original channel Spike TV (2005–2011)
FX (2012-2013)
Fox Sports 1 (2013-present)
UFC Fight Pass (2014-present)
Original run January 17, 2005 – Present

The Ultimate Fighter is an American reality television series and mixed martial arts (MMA) competition produced by Fox Sports 1 and the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).[1] It previously aired for fourteen seasons on Spike TV. The show features professional MMA fighters living together in Las Vegas, Nevada, and follows them as they train and compete against each other for a prized contract with the UFC. The series debuted on January 17, 2005, with its first episode, "The Quest Begins". To date, there have been seventeen seasons of the show, two per calendar year. Each season features either one or two weight classes in the tournament.

The historic Forrest Griffin vs. Stephan Bonnar fight in the first season drew millions of viewers to the show and launched the sport into the mainstream. Because of this success, The Ultimate Fighter was regarded as instrumental to the survival and expansion of the UFC and mixed martial arts into the mainstream. Many current and past UFC fighters are alumni of the show, with some competitors going on to become coaches in future seasons. The show has undergone multiple format changes since its inception, including the introduction of the wildcard bout. Many winners have gone on to compete for UFC championships with some becoming UFC champions.

HistoryEdit

Dana White, the UFC president, oversees each season

The Ultimate Fighter was originally an experimental series financed by the owners of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta III. The series was aired on Spike TV as a last resort measure to gain mainstream exposure for mixed martial arts (MMA).[2]

During the early days of Spike TV, the channel wanted sports programming, but had no budget for sports licensing fees. Spike TV founder Albie Hecht began a search to find programming with broad appeal that the network could afford. In the end it Spike narrowed its choices down to the UFC and K-1. Hecht flew to Japan to meet with the head of K-1, but insulted his geisha, so the meeting did not go well. Weeks later, Hecht met with Lorenzo Fertitta in Las Vegas. Hecht was impressed by the UFC's celebrity following, its plan to acquire and consolidate smaller promotions into the UFC, and with Dana White's ability to be a "Vince McMahon"-like personality.[3]

Hecht saw K-1 as a safer bet, given it had more international notoriety. He was also not a fan of the grappling aspects of MMA, but the UFC rebuffed his suggestion to change the rules of the sport to accommodate striking. Hecht credits Kevin Kay and his editorial collaboration with the UFC for highlighting the show's story lines, which he believes helped drive its ratings success.[3]

Airing after World Wrestling Entertainment's flagship show WWE Raw, The Ultimate Fighter's debut episode was able to garner a 57% retention rate in viewers from RAW, which was double the usual rate for Spike TV.[4] It is believed by some[who?] that WWE's Vince McMahon had to approve The Ultimate Fighter following RAW, but this is incorrect. According to Hecht, McMahon did not have the final say, but given his stature and RAW's' importance to Spike TV at the time, the network wanted McMahon to "be on board" with the program lineup. At the time Hecht believes the WWE did not see the UFC as a challenge.[3]

The live finale for the first season saw the historic bout of Forrest Griffin vs. Stephan Bonnar. Now widely regarded as the most influential fight in MMA history,[5] the bout took place in what was the first ever MMA event on live and free television.[5] The bout ended in a unanimous decision victory for Griffin and led to the show's renewal on Spike TV.[2] Regarding the success of the show, UFC president Dana White said, "It's amazing to think.... how close we came to not being here today. If it weren't for what these guys did, I don't know if there would even be a UFC. I'll never forget these guys. Ever."[2]

The renewal of the show saw UFC produce two more series, before subsequent renewals. In order to garner more attention for the sport, The Ultimate Fighter utilizes gimmicks: one notable example, in the ninth season, employed a country vs. country theme, with the United States competing against the United Kingdom. These gimmicks enabled the UFC to appeal to fans that had been recently introduced to the sport during UFCs penetration into the European market.[6] The Ultimate Fighter also drew record viewing figures for Spike TV when YouTube sensation Kimbo Slice participated in the tenth season. Slice's fight against veteran Roy Nelson attracted viewers to the sport, drawing an audience of 6.1 million, making it one of the most viewed MMA fights in history.[7]

As part of a new broadcasting relationship between the UFC and Fox Sports, The Ultimate Fighter moved to FX beginning in season 15.[1] Season 14 was the final season of the series to air on Spike, who considered the relationship to be "incredibly beneficial in building both our brands.”[8] In September 2013, the series moved to Fox's new mainstream sports network Fox Sports 1.[9]

Selection processEdit

Seasons 1–4Edit

The Ultimate Fighter uses an elimination tournament format, as highlighted by the series ten bracket.

For the first four seasons, prospect UFC fighters from two different weight categories were selected to compete. The fighters are divided into two teams,[10] irrespective of weight class, with each team coached by a current UFC headliner. The teams then compete (in a manner which varies by season) with the loser being eliminated from the competition. Often, incentives are provided for the team of a winning fighter. This can include the right for their team to select the next matchup, in order to pick off fighters from the opposing team by selecting favourable matchups.[11]

At the end of a season, the two remaining fighters of each weight class are placed in a single-elimination fight at Ultimate Fighter Finales, such as The Ultimate Fighter 1 Finale where the title of Ultimate Fighter is awarded to the winner.[12] Seasons five to seven and ten to twelve have featured fighters from just one weight class each, with the other seasons focusing on two weight classes.

The show features the daily preparations each fighter makes to train for competition at the UFC training center,[10] and the interactions they have with each other living under the same roof. Day-to-day events on the show are overseen by UFC president Dana White.[13]

With the exception of the season finales, fights on The Ultimate Fighter are sanctioned by the Nevada Athletic Commission as exhibition matches and do not count for or against a fighter's professional record.[14] This is done to keep the results from going public before the air date. However, going into the semi-final stage of each series, fights are scheduled for the full professional three rounds, as opposed to two rounds (with the possibility of a sudden victory round) for all stages prior.[15] Though officially exhibition fights, the UFC chooses to record the results of semi-final matchups. For example, the seventh season winner Amir Sadollah has one more win on his UFC record[16] than on his official record[17] due to his victory in his season's semi-final round.

ChangesEdit

The first six seasons featured sixteen fighters, in either one or two weight categories.[18] The first two seasons, however, were very different from each following season. The original format for The Ultimate Fighter saw each team compete in challenges, such as hoisting their respective coach up on their shoulders and sprinting down a beach,[19] or a team tug-of-war.[20] These challenges resulted in eliminations of fighters who hadn't fought, until late in the season when the challenge incentive was to select the next fight where fighters would be eliminated, having lost the fight. In the first two seasons, fighters would also leave the house for good upon losing and this often resulted in odd numbers for teams, which forced the moving of fighters to opposing teams.[21]

Beginning in season four, fighters were no longer removed from the house after losing their fights and did not switch teams except in extraordinary cases, such as being kicked off a team by the head coach.[22] In the seventh season, instead of the usual sixteen fighters, thirty-two fighters participated. This new rule introduced a preliminary fight, in order to get into the house, which gave the coaches an early evaluation.[18][23]

The final change to date was the introduction of the "wild card" for seasons 11-13. In seasons 11 & 12, 28 fighters competed in the preliminary round, with the winning fourteen entering the house. A "wild card" bout would take place at the end of the "round-of-fourteen" featuring two of the losing fighters. The winner of the wild card bout would then be included in the quarterfinal round of eight fighters.[24] This format proved highly successful for middleweight fighter Kris McCray, who took part in season 11's wild card bout. Having lost his opening match in the house, he won the wild card bout to reach the quarter finals and went on to win his next two bouts, reaching the tournament final.[25] The wild card bout was instituted one last time in season 13, which only featured 14 fighters in the house & no preliminary fights.

Contract awardEdit

The winners of the first three seasons of The Ultimate Fighter competition, and certain runners-up depending on their performance in their competition finals, receive the touted "six-figure" contract to fight in the UFC. These contracts are specifically three-year contracts with a guaranteed first year.[26] Each year consists of three fights, the first year's purse per fight consists of $12,000 guaranteed with a $12,000 win bonus (a maximum of $24,000 per fight). The second year's purse per fight is $16,000 with a $16,000 win bonus (a maximum of $32,000 per fight) and the third year's purse per fight is at $22,000 with a $22,000 win bonus (a maximum of $44,000 per fight).[26]

A TUF winner who goes 9–0 can earn $300,000 total on the contract, but only $150,000 is guaranteed for all three years if nine fights are fought.[26] Some TUF competitors who did not win the series were also offered UFC contracts, although not on as attractive terms.[27]

Coaches involvementEdit

With the exception of seasons two, four, eleven and thirteen, fifteen, sixteen and the first season of TUF: Brazil the coaches fought each other after the conclusion of the show. Season two featured Rich Franklin and Matt Hughes, who were in different weight categories, eliminating the possibility for a post-season fight. The fourth season saw multiple guest coaches take the lead, differing from other seasons with two clearly designated coaches.[28] As such, these seasons did not feature their respective coaches in competition. Season eleven coaches Tito Ortiz and Chuck Liddell's fight was cancelled due to Ortiz's need for neck fusion surgery.[29] Season thirteen saw the fight between Brock Lesnar and Junior dos Santos cancelled after Lesnar was diagnosed with his second bout of diverticulitis.[30] 2012 saw the cancellation of a bout between season 15 coaches Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber, due to a torn ACL for Cruz.[31] In addition, the expected match between the TUF: Brazil coaches Vitor Belfort and Wanderlei Silva did not occur after Belfort sustained a broken hand while preparing for the fight.[32] Season 16 was supposed to feature a fight between coaches Roy Nelson and Shane Carwin, though this was also cancelled after Carwin suffered a knee injury.[33]

In addition to the seasons which did not feature post-season fights between the coaches, several seasons have been impacted, forcing postponements. Due to injuries to the season six coaches Matt Serra and Matt Hughes, their fight was postponed. Serra suffered a herniated disc in his lower back and Hughes later suffered a torn MCL before the fight finally took place at UFC 98.[34] The fight between season ten coaches Rashad Evans and Quinton Jackson took place at UFC 114 with Rashad Evans winning by unanimous decision.[35] The fight was postponed by five months due to Jackson's A-Team filming commitments and his temporary decision to retire from fighting.[36]

Though rarely taking place at the live finales, the coaches' fights are an important part of each season of The Ultimate Fighter. With each season effectively hyping the fight and the individuals for multiple weeks,[37] the fights are usually the focal point of the pay-per-view event in which they are featured. The coaches' fights have resulted in the following matchups and results:

Season Event Winner Loser Method Notes Source
1 UFC 52: Couture vs. Liddell 2 Chuck Liddell Randy Couture KO (punch) at 2:03 of round 1. Liddell won the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship [38][39]
3 UFC 61: Bitter Rivals Tito Ortiz Ken Shamrock TKO (punches) at 1:18 of round 1. Rematched just three months later[40] [41]
5 The Ultimate Fighter 5 Finale B.J. Penn Jens Pulver Submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:12 of round 2. [42]
6 UFC 98: Evans vs. Machida Matt Hughes Matt Serra Decision (unanimous) Heavily delayed – see above. [43]
7 UFC 86: Jackson vs. Griffin Forrest Griffin Quinton Jackson Decision (unanimous) Griffin won the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship [44]
8 UFC 92: The Ultimate 2008 Frank Mir Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira TKO (punches) at 1:54 of round 2. Mir won the Interim UFC Heavyweight Championship [45]
9 UFC 100 Dan Henderson Michael Bisping KO (punch) at 3:20 of round 2. [46]
10 UFC 114: Rampage vs. Evans Rashad Evans Quinton Jackson Decision (unanimous) Heavily delayed – see above [47]
11 UFC 115: Liddell vs. Franklin Rich Franklin Chuck Liddell KO (punch) at 4:55 of round 1. Franklin replaced Ortiz as head coach in the final episode; fought Liddell[48] [49]
12 UFC 124: St-Pierre vs. Koscheck 2 Georges St-Pierre Josh Koscheck Decision (unanimous) St-Pierre retained the UFC Welterweight Championship [50]
14 The Ultimate Fighter: Team Bisping vs. Team Miller Finale Michael Bisping Jason Miller TKO (knees to the body and punches) at 3:34 of round 3.
Smashes UFC on FX: Sotiropoulos vs. Pearson Ross Pearson George Sotiropoulos TKO (punches) at 0:41 of round 3.
17 UFC 159 Jon Jones Chael Sonnen TKO (punches and elbows) at 4:33 of round 1. Jones retained the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship
Brazil 2 UFC on Fuel TV: Nogueira vs. Werdum Fabricio Werdum Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira Submission (armbar) at 2:41 of round 2.
18 UFC 168 Ronda Rousey Miesha Tate Submission (armbar) at 0:58 of round 3. Rousey retained the UFC Women's Bantamweight Championship
Nations The Ultimate Fighter Nations Finale: Bisping vs. Kennedy Patrick Côté Kyle Noke Decision (unanimous)
19 The Ultimate Fighter 19 Finale Frankie Edgar B.J. Penn TKO (strikes) at 4:16 of round 3

Season synopsesEdit

Season 1-3

The first season of The Ultimate Fighter was the last attempt by the UFC to capture public interest in the sport. The Stephan Bonnar and Forrest Griffin bout saved the sport according to many journalists and Dana White. Griffin and Sanchez are also regarded as the original Ultimate Fighters, after their wins at the finale.[51]

The second season saw welterweights and heavyweights compete, featuring coaches Rich Franklin and Matt Hughes. The final saw Rashad Evans defeating Brad Imes and Joe Stevenson defeating Luke Cummo.[52]

The third season highlighted the long-standing rivalry between Tito Ortiz and Ken Shamrock.[53] It was also the first season to feature competitors from outside of North America, after the addition of Michael Bisping and Ross Pointon. The season saw a format change, when the team-games were eliminated in favour of a conventional knockout style tournament format.[53] The final fights saw Michael Bisping become the first non-American winner, defeating Josh Haynes and Kendall Grove defeat Ed Herman.[54]

Season 4-7

The fourth season was different from others before it, as it was the "comeback" season. Past UFC fighters who hadn't had the success they were expected to have, were invited back, to compete in the show, with the winner receiving a guaranteed title shot.[55] This season was also the only one to date to not feature team coaches. Instead, the show had guest coaches each week.[55] The final saw Matt Serra defeat Chris Lytle and Travis Lutter defeat Patrick Côté to receive their guaranteed title shots.[56]

The fifth season was coached by Jens Pulver and B.J. Penn, as the company attempted to kickstart the lightweight division.[57] The show featured many of the future stars of the lightweight division such as Nate Diaz, Joe Lauzon, Gray Maynard, Matt Wiman and Cole Miller.Despite the fact that Team Pulver won 5 out of the first eight fights, the 3 fighters who made it through the quarterfinals on Team Penn are still in the UFC which are Gray Maynard, Matt Wiman and Joe Lauzon while Cole Miller, Manvel Gamburyan, and Nate Diaz from Team Pulver are still in the UFC.The final was contested by Nate Diaz and Manvel Gamburyan, with Gamburyan falling to a shoulder injury early on.[58]

Former winner Matt Serra returned to the show in the sixth season to coach alongside Matt Hughes and oversaw a group of welterweight fighters.[59] The final saw veteran Mac Danzig defeat Tommy Speer to become The Ultimate Fighter, before he dropped to the lightweight division.[60] Arguably, only George Sotiropoulos has gone on to have any success post-TUF, having gone on a 7 fight win streak after The Ultimate Fighter,[61] while season winner Danzig has hovered around the .500 mark since his season win.[62]

The seventh season saw another format change, as fighters had to compete to be official castmembers. Instead of the usual 16 fighters, the season had 32 fighters after Dana White claimed that he was tired of fighters coming onto the show for airtime.[63] This season was coached by UFC Light Heavyweight champion Quinton Jackson and challenger Forrest Griffin, the first season's winner. The season's final was due to be competed between Amir Sadollah, who hadn't competed in a professional fight before the show, and Jesse Taylor. However, Taylor was kicked off the show after filming had completed, when he kicked the window out of a limosine in Las Vegas.[64] His slot was taken by C.B. Dollaway who defeated Tim Credeur for the right,[64] but Sadollah won in the final to become The Ultimate Fighter.[65]

Season 8-12

The eighth season was coached by UFC Interim Heavyweight champion Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira and Frank Mir, with lightweights and light heavyweights being the focus for the season.[66] The show was largely dominated by the actions of Junie Browning, who would regularly get drunk and act in an aggressive manner towards his fellow castmates.[67] The two fights at the final saw Efrain Escudero defeat Phillipe Nover and Ryan Bader defeat Vinny Magalhães.[68]

The ninth season saw a United States vs. United Kingdom theme for the show, with Dan Henderson and Michael Bisping coaching the respective sides.[69] The two sides contrasted, with the UK side showing close friendship (with many coming from Team Rough House), whilst the US team appeared fractured.[70] The lightweight final saw Team Rough House teammates Andre Winner and Ross Pearson face off for the contract, with Pearson coming out on top via decision. The welterweight final saw James Wilks defeat DaMarques Johnson via submission in the opening round, handing the UK team a 2-0 victory.[71]

The tenth season was the first season to feature only heavyweights and was largely built around the internet sensation Kimbo Slice and former NFL players.[72][73] The two coaches were former UFC Light Heavyweight champions Quinton Jackson and Rashad Evans who squabbled throughout the entire season, hyping their eventual fight further. However, midway through the airing of the season, it was announced that Jackson was filming The A-Team, as its lead character B. A. Baracus, leading to the postponement of the coaches' fight.[74] The season also featured several former NFL players, with one - Brendan Schaub - making the final of the show. Additionally, the season was occasionally criticised after the cardio of the heavyweights came into question.[75] The final saw MMA veteran Roy Nelson and Brendan Schaub, with Nelson winning via first round knockout.[76]

The eleventh season saw former UFC Light Heavyweight champions Tito Ortiz and Chuck Liddell coach the two teams.[77] Unlike previous seasons, the number of competitors in the house was reduced to 14, with 7 progressing to the quarter-finals. An eighth was added via a "wildcard" bout - a bout between two losers from the round of 14.[78] The slots went to Kyacey Uscola and Kris McCray, which saw McCray win via submission. McCray would then go on to avenge his earlier defeat, in the semi-finals, defeating Josh Bryant.[79] The season was blighted by injuries to multiple competitors, such as the withdrawal of Nick Ring, after he required knee surgery. After Rich Attonito pulled out of the competition, his quarter final place was taken by Court McGee.[80] Court McGee and Kris McCray met in the final, where McGee would win via submission to become The Ultimate Fighter.[81]

The twelfth season saw the UFC Welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre coach alongside former opponent and number one contender to the title, Josh Koscheck.[82] The season saw the continuation of the wildcard format and 14-man tournament bracket. The show's number one pick was Marc Stevens, who would go on to lose in one of the quickest submissions (via guillotine choke) in the show's history.[83] The wildcard slots went to Marc Stevens and Aaron Wilkinson, with Wilkinson handing Stevens his second successive guillotine choke loss.[84] The show was dominated by Josh Koscheck's attempts to annoy Georges St-Pierre, with St-Pierre's paramedic getting involved in the arguments with Koscheck.[83] The finale was a match between Jonathan Brookins and Michael Johnson on December 4, 2010 which resulted in Brookins winning via unanimous decision.[85]

Season 13-16 (and regional versions)

The thirteenth season was coached by former UFC Heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar and Junior dos Santos, who would later go on to win the same title. This season featured welterweights and removed the elimination bouts to get into the house, with 14 fighters immediately gaining entry into the house.[86] The first day of training saw Myles Jury pull out of the competition with a knee injury.[86] The wildcard made another appearance, with Javier Torres and Chuck O'Neil getting the slots, leading to a submission victory for O'Neil. The final of this season saw Tony Ferguson defeat Ramsey Nijem via KO in the first round.[87]

The fourteenth season featured bantamweights and featherweights for the first time, with Michael Bisping coaching for the second time, with Jason Miller opposing him. The cast was considered to be one of the most notable in several seasons of the Ultimate Fighter,[88] perhaps owing to this season being the first for the weight classes. Fighters once again had to compete to get into the house, but during the preliminary round, Dana White announced end-of-season bonuses for the best knockout, submission and fight. The awards went to John Dodson, Dennis Bermudez and Dustin Pague vs. Louis Gaudinot respectively.[89] The eventual winners of the season were John Dodson (who defeated TJ Dillashaw at bantamweight) and Diego Brandao (who defeated Dennis Bermudez at featherweight).[90]

The fifteenth season was the first season to air on FX and moved to a live format. The season was coached by UFC Bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber and featured the lightweight division. The entry fights consisted of just one round, as opposed to the usual two with the possibility of a sudden death victory. During the first week in the house, Michael Chiesa - one of the participants - was told that his father had died.[91] Despite this, he was able to continue in the competition and ultimately won after defeating Al Iaquinta at the finale.[92] The live season aired at the same time as TUF Brazil, which was the first regional version of the show. That season was coached by Vitor Belfort and Wanderlei Silva and featured featherweights and middleweights. This season featured a scrambling of the teams, as seven of the Team Vitor fighters had won for only one of the Team Wanderlei fighters. The finalists for the show were Rony "Jason" Mariano Bezerra and Godofredo "Pepey" Castro in the featherweight division and Cezar "Mutante" Ferreira and Daniel Sarafian in the middleweight division.[93] However, Sarafian was forced to withdraw from the finale, making him the first and (to-date) only finalist to ever withdraw through injury. He was replaced by Sergio "Serginho" Moraes, the man he had defeated via KO in the semi-final round.[93] The eventual winners were Bezerra and Ferreira, with both winning via decision.[94]

SeasonsEdit

American seasonsEdit

Season & Airdates Coaches & Colours Weight division Winner(s) Runner(s) up
The Ultimate Fighter 1
January 17, 2005 – April 9, 2005
     Chuck Liddell
     Randy Couture
Middleweights
Light Heavyweights
     Diego Sanchez[51]
     Forrest Griffin[51]
     Kenny Florian
     Stephan Bonnar
The Ultimate Fighter 2
August 22, 2005 – November 5, 2005
     Matt Hughes
     Rich Franklin
Welterweights
Heavyweights
     Joe Stevenson[52]
     Rashad Evans[52]
     Luke Cummo
     Brad Imes
The Ultimate Fighter 3
April 6, 2006 – June 24, 2006
     Tito Ortiz
     Ken Shamrock
Middleweights
Light Heavyweights
     Kendall Grove[54]
     Michael Bisping[54]
     Ed Herman
     Josh Haynes
The Ultimate Fighter 4: The Comeback[A]
August 17, 2006 – November 11, 2006
     Team Mojo &
     Team No Love
Welterweights
Middleweights
     Matt Serra[56]
     Travis Lutter[56]
     Chris Lytle
     Patrick Côté
The Ultimate Fighter 5
April 5, 2007 – June 23, 2007
     Jens Pulver
     B.J. Penn
Lightweights      Nate Diaz[58]      Manny Gamburyan
The Ultimate Fighter: Team Hughes vs. Team Serra
September 19, 2007 – December 8, 2007
     Matt Hughes
     Matt Serra
Welterweights      Mac Danzig[95]      Tom Speer
The Ultimate Fighter: Team Rampage vs. Team Forrest
April 2, 2008 – June 21, 2008
     Quinton Jackson
     Forrest Griffin
Middleweights      Amir Sadollah[96]      CB Dollaway
The Ultimate Fighter: Team Nogueira vs. Team Mir
September 17, 2008 – December 13, 2008
     Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira
     Frank Mir
Lightweights
Light Heavyweights
     Efrain Escudero[97]
     Ryan Bader[97]
     Phillipe Nover
     Vinny Magalhães
The Ultimate Fighter: United States vs. United Kingdom
April 1, 2009 – June 20, 2009
United States Dan Henderson
United Kingdom Michael Bisping
Lightweights
Welterweights
United Kingdom Ross Pearson[98]
United Kingdom James Wilks[98]
United Kingdom Andre Winner
United States DaMarques Johnson
The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights
September 16, 2009 – December 5, 2009
     Quinton Jackson
     Rashad Evans
Heavyweights      Roy Nelson[99]      Brendan Schaub
The Ultimate Fighter: Team Liddell vs. Team Ortiz
March 31, 2010 – June 19, 2010
     Chuck Liddell
     Tito Ortiz[B]
Middleweights      Court McGee[100]      Kris McCray
The Ultimate Fighter: Team GSP vs. Team Koscheck
September 15, 2010 – December 4, 2010
     Georges St-Pierre
     Josh Koscheck
Lightweights      Jonathan Brookins[85]      Michael Johnson
The Ultimate Fighter: Team Lesnar vs. Team dos Santos
March 30, 2011 - June 4, 2011
     Brock Lesnar
     Junior dos Santos
Welterweights      Tony Ferguson[87]      Ramsey Nijem
The Ultimate Fighter: Team Bisping vs. Team Miller
September 21, 2011 - December 3, 2011
     Michael Bisping
     Jason Miller
Bantamweights
Featherweights
     John Dodson[90]
     Diego Brandão[90]
     T.J. Dillashaw
     Dennis Bermudez
The Ultimate Fighter: Live
March 9, 2012 - June 1, 2012
     Dominick Cruz
     Urijah Faber
Lightweights      Michael Chiesa[92]      Al Iaquinta
The Ultimate Fighter: Team Carwin vs. Team Nelson
September 14, 2012 - December 15, 2012
     Shane Carwin
     Roy Nelson
Welterweights      Colton Smith      Mike Ricci
The Ultimate Fighter: Team Jones vs. Team Sonnen
January 22, 2013 - April 13, 2013
     Jon Jones
     Chael Sonnen
Middleweights      Kelvin Gastelum      Uriah Hall
The Ultimate Fighter: Team Rousey vs. Team Tate
September 4, 2013 - November 30, 2013
     Ronda Rousey
     Miesha Tate
Men Bantamweights
Women Bantamweights
     Chris Holdsworth
     Julianna Peña
     Davey Grant
     Jessica Rakoczy
The Ultimate Fighter: Team Edgar vs. Team Penn
April 16, 2014 – July 6, 2014
     Frankie Edgar
     B.J. Penn
Middleweights
Light Heavyweights
     Eddie Gordon
     Corey Anderson
     Dhiego Lima
     Matt Van Buren
The Ultimate Fighter: Team Pettis vs. Team Melendez
September 10, 2014
Anthony Pettis
Gilbert Melendez
Women Strawweights

^ A. For this season instead of coaches, prominent trainers and UFC fighters acted as advisors.
^ B. Tito Ortiz was replaced in the final episode by Rich Franklin.

International seasonsEdit

Season & Airdates Coaches & Colours Weight division Winner(s) Runner(s) up
The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil
March 25, 2012 - June 23, 2012
     Vitor Belfort
     Wanderlei Silva
Featherweights
Middleweights
     Rony Jason[94]
     Cezar Ferreira[94]
     Godofredo Castro
     Sergio Moraes[C]
The Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes
September 19, 2012 - December 14, 2012
United Kingdom Ross Pearson
Australia George Sotiropoulos
Lightweights
Welterweights
United Kingdom Norman Parke
Australia Robert Whittaker
United Kingdom Colin Fletcher
United Kingdom Brad Scott
The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 2
March 17, 2013 - June 8, 2013
     Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira
     Fabricio Werdum
Welterweights      Leonardo Santos[D]      William Macario
The Ultimate Fighter: China[E]
December 7, 2013 - January 26, 2014
     Tiequan Zhang
     Hailin Ao[F]
Featherweights
Welterweights
     TBD
     Zhang Lipeng
     TBD
     Wang Sai
The Ultimate Fighter Nations: Canada vs. Australia
January 15, 2014 - April 9, 2014
Canada Patrick Côté
Australia Kyle Noke
Welterweights
Middleweights
Canada Chad Laprise
Canada Elias Theodorou
Canada Olivier Aubin-Mercier
Canada Sheldon Westcott
The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 3
March 9, 2014 - May 25, 2014
     Wanderlei Silva
     Chael Sonnen
Middleweights
Heavyweights
     Warlley Alves
     Antônio Carlos Jr.
     Márcio Alexandre Jr.
     Vitor Miranda
The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America
August 25, 2014 -
     Cain Velasquez
     Fabricio Werdum
Bantamweights
Featherweights

^ C. Daniel Sarafian was scheduled to be part of the finale, but was injured and replaced by Sergio Moraes.
^ D. Santiago Ponzinibbio was scheduled to be part of the finale, but was injured and replaced by Leonardo Santos.
^ E. For this season Cung Le served as a mentor and chief coach.
^ F. Hailin Ao left the show after the 4th episode due to personal reasons. His staff took over his duties.

ImpactEdit

Post-show successEdit

The Ultimate Fighter has created many successful fighters. As of May 2014, 4 men have won UFC titles, though none of them has successfully defended his title. However, some fighters have also had success in the sister promotions World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) or Strikeforce. The following fighters have competed for a UFC, Strikeforce or WEC championship:

Season one
Result TUF Competitor Opponent Method Event Date Notes
Loss Nate Quarry Rich Franklin KO (Punch) at 2:32 of round 1 UFC 56: Full Force November 19, 2005 For Franklin's UFC Middleweight Championship[101]
Win Lodune Sincaid Dan Molina Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 3:17 of round 1 WEC 20: Cinco de Mayhem May 5, 2006 For the vacant WEC Light Heavyweight Championship[102]
Loss Lodune Sincaid Doug Marshall TKO (Punches) at 0:51 of round 2 WEC 23: Hot August Fights August 17, 2006 Lost his WEC Light Heavyweight Championship[103]
Loss Kenny Florian Sean Sherk Decision (Unanimous) UFC 64: Unstoppable October 14, 2006 For the vacant UFC Lightweight Championship[104]
Win Bobby Southworth Vernon White Decision (Unanimous) Strikeforce: Triple Threat December 8, 2006 For the inaugural Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Championship[105]
Win Bobby Southworth Anthony Ruiz Decision (Unanimous) Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Thomson June 27, 2008 Successfully defended his Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Championship[105]
Win Forrest Griffin Quinton Jackson Decision (Unanimous) UFC 86: Jackson vs. Griffin July 5, 2008 For Jackson's UFC Light Heavyweight Championship[44]
Loss Bobby Southworth Renato Sobral TKO (Cut) at 5:00 of round 1 Strikeforce: Destruction November 21, 2008 Lost his Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Championship[106]
Loss Forrest Griffin Rashad Evans TKO (Punches) at 2:46 of round 3 UFC 92: The Ultimate 2008 December 27, 2008 Lost his UFC Light Heavyweight Championship[45]
Loss Kenny Florian B.J. Penn Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 3:54 of round 4 UFC 101: Declaration August 8, 2009 For Penn's UFC Lightweight Championship[107]
Loss Diego Sanchez B.J. Penn TKO (Cut) at 2:37 of round 5 UFC 107: Penn vs. Sanchez December 12, 2009 For Penn's UFC Lightweight Championship[108]
Loss Josh Koscheck Georges St-Pierre Decision (Unanimous) UFC 124: St-Pierre vs. Koscheck 2 December 11, 2010 For St-Pierre's UFC Welterweight Championship[50]
Loss Kenny Florian José Aldo Decision (Unanimous) UFC 136: Edgar vs. Maynard III October 8, 2011 For Aldo's UFC Featherweight Championship[109]
Season two
Result TUF Competitor Opponent Method Event Date Notes
Loss Joe Stevenson B.J. Penn Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 4:02 of round 2 UFC 80: Rapid Fire January 19, 2008 For the vacant UFC Lightweight Championship[110]
Win Rashad Evans Forrest Griffin TKO (Punches) at 2:46 of round 3 UFC 92: The Ultimate 2008 December 27, 2008 For Griffin's UFC Light Heavyweight Championship[45]
Loss Rashad Evans Lyoto Machida KO (Punches) at 3:57 of round 2 UFC 98: Evans vs. Machida May 23, 2009 Lost his UFC Light Heavyweight Championship[111]
Loss Keith Jardine Luke Rockhold TKO (Punches) at 4:26 of round 1 Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Jardine January 7, 2012 For Rockhold's Strikeforce Middleweight Championship[112]
Loss Rashad Evans Jon Jones Decision (Unanimous) UFC 145: Jones vs. Evans April 21, 2012 For Jones' UFC Light Heavyweight Championship[113]
Season four

As part of season four, Travis Lutter and Matt Serra received automatic and immediate title shots, though non-winners can also compete for titles. Lutter was scheduled to compete for the UFC Middleweight Championship at UFC 67: All Or Nothing, but weighed in over the limit. He still competed against the champion and lost a non-title fight.[114]

Result TUF Competitor Opponent Method Event Date Notes
Win Matt Serra Georges St-Pierre TKO (Punches) at 3:25 of round 1 UFC 69: Shootout April 7, 2007 For St-Pierre's UFC Welterweight Championship[115]
Loss Matt Serra Georges St-Pierre TKO (Knees to the body) at 4:45 of round 2 UFC 83: Serra vs. St-Pierre 2 April 19, 2008 Lost his UFC Welterweight Championship[116]
Loss Patrick Côté Anderson Silva TKO (Knee Injury) at 0:39 of round 3 UFC 90: Silva vs. Côté October 25, 2008 For Silva's UFC Middleweight Championship[117]
Season five
Result TUF Competitor Opponent Method Event Date Notes
Loss Manny Gamburyan José Aldo KO (Punches) at 1:32 of round 2 WEC 51: Aldo vs. Gamburyan September 30, 2010 For Aldo's WEC Featherweight Championship[118]
Draw Gray Maynard Frankie Edgar Draw (Split) UFC 125: Resolution January 1, 2011 For Edgar's UFC Lightweight Championship[119]
Loss Gray Maynard Frankie Edgar KO (Punches) UFC 136: Edgar vs. Maynard III October 8, 2011 For Edgar's UFC Lightweight Championship[109]
Loss Nate Diaz Benson Henderson Decision (Unanimous) UFC on Fox: Henderson vs. Diaz December 8, 2012 For Henderson's UFC Lightweight Championship
Season fourteen
Result TUF Competitor Opponent Method Event Date Notes
Loss John Dodson Demetrious Johnson Decision (Unanimous) UFC on Fox: Johnson vs. Dodson January 26, 2013 For Johnson's UFC Flyweight Championship
Win T.J. Dillashaw Renan Barão TKO (punches) UFC 173 May 24, 2014 For Barão's UFC Bantamweight Championship

T.U.F. Winners who have fought each otherEdit

Many of the TUF winners have gone on to fight each other.

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Further readingEdit

External linksEdit