The Ultimate Fighter Near Return
After nearly a year off the air, The Ultimate Fighter may return as part of their massive new UFC Apex facility in Las Vegas, Nevada.
“[Craig] Piligian and I are working on “The Ultimate Fighter” right now,” White revealed last Tuesday following the Contender Series. “We’ll figure [the timeline for the return] tonight. They’re waiting for me for dinner right now.”
While The Contender Series has been a proven vehicle to develop future talent for the UFC, the Ultimate Fighter was a cornerstone piece of the UFC’s development over 15 years ago. The first season, entirely self-financed by UFC ownership, was the ultimate marketing tool for the sport, building stars in Stephan Bonnar and Forrest Griffin, but solidify Chuck Liddell and Randy Couture as the sport’s top stars.
“We’re going to switch some things around, do some things different but I truly believe that “The Ultimate Fighter” is so key in building young talent,” White stated. “This show is fun and guys come in but what they have to go through with cameras in their face 24/7, being away from home, being away from their families and all the bulls—t, hardcore training every day with these dream camps that are f—king built, cutting weight, staying on weight, you’ll never go through anything harder than “The Ultimate Fighter”.
“So if you can make it through “The Ultimate Fighter” and actually win it if you go back throughout history and look at “The Ultimate Fighter” and the fighters that have come off there, it is just the greatest training ground ever for up and coming fighters. It can’t go away ever.”
relevant now in the same way it was after first launching in 2006, White vehemently disagrees.
“It’s a big deal. When you come off “The Ultimate Fighter” everybody knows who the hell you are immediately,” White said. “When we just left FOX, the thing was still pulling big numbers. It was the highest-rated show for original programming on FOX the entire seven years we were there.”