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TUF dying?

Trent Williams | Interrobang | Sports | January 18th, 2010



The Ultimate Fighter reality show brought the UFC into the spotlight and created a buzz around ultimate fighting that has been going ever since. But there is a catch.

I still love watching the fights but the whole concept of TUF is starting to get old. It seems as though it hit its peak in season three and just has gone downhill from there. I also think the lack of fighters making a big splash in the UFC ranks has a lot to do with it. With the exception of season one, there isn't a big group of people fighting in the UFC still that are actually worth mentioning.

To back up my point consider that these are the people of significance that fought in the UFC from TUF: Season 1: Forrest Griffin, Mike Swick, Stephan Bonnar, Diego Sanchez, Josh Koscheck, Kenny Florian, Nate Quarry and Chris Leben. Out of these guys, the only ones of real significance are Griffin, Koscheck and Florian. After that guys like Swick, Quarry and others are all solid fighters still.

Season 2: Keith Jardine, Rashad Evans, Marcus Davis, and Joe Stevenson. Out of this group the only fighters with any significance are Jardine and Stevenson. Stevenson fought for the title, and Jardine is hanging around the top of the 205 ranks. Evans is slightly behind Jardine in my books, but is still up there too. Everyone else still remain pretty solid fighters in the UFC.

Season 3: Kendall Grove, Michael Bisping, and Matt Hamill. This group's only fighters that are still hanging around are Bisping and Hamill. Grove and Ed Herman had some good runs, but they won't be top tier guys.

Season 4: This one is a little different because it was the comeback season. But the only one who made a splash was Matt Serra. Patrick Cote has been successful since the show as well. As far as mostly everyone else, it's a wash.

Season 5: Joe Lauzon, Gray Maynard and Nathan Diaz are the only names worth mentioning right now. It hasn't been long enough though to let these lightweights make a name for themselves, but only these three guys have set themselves apart and in Lauzon's case it is only because of a pre-TUF knockout of Jens Pulver.

Season 6: The only person of significance is Mac Danzig who walked through TUF. Again, this season needs more time to develop but as far as potential goes, I'm not expecting much, and realistically, Danzig will never be a champion in the UFC.

Since those seasons there hasn't been any one person of significance that has broke into the UFC and made a splash. Most recently, there's been Roy Nelson, who was UFC ready before he went on the show and of course, Kimbo Slice, who is a story all on his own.

Since its jump to your premium cable television, the UFC has stuck around and has become more and more mainstream. I think though that TUF is a trend that will soon die. With next season's coaches being Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz, two over-the-hill former champions, that's a sign that things aren't all peachy for the show.

I think that if a fighter is good enough to make the UFC, they wouldn't need to go through the whole TUF experience. I know it's for exposure, and to feature up and comers to the sport, but the UFC does a good enough job promoting fighters and fights on their own without the TUF show. My suggestion is doing more All Access shows to get fans more “in-touch” with the fighters.
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