Tuesday marked the return of The Ultimate Fighter. A show where two UFC fighters coach a team of 8 pro fighters in a competition for a UFC contract. This year the show is coming back after taking some time off with coaches Brian Ortega and Alexander Volkanowski leading their teams. With that being said, the show’s return left many fans scratching their heads and asking why now?
It is no secret the UFC has been making a load of roster cuts lately, former stars like Yoel Romero, Jacare Souza, and Diego Sanchez are just a few. Dana White also says that the company is always looking for talent and for younger fighters to sign. Dana already has a show for that though, Dana White’s Contender Series. The Contender Series has been extremely successful in producing a ton of top. Some fighters like Kevin Holland have even gone on to become fan favorites.
So why did Dana White decide now was the time to bring back TUF? Dana White says TUF is the ultimate test for fighters and that the competition builds stars. White told MMA Mania “...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 ever go away.” Dana isn’t necessarily wrong either. The Ultimate Fighter has produced multiple world champions and Hall of Famers since its debut in 2005. White has also said that the finale of the first season is the most important 15 minutes in MMA history and that without the slugfest Forest Griffin and Stephan Bonner put on the UFC would most likely not exist today.
Dana himself has never really given a reason for bringing back TUF now. It will be interesting to see if the reality show/ MMA tournament will draw focus away from The Contender Series or not.