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CagePotato Stats: A Brief History of ‘Ultimate Fighter’ Winners and Their First Post-TUF Fights


("Congrats buddy, here’s your piece of jagged f*cking glass." Photo courtesy of UFC.com)

MMA Junkie reported yesterday that TUF 11 winner Court McGee will return to the Octagon at UFC 121 (October 23rd, Anaheim) against Ryan Jensen. In doing so, the well-bearded Utah native follows a proud tradition of Ultimate Fighter winners who take on middling veterans directly after winning their six-figure contracts, and beat them (most of the time) before eventually dropping in weight (some of the time). As a helpful reference, we decided to put together a timeline of those first post-TUF fights, as well as some relevant statistics. Starting at the beginning…

Season 1 light-heavyweight winner: Forrest Griffin
First post-TUF opponent: Bill Mahood (0-0 in the UFC at the time)
Result: Griffin via submission (rear-naked choke), round 1
Is Mahood still in the UFC? No, the fight against Griffin was Mahood’s only Octagon appearance.
Does Griffin still compete at light-heavyweight? Yes

Season 1 middleweight winner: Diego Sanchez
First post-TUF opponent: Brian Gassaway (0-0 in the UFC at the time)
Result: Sanchez via submission (strikes), round 2
Is Gassaway still in the UFC? No, the fight against Sanchez was Gassaway’s only Octagon appearance.
Does Sanchez still compete at middleweight? No. Sanchez immediately dropped to welterweight after the show, and has spent the majority of his UFC career there.


Season 2 heavyweight winner: Rashad Evans
First post-TUF opponent: Sam Hoger (2-1 in the UFC at the time)
Result: Evans via split decision
Is Hoger still in the UFC? No, he was cut after a subsequent loss to Lyoto Machida.
Does Evans still compete at heavyweight? No. Evans immediately dropped to light-heavyweight after the show.

Season 2 welterweight winner: Joe Stevenson
First post-TUF opponent: Josh Neer (1-1 in the UFC at the time)
Result: Neer via unanimous decision
Is Neer still in the UFC? No, he was cut (for the second time) last year, following back-to-back losses against Kurt Pellegrino and Gleison Tibau.
Does Stevenson still compete at welterweight? No. Stevenson dropped to lightweight following his loss to Neer.

Season 3 light-heavyweight winner: Michael Bisping
First post-TUF opponent: Eric Schafer (1-0 in the UFC at the time)
Result: Bisping via TKO, round 1
Is Schafer still in the UFC? No, he was cut (for the second time) earlier this year, following back-to-back losses against Ryan Bader and Jason Brilz.
Does Bisping still compete at light-heavyweight? No. Bisping dropped to middleweight after three more fights at 205 pounds.

Season 3 middleweight winner: Kendall Grove
First post-TUF opponent: Chris Price (0-0 in the UFC at the time)
Result: Grove via submission (strikes), round 1
Is Price still in the UFC? No, he was cut after a subsequent loss to Ed Herman.
Does Grove still compete at middleweight? Yes

*Season 4 middleweight winner: Travis Lutter
First post-TUF opponent: Anderson Silva (2-0 in the UFC at the time)
Result: Silva via submission (elbows), round 2
Is Silva still in the UFC? Yes, and he’s still the middleweight champion.
Does Lutter still compete at middleweight? Yes, but not in the UFC. Lutter holds the distinction of being the only Ultimate Fighter winner to ever be released from his contract.

*Season 4 welterweight winner: Matt Serra
First post-TUF opponent: Georges St. Pierre (8-1 in the UFC at the time)
Result: Serra via TKO, round 1
Is St. Pierre still in the UFC? Yes, and he’s been the undisputed welterweight champion since defeating Serra in a rematch the following year.
Does Serra still compete at welterweight? Yes

Season 5 lightweight winner: Nate Diaz
First post-TUF opponent: Junior Assuncao (1-1 in the UFC at the time)
Result: Diaz via submission (guillotine choke), round 1
Is Assuncao still in the UFC? No, he was cut directly after his fight with Diaz.
Does Diaz still compete at lightweight? No. The crazy S.O.B. actually moved up to welterweight earlier this year, and will meet Marcus Davis at UFC 118.

Season 6 welterweight winner: Mac Danzig
First post-TUF opponent: Mark Bocek (1-1 in the UFC at the time)
Result: Danzig via submission (rear-naked choke), round 3
Is Bocek still in the UFC? Yes
Does Danzig still compete at welterweight? No. Danzig immediately dropped to lightweight after the show.

Season 7 middleweight winner: Amir Sadollah
First post-TUF opponent: Johny Hendricks (0-0 in the UFC at the time)
Result: Hendricks via TKO, round 1
Is Hendricks still in the UFC? Yes, and he’s still undefeated.
Does Sadollah still compete at middleweight? No. Sadollah immediately dropped to welterweight after the show.

Season 8 light-heavyweight winner: Ryan Bader
First post-TUF opponent: Carmelo Marrero (1-2 UFC record at the time, but hadn’t competed in the Octagon in two years)
Result: Bader via unanimous decision
Is Marrero still in the UFC? No, he was cut (for the second time) directly after his fight with Bader.
Does Bader still compete at light-heavyweight? Yes

Season 8 lightweight winner: Efrain Escudero
First post-TUF opponent: Cole Miller (4-1 in the UFC at the time)
Result: Escudero via KO, round 1
Is Miller still in the UFC? Yes
Does Escudero still compete at lightweight? Yes

Season 9 welterweight winner: James Wilks
First post-TUF opponent: Matt Brown (3-1 in the UFC at the time)
Result: Brown via TKO, round 3
Is Brown still in the UFC? Yes
Does Wilks still compete at welterweight? Yes

Season 9 lightweight winner: Ross Pearson
First post-TUF opponent: Aaron Riley (2-3 in the UFC at the time)
Result: Pearson via TKO, round 2
Is Riley still in the UFC? Yes
Does Pearson still compete at lightweight? Yes

Season 10 heavyweight winner: Roy Nelson
First post-TUF opponent: Stefan Struve (3-1 in the UFC at the time)
Result: Nelson via TKO, round 1
Is Struve still in the UFC? Yes
Does Nelson still compete at heavyweight? Yes

Season 11 middleweight winner: Court McGee
First post-TUF opponent: Ryan Jensen (2-4 in the UFC at the time)
Result: McGee via submission (arm-triangle choke), round 3
Is Jensen still in the UFC? Yes
Does McGee still compete at middleweight? Yes

* The stunt-premise of The Ultimate Fighter 4: The Comeback was that the contestants all had previous UFC experience, and the winners would get title shots for their first post-TUF fights. Rather than compare apples and oranges, we’ll just exclude this season from the following data.

– Success rate of TUF winners in their first fights after the show: 80% (12-3)

– Number of TUF winners who still compete at their TUF weights: 8 out of 15
…excluding the six most recent winners from TUF 8-11: 2 out of 9

– Of the TUF winners’ first post-TUF opponents, number who had winning records in the UFC at the time: 5 out of 15 (Hoger, Schafer, Miller, Brown, Struve)
…excluding TUF 8-112 out of 9

– Of the TUF winners’ first post-TUF opponents, number who still compete in the UFC today: 7 out of 15 (all from season 6 or later)

– Overall UFC record of TUF winners to date, excluding their finale fights: 61-32-1 

(BG)

Last updated: 10/25/10

Cagepotato Comments

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noizy- July 13, 2010 at 3:27 pm
So what we should get from this is that Ryan Jensen will be cut from the UFC soon after losing toCourt McGee who will subsequently drop to Welterweight right after?
DazedNConfused- July 13, 2010 at 12:37 pm
"Congrats buddy, here's your piece of jagged f*cking glass." lol! nice
Charming Charlie- July 13, 2010 at 12:36 pm
I love this kind of data analysis. The trend of initially feeding TUF winners with fights they should win wasn't something I noticed as it happened, but the data suggests that is Joe Silva's effort. I wonder what other trends might be revealed from other data!
2DaDeath- July 13, 2010 at 11:43 am
@ swedish:

BG wrote the article. You can tell cuz it says BG on the very bottom of the article. It's even easier to see than a graph.
2DaDeath- July 13, 2010 at 11:39 am
Roy Nelson is going to do genocide on the HW division like Manny Gamburyan will do on the FW division. Ya'll heard me say it first, suckas!
EDoggFunkMonk- July 13, 2010 at 11:25 am
I never wanted to picture Arianny giving Dana a handjob. Thanks for the pic!
Kindling- July 13, 2010 at 11:02 am
OOOOh, you said MAHOOD! Nevermind.
Kindling- July 13, 2010 at 11:00 am
"Is Manhood still in the UFC"

If you ask me, manhood hasn't been as well represented in the UFC since Don Frye.
nooger- July 13, 2010 at 10:28 am
Almost North - He's going to win via flying gogoplata.

In all honestly, I think he'll beat JDS at 117. seriously. I'm taking him in my bets for sure.

Mark it down people!
Swedish- July 13, 2010 at 10:12 am
A graph would be more helpful here. I can't follow a trend when described in a bunch of words/paragraphs.

Stat101 my dear MRuss friend
noahknows- July 13, 2010 at 9:49 am
haha " here's your f**king piece of jagged glass!
Baul_Tampax_Galey_Sucks_Kos- July 13, 2010 at 9:45 am
UFC 130ish HEADLINE ALERT:

Big Country Wins in 1st via KO (Flying Knee)... Dies Immediately After via Cardiac Arrest (Whopper Meals)!
glassjawsh- July 13, 2010 at 9:26 am
OMG dana white wants to coddle/protect his interests because he spent fat dollars on making these schlomos household names, what a greedy dumb faggot bastard asshole!

oh wait....
Nealio- July 13, 2010 at 9:24 am
I thought it was an interesting statical analysis of the TUF franchise as a whole, and spoke to the socio-economic pressures that a person like Dana White must come to grips with.
And that fucking caption was spot on
Almost North- July 13, 2010 at 9:05 am
@nooger
Big Country by flying knee KO in the first?
nooger- July 13, 2010 at 8:55 am
Might be worthwhile to mention the only TUF Winners to win the Belt:
- Forest
- Gayshad
- Serra*
- Big Country+

*Season 4
+Mark it down ladies and gents
nooger- July 13, 2010 at 8:54 am
Might be worthwhile to mention the only TUF Winners to win the Belt:
- Forest
- Gayshad
- Serra*

*Season 4
nooger- July 13, 2010 at 8:42 am
Wow, I was just thinking in my head, I wonder where all the TUF contestants stand within the UFC, i was going to wiki search them all, but pfft you made this article instead! Very nice! Great Article :)
kmax1940- July 13, 2010 at 8:36 am
thanks, i know this took a lot of work.
ReX13- July 13, 2010 at 8:16 am
Interesting.


Luckily, Lutter has his Michael Jordan-esque BJJ to fall back on.


Get it, he **falls back** on his BJJ? Like, in guard?


Oh, fuck it. I'm ready for vacation.
BONGTAR- July 13, 2010 at 8:11 am
dang. now i fel like i beat up a retard. i take it back.
BONGTAR- July 13, 2010 at 8:09 am
primero
BONGTAR- July 13, 2010 at 8:09 am
meh. did you make a spread sheet with all this crap and type something out? Who the hell has this kind of time to examine this horrible topic. i'm just playin playa, i see you have the life of a fat rashy guy with bad acne and oily skin. thanks for that.
CagePotatoMMA