If there of any of you left who haven’t grown tired of the, for lack of a better word, tiresome formula that The Ultimate Fighter has devolved into over the years, which is to say, fighters argue–>training montage–>coaches argue–>fighters argue–>actual fight, then boy do we have good news for you. Not only are you going to be treated to the verbal back-and-forth of one Roy Nelson and one Shane Carwin throughout the season, you are more than likely going to see “Big Country” and UFC President Dana White at each others throats as well, as both men have basically been taking a fat steaming dump on the others chests via various MMA media outlets lately. Metaphorically, of course.
TUF 16, which is set to debut on September 14th on FX (yep, that’s a Friday), will showcase 32 welterweights attempting to battle their way to the next interim championship of the world, but it seems the real firefight will be between Nelson and White, who just can’t seem to get along on anything. Take for instance, the TUF 10 winner’s recent interview with MMAJunkie, where he basically calls Dana a lying wannabe fighter:
[The onset tension is] probably because he wants to be a fighter, and he’s not. I think we were talking about coaching or something like that, and [White's] not a coach. There’s an understanding of being a fighter, and I don’t think he understands.
I’m always at the back of the bus when it comes to the UFC. I’m just trying to further MMA to the next level, hold journalism up to higher standards, holding fights to higher standards, holding promotions to higher standards, holding athletic commissions to higher standards, and even holding the fans to higher standards.
You never know with Dana. Dana will tell you guys one thing, and then five minutes later tell you another. Last week, ‘Shogun’ and Brandon Vera were fighting for the title, and now all of the sudden, Machida and Ryan Bader are, too. Next thing you know, he’s going to say Randy Couture gets the next title shot when he comes back.
Woah, woah, there Roy, put on the brakes for a second. Now, where some of what you are saying undoubtedly rings true (because Couture did fight for the title when he came back last time, remember?), we fail to see how really any aspect of your career falls into the “higher standards” you are describing. Aren’t you the guy who refuses to lose the weight he clearly should because of a stupid gimmick? The guy who was only willing to consider it if you got a bunch of friend requests of Facebook? Making fun of your boss to his face is something that not many of us are able to do, so please spare us the vague justification for doing so and just admit that you and Dana don’t get along.
And besides, White’s problems with Nelson, not unlike his problems with Jason Miller, seem to come out of his desire to see fighters take their living seriously (at least in my opinion). Nelson’s belly rubbing, Burger King-eating antics don’t really come across as that, no matter how good or entertaining of a fighter he is. But aside from the constant stream of ham wrapped donuts and mayonnaise going into Nelson’s mouth, it is apparently the stuff coming out of it that really irks The Baldfather, who lamented his issues with Nelson following the UFC 150 post-fight press conference:
Him saying sh*t like that goes along with what I said about the stupid sh*t that comes out of this guy’s mouth. The difference is I have to hear it three days a week. When he fights randomly three times a year, I have to hear it in small spurts. Now I’ve got to listen to dumb sh*t three days a week.
Do you think that going into this that I didn’t think Roy Nelson was going to annoy the sh*t out of me? I mean, that’s what he does – he’s annoying. He’s annoying, and the stuff that comes out of his mouth makes no sense. He’s Roy Nelson, that’s why.
Understandable, Dana, but this only leads us to ask once more why the UFC decided upon the Nelson/Carwin pairing over the Griffin/Bonnar pairing for this season, especially considering that way more people would appear to be interested in the latter matchup. Or is this drama simply being fabricated in order to hype us up for another season of fabricated drama? Is this season a reality show inside another reality show? If a fighter loses this season, does he end up in limbo? Hold on, my nose is bleeding again.
In either case, let’s just hope that the shenanigans of Pat Barry can help elevate this season from the stagnant pond water that was TUF Live. Tune in on September 14th to find out. Or don’t, we don’t care.