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Five Things I Want to See From TUF: U.S. vs. U.K.

(Props: MMA Fanhouse.)

I admit it, after watching the above promo video for season nine of Spike TV’s “The Ultimate Fighter,” I’m excited.  Maybe the hokey “It’s U.S. Against Them” tagline is working on me, or maybe (probably) I’m just a sucker for The Sex Pistols.  

Regardless, the part of me that wants to believe fighters when they blame positive steroid tests on totally legit nutritional supplements also wants to believe that TUF can be fun again.  And who knows, maybe exploiting nationalistic loyalties and hilarious cultural differences (just wait until the first time a Brit fighter talks about smoking fags) is the perfect solution for the stale formatting and predictable antic-heavy presentation.  With that in mind, here are the five things I’d like to see from “The Ultimate Fighter” this time around:

1. Don’t Make Me Feel Bad About Myself For Watching This

Look, Spike TV producers.  I’m a male between the ages of 18-34, but that doesn’t mean I want to watch grown men drink one another’s urine.  In fact, when I find myself watching a show that is ostensibly about fighting, and yet the bulk of the episode is dedicated to the ingestion of bodily fluids, I start to question some of the decisions I’ve made that have brought me to this point.  It’s the same with property destruction.  We’ve seen it.  There isn’t any new ground to break (pun intended).  Please, let’s grow up a little and move on.

2. Show Me Some Training Footage That Isn’t a Montage

Obviously we don’t want to see a show that is nothing but guys working out, but why not include some more specific training footage that shows us what these guys are learning and where they are in their development?  Getting to learn from Dan Henderson or Michael Bisping is probably a great opportunity for these younger guys to pick up some new tricks.  At least, I assume it is.  I don’t know, because I never see the TUF fighters learning much.  I also don’t get a good sense of who the practice room badasses are, and I’d like to.  These guys know who belongs there and who is just barely getting by.  Why not let us find out the same way they did?  You can do this while also educating the fanbase about the finer points of MMA.  Imagine that.

3. Find A Way To Include “Stankie,” Or A Reasonable Substitute

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira’s boxing coach, Al “Stankie” Stankiewicz was criminally underused on the last season of TUF (why they chose not to air his sparring match with Efrain Escudero is anyone’s guess), but his brief bouts of brilliance proved that a crazy old coot of a trainer could really add some life to the show.  I’m not even saying we need the original “Stankie,” though it would be awesome, but just someone to fill the “Stankie” role.  You can’t tell me Bisping doesn’t know some insane old British boxer with an indecipherable accent he could bring in as a coach.  Which leads me to…

4. Get the Coaches Involved More

I know that part of the aim of any TUF series is to hype the inevitable fight between the coaches down the line, but aside from the Ken Shamrock/Tito Ortiz feud (which sold itself, honestly) this hasn’t been done very well of late.  We don’t necessarily need a personal rivalry, but it would be nice to get some time with the coaches outside of the gym.  For instance, what do they do when they leave the training facility?  If they don’t show up at the house, we’re left to assume that they’re cryogenically frozen until the next practice session.  Use the show as a platform to help viewers get to know the coaches and they’ll end up giving a damn when it’s time for the fight.

5. Two Fights Per Episode, Whenever Possible

Last season things really picked up when we saw more than one fight per episode.  Though this might screw with the pacing of the show somewhat, why not do that in the beginning, when the match-ups tend to be more one-sided and the fights often don’t go longer than a couple of minutes?  A fight in the first thirty minutes also presents the opportunity to show the reactions in the winning and losing camps, which often get skipped over too quickly when the fight serves as the finale.  Remember, above all else, this is a show about fighting, not about tainted fruit platters.

Cagepotato Comments

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Anonymous- April 2, 2009 at 3:19 pm
Your right bud the states do suck! they are in for a rude awakening when they fight people with heart.
Nate- March 17, 2009 at 11:37 am
Don't let this deteriorate into a racial argument. We all know Mexico owned at the Olympics. Oh wait, they didn't. Shut the fuck up.
Young, Hairy and Mexican Says- March 17, 2009 at 5:31 am
Sign those checks away buddy, then go slit your wrists. That's one thing crackers are the best at. Suicide.
MrBlonde- March 17, 2009 at 12:38 am
You are right us 'honkeys' suck at sports thats why we stick to owning the teams and organizations.
shacklemenot- March 16, 2009 at 10:24 pm
They should really give Stanky his own show with a sort of Mr. Rogers feel to it. He walks into the gym, changes out of his sweatsuit and shoes into another possibly soiled sweatsuit and boxing shoes. He can teach us the important things in life, like how to empty a spit bucket. I see it taking place in a gym like Mickey's from the rocky flicks.
Young, Hairy and Mexican- March 16, 2009 at 9:28 pm
"Mexico vs. Any country?

Is there any Mexicans left in Mexico?"

Learn your grammar, cracker! It's, *ARE there any Mexicans left in Mexico, and the answer is yes. You honkeys don't know what heart is and thats why you suck at sports.


Nobody cares about hockey. lol
WalksInTheDarkness- March 16, 2009 at 5:37 pm
It's going to be one long American lay and pray fest.

My fellow countrymen may be able to knock shades out of the Americans when it comes to standing but unfortunately none of them will be able to land a solid hit after they've been taken to the mat (at which point most of the wrestlers will become confused and lay on them for the rest of the round and nothing else.)

All the Brits can do is pray for quick stand ups and lapses in Amerian judgement and the joys of banging with someone who can has fought in K1 tournaments.

On a final note, has the UFC worked out what group of MMA fighters their meant to be targeting? New, inexperienced up and comers or guys looking for a final chance to get on to the big screen? I'm really confused as most of the Brits look like rookies and most of the Americans are pretty experienced (only two have less than 9 fights!) Did they have to jump through the hoops because the UFC isn't interested in putting them on their cards based on the fighter's experience?
MrBlonde- March 16, 2009 at 5:32 pm
Mexico vs. Any country?

Is there any Mexicans left in Mexico?
Young, Hairy and Mexican- March 16, 2009 at 4:30 pm
Just wait till my Mexican peeps finally ditch boxing and take up MMA.

Mexico vs. Any country :)
Clyde- March 16, 2009 at 4:23 pm
I agree with getting rid of the house. Forcing a bunch of guys to live together will usually lead to them getting on each others tits and then acting like twats. Maybe not even in that order.

It's also true that it's designed to bring in people who watch reality TV. We don't need to be convinced to watch PPVs, we were always going to because we love this sport. Unfortunately, MMA does not appeal to the big brother/pop idol/celebrity pimp my crib on ice crowd, so we're stuck with this inbetween show where they focus on people being obnoxious but then thow in a fight each episode for people like us who just want to watch MMA, regardless of the organisation who's running it.

But, as long as it's got the fights, I'll be watching and keeping the numbers up until something a little more pure comes along.

And no, I'm not holding my breath for that.
Darkside- March 16, 2009 at 2:52 pm
After the last few seasons of TUF, I'm not wasting my time with it anymore. It was a good way to bring on new fans at first, but now it should just be shown on MTV after Real World.
MrBlonde- March 16, 2009 at 2:41 pm
Could I get a price check on Vagisil? Looks like someone has a little extra cheese on their taco.
T Dot- March 16, 2009 at 1:08 pm
no booze, don't give them 'courage' in a bottle .
CanadianProduce- March 16, 2009 at 12:52 pm
@ Jeffro

The problem is that not many of them use good metal.
Jeffro- March 16, 2009 at 12:43 pm
Nategetsirate is gonna get a t-shirt. That shit is so funny and true - Always a great combo.

The production value on that trailer is fantastic. They should use Anarchay in the UK for the opening. That song never gets old. More fighters need to use Punk Rock as their walk in music. Metal and Hip Hop gets old after a while.
CanadianProduce- March 16, 2009 at 12:24 pm
@ Ashlee Vance

Could you please pull your panties out of your ass and keep your comments to a blog standard of 3 or 4 lines. I'm sure you had some great points but apparently you ran out of vagisil. If you could go ahead and do that, that would be great.
@ Nategetsirate- March 16, 2009 at 12:20 pm
hahah that was fucking rad. I totally agree
Ample- March 16, 2009 at 12:18 pm
Canada Vs Brazil.....Brazil would crush them.

Infact....who the fuck COULD beat Brazil?? that whole god damn race was born to fight.

I think America could give them a run for their money...certainly after they whoop UK's limey asses.
boober- March 16, 2009 at 12:12 pm
why are so many of you pretending not to be entertained by the hijinx and body fluids, its supposed to be fun, what do you all do when you watch?! sit there flexing your muscles and grunting the whole time? what a bunch of douchbag jocks.
NateGetsIrate- March 16, 2009 at 12:11 pm
6. New Theme Song
If I hear "Bare witness to the fitness of the modern warrior" one more time i'm gonna personally take a piss in Dana's fruit platter.
slapjaw ackrite- March 16, 2009 at 12:10 pm
@ ashlee

good fucking point
Ashlee Vance- March 16, 2009 at 12:08 pm
>Canada vs. Brazil would be awesome!

Are you on drugs and not the good kind?

GSP and then who?
Homo Cote?
Or the generic McDonald?

Besides, this is REALITY FUCKING TV... its for Ozzy, Vanilla Ice and other has beens and assorted publicity seek retards.

Show some D quality fighting along with D quality personalities, try to get them to kill time in between fights with anything to keep up the attention like bowling or farting and then hope that watching these twits will cause enough familiarity that people will say "THOSE are MMA stars" and then unleash the Chris Leben's of the world.

Like the Idols' and other such show, you substitute shit for sugar and convince people taht its the real thing AND you get to keep the costs down if any of these make it further.

"Ooooh, that guy won TUF15."
Big fucking deal.

Actually, it is a big deal because its on TV. It doenst matter if you give people Elite or TUF, if its on TV they will believe that those are the best at what they do.

Clay Aiken or Tommy Speer, same thing.

Goog- March 16, 2009 at 12:06 pm
It was pretty telling that they just wanted ratings last season after not kicking Junie off all 23 times he deserved it. I personally would rather see the good fighters develop. I can catch the juvenile shit on MTV if I want.... which I don't.
J-Diddy- March 16, 2009 at 11:58 am
My point above is that I would like to see Japanese fighters and Brazilian fighters. I wouldn't mind seeing some other guys too from nations not commonly represented in the UFC.
J-Diddy- March 16, 2009 at 11:55 am
I think that the US vs. UK is a start to an even better idea. A global TUF. TUF 10 is the time. All the talk about going global could happen with TUF 10. You could make it by teams according to nation or continent. North America, South America, Asia and Europe (sorry I doubt much luck will be found in Antarctica, Africa or Australia).

-TUF 10 is to feature heavyweights and middleweights (also casting calls for lhw's).
-This would give a chance to cast Satoshi Ishii and some others --
-Each of the 4 teams would have 8 fighters to total 32. You could either work the show with 32 fighters or have fighters fight to get in the house leaving each team with 4 fighters, 2 in each weight class. This would give coaches more chance to work with and focus on their fighters.

The other issue will be coaches
- I say keep with the inetrnation idea and use internation coaches.
-for example say you use middleweight coaches you could have a way to clear up the logjam for the title and showcase new guys. N. America Coach: Marquardt S. America Coach: Wandy or Demian Maia Asian Coach: Okami or Akiyama Europe Coach: ???

That would create a 4 man tourney among coaches to compete for a title shot.