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Fresh Format in Store for “The Ultimate Fighter” Franchise

 

After thirteen seasons of The Ultimate Fighter, it’s getting to the point where a coach would have to physically restrain us in front of the television to sit through the show’s stale format and predictable antics, but we still tune in because, damn it, we love this fighting stuff. If you’re in the same boat, there’s good news: thanks to the recent Fox/UFC partnership, the reality series is getting its first major shake up in years.

Previous changes to the franchise included dropping the team-vs-team physical challenges, competitors having to fight their way into the house, and the introduction of the “wild card” spot in the semi-finals. Now, the all new TUF of FX will feature live fights and put match-making responsibility in the hands of the fans.

Season fifteen will kick off with a live two-hour episode featuring 32 fighters battling for their spot in the house. Once the dust settles and the blood dries, the coaches will choose their teams from the 16 remaining athletes and determine which fighters are eligible to compete in the following week’s episode. Fans will then vote via text message on which fighters they want to see lock horns, with the winning pair throwing down in episode two.

Each subsequent episode will start with the results of the fan poll and announcement of that evening’s fight. The rest of the show will be the familiar pre-recorded, edited interactions between cast memebers in the house and at the gym. When it’s time for the bout, however, we’ll shift to a live broadcast of the fight. After the bout has ended, we’ll see the fighter consolations and celebrations in real time and get to vote on next week’s pairing.

I’m not one to vote in American Idol-style text polls, but I’m excited about these changes. Rather than having the whole series wrapped up before the first episode airs, we’ll be catching the action as it unfolds. There’s something about watching a fight live that makes it more exciting whether I know the outcome of the bout or not. Also interesting is that the show’s editors won’t be able to carefully construct the “plot” and direction of the season without the benefit of knowing what lies ahead.  All in all, it looks like a solid effort to breath new life into the old series.

So will you be watching, and will you be voting?

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CheechFace- August 22, 2011 at 3:45 am
I'm just seriously impressed with CrushCo being able to watch a fight live and already know what the outcome is. You must be mega rich!! Or do you only use your powers for good???
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XENOPHON- August 21, 2011 at 12:10 pm
The only thing "gay" is thinking that the UFC - TUF is to think it's the best place for a aspiring fighter to jump start their career.
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If a fighter is good enough to enter the UFC directly, they most certainly already have built their own stable of sponsors. If one is incapable of building their own sponsorship portfolio, no high end organization will be interested in looking at you.
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If you are a fighter trying to make a name, go fight. It need not be with the UFC or their other antics based affiliate ventures. If you can script your own career then build out your win-to-lose record. If you can't attract the sponsorship, then you likely aimed too low in your competition selections.
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If anyone thinks they can jump to the top of the rankings with the scripted UFC fights (eg. Bisping) then you need to first acknowledge what happens to other hyped names like Kendall Grove.
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A TUF winner who goes 9–0 can earn no more than $300,000 total on the contract for 3 fights a year over 3 years.
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Yet, in reality only $150,000 is guaranteed for all three years if nine fights (3 per year) are fought. With each year the earnings break down like this:
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Year 1 --- $12,000 guaranteed per fight, $36k per year.
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Year 2 --- $16,000 guaranteed per fight, $48k per year.
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Year 3 --- $22,000 guaranteed per fight, $66k per year.
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In actuality if one loses 3 consecutive fights upon entering the UFC, after taxes they will get rolled up and kicked out, and after taxes that's less than $24k take home.
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Anyone can make that much money holding down a job delivering newspapers every morning. And dreaming of that is GAY.
XENOPHON- August 21, 2011 at 11:36 am
@haus66 and MrBlonde - I agree with a joke, almost as big of joke as Fatty McDickbutts and her "BAM" bullshit.
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White says:

"...we pick the very best guys in this country..." but less than a 1 minute later, this is seen as a fraud.
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The fraud is a 180 degree flop when its reveled that the "the audience will have a say on who they want to see fight..." and as noted above, "the audience will get to pick as "they choose from pre-determined matchups."
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I wonder how much money the UFC pays direct to Break Media and it's portal Cage Potato to fluff this place. Is the fluffing on a per month basis, or per article?
noname- August 20, 2011 at 5:19 pm
I don't like the fan vote thing. Does this mean that 2-3 fighters on each team have to train and cut weight as if the have a fight in a week only to find out an hour in advance who is chosen to fight?
stopdrinkingpee- August 20, 2011 at 4:01 pm
The voting is an incredibly stupid idea. I want TUF to become LESS like American Idol, not more.

Honestly, I think doing the fights live is kind of stupid, too. What if there's a :10 submission like Cody McKenzie and Marc Stevens, or a one-punch KO? Do we get 15 minutes of people talking about it? If the fight is tied after two, do people with DVRs just have to go online to see who won?

None of these changes sound positive, but I guess we'll see.
entropee- August 20, 2011 at 3:28 pm
@Jaydawg
To say any of these fighters are the equivalent to your junkyard analogy is to take this sport back a decade when McCain called it human cock fighting... Just saying, most of these guys are cool intelligent athletes, Bisping is just a dick. Also, if these fights are all live, why is it the preview video has fight footage and reactions?
MrBlondeSL- August 20, 2011 at 3:01 pm
@sarcasm, they don't get to pick fighter vs fighter they choose from pre determined matchups
Clyde- August 20, 2011 at 1:18 pm
Start competition

Open text voting.

???

Profit.

Sounds like Dana/the producers have found out how much American Idol makes of text voting. Whatever, it's a new twist and I'm sure I'll still watch.
skeletor- August 20, 2011 at 11:30 am
Also @Fatty McDickbutts
That was awesomely gay!
skeletor- August 20, 2011 at 11:29 am
I cant wait to see these guys and guess which one of the 32 isn't on steroids. Hopefully he wins the show like Serra did. The natural way.
Fatty McDickbutts- August 20, 2011 at 11:07 am
@Haus66 Why don't you do some regional grinding... ON MY BALLS!

BAM!
NomadRip- August 20, 2011 at 11:04 am
I'll be watching and probably texting votes just so they keep it up. Yes, there's a lot of boring shit on the show, but it beats another goddamned cooking show or some silly kid's game stick and ball sport.
CapNSarcasm- August 20, 2011 at 11:04 am
I wish they'd do another season like Season 4 - The Comeback. It was pretty awesome seeing some fighters like Mikey Burnett, Shonie Carter, Pete Sell & others get another chance.
CapNSarcasm- August 20, 2011 at 11:01 am
I would be worried about the voters making the best fighters go at it in the first week. What happens if the top fighter eliminates the second best in the first week? The final fights might end up being pretty lame....I'm glad they are trying though.
haus66- August 20, 2011 at 10:58 am
Who cares. Much like American Idol, the talent pool is shallow, and half assed fighters are getting into the UFC and stealing spots from regional grinders who get into the UFC the old fashioned way.
Darkside- August 20, 2011 at 10:55 am
That's pretty gay...
SumDumGuy- August 20, 2011 at 10:46 am
@skeletor: now do big nog
KrmtDfrog- August 20, 2011 at 10:10 am
Well, I'll watch the upcoming season just to see some guy drop the Hendo flying forearm on some dude in front of Bisping.
JayDawg- August 20, 2011 at 10:04 am
Skeletor, are you serious?
These are cage-fighters. Brawlers.

Why would you think they would be "role models"?

Is it poor taste and probably offensive to a great majority of their fans, very likely the answer is "Yes". I know I don't appreciate that sort of language.
If you're hanging out in a junkyard, chances are very good that you will be seeing, hearing and touching something most people don't want. No sense getting upset about it. It is in its place, you are in its place.

just sayin.
skeletor- August 20, 2011 at 9:45 am
On a more serious note I just read for the second time this week Bisbing use the word "gay" as a derogatory term to describe a non homosexual situation or event. This is really getting out of hand! These fighters need to understand this is not a term or issue to be taken lightly and they need to set a better example for the people who follow there careers.
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