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Guest Column: To Cancel or Not to Cancel, TUF Is the Question.

(Ah, the good ol’ days…)

As the 11th season of The Ultimate Fighter officially comes to a close this Saturday, we’re left with the same complaints we have nearly every season: The format is stale. The fighters aren’t UFC-level. Hey, weren’t the coaches supposed to fight each over? And while any asshole with an opinion can say that something needs to change, notable CagePotato commenter Chris "Viva Hate" Morse actually sent us some concrete ideas on how to fix the show. Read his thoughts below and let us know what you think. So crazy they just might work? Or so crazy that Viva Hate should go back to trolling the comments section?


With yet another dismal season of TUF winding down and fans once against asking if the show has run its course, it is obviously time for some improvements. The past two seasons have featured numerous fights that turned out to be large men hugging and slobbering all over each other due to a lack of cardio. The show that partially helped launch MMA into the mainstream is now weaker and weaker by the episode. Here is a list of ways that could help revitalize and reenergize this dying beast.

Season 4 of TUF was the "Comeback" season featuring UFC castoffs trying to get one more chance at glory. Why not take this one step further with TUF 13: The OGs? Bring back early fighters to train with current fighters for the contract. This would be great for two reasons. One, it would show just how far the sport has progressed from the early days. Two, who doesn’t enjoy a little nostalgia? At least we know Tom Lawlor would be glued to the TV. There is a list of guys who would most likely take the shot based on attempts in recent years to get back into MMA. A few names that come to mind are Dan “The Beast” Severn and Oleg “The Russian Bear” Taktarov. Even giving Royce Gracie the invite which would bring in guaranteed ratings. Sadly, Joe Son and Harold Howard will not be available.

Next, bring back the team challenges from season 1. Why? Because it would be far more entertaining than watching five meatheads argue over who stole someone’s sandals for 35 minutes. Merge this with the aforementioned UFC legends, and who wouldn’t want to watch Royce and Severn compete against each other to see who can carry rocks across a football field quicker?

If my idea of bringing back the early pioneers doesn’t fly, why not bring in some fighters with mental/legal issues for a contract to a psych ward or money for legal fees. Imagine a season of TUF featuring War Machine, Karo Parisyan (unless of course he has tea with Strikeforce to sign a deal), Junie Browning, and Josh Neer. Sure, some of these guys have been told they would never fight in the UFC again, but would you rather watch them go insane or Kimbo Slice get slowly suffocated under Roy Nelson’s belly? Sadly, I will take the crazy people; even if the fights suck, at least the douche chills would be fun.

My next idea has a slight WWE-vibe, but could really test the fighters’ abilities: Add a bonus for each fight if they finish a specific way. I know the guys receive knockout and submission bonuses. Triple them if they finish by a specific submission or technique. This would be a good way for people to actually judge a fighter’s skills, and would push the fighters to show them off and not play it so safe.

And finally an idea that is long overdue, the Dana White Curse-O-Meter: A counter at the bottom of the screen to determine exactly how many times Dana gets bleeped for the season. Who has not been curious about this? I tried to figure it out one time but my abacus caught on fire.

Again, these are just rough ideas to help bring some sort of entertainment back to once great show. But even if the format stays the same, it’s still more fun to watch than XARM. Got any better ideas, smart guys?

Cagepotato Comments

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Harry Nips- June 18, 2010 at 6:20 pm
Changes that should be made:
1. Do away with all the silly bullshit that goes in the house. Instead of showing all
4th grade drama show us the fighters training. I'd much rather see some
techniques/drills being taught/used by world class fighters/trainers instead of 2
retards arguing over who ate the last banana. Put a tv & radio in the house and
let the fighters relax.
2. Cast fighters not attention whores. How can a world class BJJ player or all-
american wrestler be passed over for some guy who shows up to the audition
with a fucking boombox and 1/2 ass fighting abilities.(seen this on the UG)
3. Do away with the teams. These guys are there to fight not make friends.
4. Do away with the coaches fight @ the end of the show. Especially after the last
2 seasons. Stop overshadowing the premise of the show with these phony ass
feuds/rivalries between coaches.

IMO, these changes would be a good start. Sorry if I wrote the same thing as other people but there's no fucking way i'm reading all those comments while I got a steak burrito waiting for me to come make love to it.
Mofo- June 18, 2010 at 3:10 pm
hahahahahaha... i did see your post later... i was in a hurry, cuz i was at work, so as you said, i didn't have time to read all the posts. i had a feeling i'd probably end up saying what someone else said.

ok now i'll go back to hiding in the bushes waiting for you to say something so i can run in and blurt out the same thing as my own!

fatbellyfrank- June 17, 2010 at 11:58 pm
Your gonna get hit
your gonna get knocked out

There can be no other song, even my kids know it, you hear that tune, your pulse starts racin, its FIGHT TIME,
I reckon they should change it from a cage to a thunderdome, and then have the fights to the death, now that will rate, oh and have more ring girls and make them naked.
dranokills- June 17, 2010 at 11:08 pm
Socal Tot Says:
Fri, 06/18/2010 - 03:05


(Sing it fellow Potatoes!)
love it great post.
yeah I will sing along, I don't care if it's old, it fits the show, and I dig it.

and it goes BOOM another hit is landed
BOOM another hit is landed

the stealth of a sniper
the strength of a viper
the training
the challenge
the ultimate fighter

you're gonna get hit
you're gonna get knocked out
you're gonna feel it
this is the ultimate

you're gonna get hit
you're gonna get knocked out
you're gonna feel it
this is the ultimate
noizy- June 17, 2010 at 8:04 pm
Have them run through an obstacle course while Gina Carano shoots them down with a tennis ball cannon.
Lysol- June 17, 2010 at 8:03 pm
Mark Kerr and Pat Smith, FTW.
CAPS LOCK TOMMY- June 17, 2010 at 5:42 pm
Socal Tot- June 17, 2010 at 5:05 pm

(Sing it fellow Potatoes!)
ilvbllythekd12- June 17, 2010 at 3:21 pm
Ohh man a featherweight or bantamweight season would be awesome, especially since the UFC is so blatantly blurring the line between itself and the WEC anyway. I would love to see Miguel Torres try and coach some guys. And the lighter weights are more exciting (to the untrained viewer) anyway since the guys move around more and at a quicker pace.
therob3181- June 17, 2010 at 2:31 pm
First off I did really enjoy the article and Viva's suggestions. I also enjoyed about half the suggestions posted in response because after I got through about half my attention span tuned out like it does during an episode of TUF when I get up to play with the cat or something because I'm so bored and the show just become background noise. That said I have some Ideas of my own.

1. Please for the love of GOD listen to agentsmiths suggestion and kill that theme song. Please I beg of you. I am almost certain I have developed a brain tumor from having heard it so many times. I know it doesn’t sound medically possible but I have to believe it’s true. I’d rather have a silent montage of the opening credits than hear that song.
2. If they are going to stick to the current format I think they need to make one major change. I would like to see the fighters, fight there way onto the show of course, but then fight there way onto a team. For example they have to choose a coach they want to train with of the two picked for the season and get another fighter to agree to fight them who wants to go on the opposing team. Force them to work it out who they will fight and who they will fight for. Yeah some guys will get the shaft and sometimes everyone will want to fight for one coach and not the other, (which requires Dana to choose fairly matched coaches instead of lame one sided Shamrock Ortiz season), but you give them a one week deadline to set up a “mock contract” through an on staff manager to fight another fighter balancing out the two teams. Whoever can’t work out the business end of that and doesn’t have someone signed to fight with them goes home simple as that. First off it forces guys to taste and go through the management and negotiation end of what is a cut throat business in where you seldom get to fight who you want to when you want to. The next benefit is you know they want to be on the team of the coach they picked and it challenges the coach to deal with the hand dealt because if all of their fighters lost their fight to be put on said coaches team… Well they at least know their weakness, but it also requires them to make up for it in quality training and conditioning of their fighters. It also can set up for some significant Cinderella stories emerging from the fighters who initially lost.
3. Next is that right after the first fight to just get on the show each coach gets one pick to choose two fighters that lost but showed heart to stay on as their reserve fighters training on the team in the event of injuries or douchbagism to jump in and take the spot. No showing up because someone got booted then training 3 days and fighting. Let them get the full benefit because even if they aren’t used at least they got top notch training and TV time and potential to show up on an undercard based on their attitude and work ethic.
4. I agree with an added incentive for being able to finish a fight in a specific manner but I’d like to take it one step farther. If you finish the fight you get $1,000. If you call out what you will win by specifically like they go to Dana and say I’m going to win by triangle choke and they do it then they get $5,000. If they ask Dana to call if for them, (meaning he decides how he wants to see them finish it), and they pull it off $10,000. And last but not least if they call it how they will end it and then call the round they will finish it in then they get $30,000. You want to see some good fights you watch the guy calling the knockout in the first as it closes in on 30 seconds left to win that 30 grand and you will see some bombs being thrown.
5. GET RID OF THE ALCOHOL. If you’re really looking for the next generation of fighter stop giving them vices. Let the coaches bring the booze over to let a fighter celebrate a win if they thinks that’s the right thing to do.
6. Ultimately I think that if a format change is an option then I’d like to see like the top 8 camps that have elite fighters in the UFC go out and find raw talent and train them with the film more like the 24/7 lead up to the fight shows and follow the 6 fighters in the 6 camps week to week for a 6 or 8 week training camp then have them in three fight night events like an extended tournament with the third crowning the winner of the final two the new Ultimate fighter. Just an idea. You get to see inside the top training camps for MMA as well as watch a fighter grow in the most ideal circumstances culminating in a series of three free fight events to crown a champion.
mt59801- June 17, 2010 at 2:22 pm
How about just cutting out all the bullshit and have a show about fighting? Seriously fuck the drama, house trashing, drunk crying, and all the other frat boy bullshit. Just show me 4-5 two round fights a show and I'd be real fucking happy. Come to think why even call it TUF Lets just have a UFC Grand Prix that lasts for a TV season.
Viva Hate- June 17, 2010 at 1:38 pm
Talk about not working in reality, what is in it for the guys from season 1 and 2? What is their prize? Most of them are already in the UFC or established so why would they take a step back? Why would the coaches gamble? Again, that will not inspire them it will just make them not take the job. I do however like the idea of taking them out to get boozed up, that always leads to someone being a complete ass and keeping them locked up makes no sense.
dranokills- June 17, 2010 at 1:19 pm
None of those ideas are worth a shit, none of them would work in reality. I hate to be the voice of reason but while funny as they can be, those are just not viable options to many setbacks and screwups I can see in them.
this is a real plan:
Take the final 8 of season 1, and season 2, and make it a good one call it TUF; the reunion season.
and no matter who the coaches are they don't fight...that's stupid really. make it worth their while make it the winning coach gets a 6 figure paycheck for a job well done, and the losing coach gets NOTHING. Now that is a way to inspire someone.
there will be teams, but at no time is anyone safe from fighting a frind or team-mate. Joe silva needs to be there from day one, and when Silva tells Dana to put 2 fighters together it happens.
also no more stuck in a house, every week at least once or twice these guys get taken out in public, and boozed up, see what kinda shit they get into, like real life.
and when someone loses they go home, no more of this losing twice and still sitting around talking shit to everyone who already beat your ass, I don't want to see some 2 time loser like kaycey running his mouth again, fucking go home and work at mcdonalds you useless fucking non fighter.
now hows THAT for a season?
GSP for Prime Minister- June 17, 2010 at 1:12 pm
Allow the fighters to bring their WAGs and turn the show into "TUF meets TEMPTATION ISLAND"!
macreadysshack- June 17, 2010 at 1:02 pm
@Nut Pouncer

Your point in that first paragraph is a very good one. How can these guys possibly perform the way we want them to without recovery?

Your last idea: "With that said, How about they allow the winner of TUF to choose the next actual UFC opponent of the opposing teams head coach?"

. . . is hilarious. That would potentially be some very funny shit . . . Okay, I've won TUF, now I want Rich Franklin to cut down the tallest tree in the forest wiiiiith . . . a herring!
Nut Puncher 9000- June 17, 2010 at 12:45 pm
First of all, I think that the hardcore fans of TUF need to wake up and realize a few things.

-Over the six or so weeks of this competition these fighters are training their asses off ALL THE TIME. Take your favorite UFC fighter and ask him if he trains at 100% right up until fight day and then is back at it the very next day. For Christ Sake, McCray from this season fought 6 times!!! That is a full contact fight EVERY tuesday with absolutely zero training down time. It is absurd that we as fans look at this as some sort of lack of cardio when they gas in the second round. I cant even list how many UFC fighters i have heard say that they take the last week up until their fights to allow there body to recover. Get some perspective.

-Although I would like to see more training technique, we as relative hardcore fans need to realize that the show is hype. They use the show to build up fighters or fights so that they can promote them in the future. Honest question: Would you feel the same way you do now about Jamie Yager if you only saw him training hard and fighting? If they didnt show you all the "Real World" aspects of the show would you have that same opinion as you do now? What about the other fighters that came through TUF? Forrest Griffin? Diego Sanchez? Chris Leben? Junie Browning? War Machine? the list goes on and on...good or bad the bullshit on that show does allow you a little insight as to the the character of the fighter. Something that eventually leads you to follow a fighter later in their career. To this day, I still come to this site and see articles about War Machine and his stupidity and yet idiots like Ken Shamrock were 10X the fighter he will ever be....

In the end the only people asking if TUF has run its course are us - the hardcores. The show gets solid ratings and isnt going anywhere as long as the UFC wants it to stay. Yes, in a way that is disappointing, but it is what it is.

With that said, How about they allow the winner of TUF to choose the next actual UFC opponent of the opposing teams head coach?

2DaDeath- June 17, 2010 at 12:44 pm
justscrappin. that running man idea seems awfully familiar...

justscrappin- June 17, 2010 at 12:11 pm
Viva know if a quarter fits in the slot...the smaller coins will as well. Congrats on the contribution playa.
Viva Hate- June 17, 2010 at 12:05 pm
What if I have two dimes and nickel? Or 25 pennies? Or 5 nickels? Or a dime and 3 nickels? Or okay I am done.
justscrappin- June 17, 2010 at 11:59 am
Well isn't that a coinky dink? I happen to have a roll of quarters right here. So how many quarters is it per bust?
Sabado Gigante- June 17, 2010 at 11:55 am
@ Macreadyshack and Mofo:

Genius... Now, fight on for the credit!

But seriously... Send this idea to Dana... It needs to happen...

PS: my mother-in-law sucks dick for quarters
justscrappin- June 17, 2010 at 11:52 am
Harold Howard vs. Joe Son......winner gets a reduced sentence? Or real life Running Man ....they try to escape from a secure compound while being chased by guys hunting them for sport?
2DaDeath- June 17, 2010 at 11:47 am
"Sadly, Joe Son and Harold Howard will not be available."

Ha! Yeah, so sad.
macreadysshack- June 17, 2010 at 11:46 am
@Mofo Way to steal my idea, douchebag. j/k, nobody can be expected to read all these long goddamn posts . . . Seriously, though, I think this would be a good show.

You said:
"Or they could return to the first days of UFC and just pit one martial art against another. That's still an awesome idea and will never get old. When the UFC evolved, I was SO PISSED. I was like, awwww shit, now all these mofos fight the same way! I wanna see the sumo bum rush the kickboxer again. I wanna some impossibly huge dude get sub'd like a bitch by some pencil neck again. All that awesome shit from the first few UFCs. Make a show outta that! MMA has gotten boring on that level."

"How about a season that only includes people who have been very successful in specific combat sports and show their progression in the MMA game over the season. Get a badass Judo guy that's only done Judo, get a boxer, kickboxer, hell, get JKD guy in there, wu shu, kung-fu, karate, savate, pent jak silat . . . whatever. Just make sure they're top notch athletes in their respective styles and want to learn the complete game. Leave out wrestling and BJJ 'cause their specialized games would dominate those other poor bastards - we already know this. In fact, it could be any combat style except the big three that contribute the most to MMA . . . we'd lose Muay Thai guys that way but let the Western style kickboxers in.

It would be a throwback to the spirit of the UFC in days of yor and we wouldn't have a bunch of old guys in there.

Seeing those guys evolve their styles with world class trainers would be awesome. It would be goddamn Bloodsport and I'd watch that shit.'
Mofo- June 17, 2010 at 11:28 am

Viva - WTF, you write a piece for CP and it contains no mention of the Mexican hot pocket or the Alaska pipeline? You've sold out, friend. You just went from Raw to Dr. Doolittle. (Just kidding, good job)

Get Off Me said the words American Idol auditions and my head exploded.

Now THAT is a GOOD IDEA. Idol does nothing but show losers and crazies for the first few weeks. How awesome would it be if TUF just showed up in your town, 1,000 deluded wackos lined up on the sidewalk, and then two by two they just come in and fight? Most would have no skill, but you know you'd love to watch those crazy brawls.

That would be more like Fight Club. Sweet.

Or they could return to the first days of UFC and just pit one martial art against another. That's still an awesome idea and will never get old. When the UFC evolved, I was SO PISSED. I was like, awwww shit, now all these mofos fight the same way! I wanna see the sumo bum rush the kickboxer again. I wanna some impossibly huge dude get sub'd like a bitch by some pencil neck again. All that awesome shit from the first few UFCs. Make a show outta that! MMA has gotten boring on that level.