Mike Dolce has decided to tell it like it is. In a blog entry penned for MMA Weekly, the season seven contestant on The Ultimate Fighter lets us in on the untold story of booze and buffoonery behind the scenes:
Moving on to this week’s episode, what can I say?
At the risk of pissing a bunch of people off, I’m going to tell you.
Personally, I knew something was seriously wrong with this production when, as a sequestered, professional athlete in the midst of a major sporting event, I could not obtain a free range chicken breast for almost 48 hours of repeated requests, but a bottle of tequila, a half rack of beer and a funnel could be delivered in twenty minutes at any time of day or night with a single belligerent phone call. All under the guise of trying to determine just who was The Ultimate Fighter…the epitome of professional athletics.
Dolce is not making himself any friends with this, but he does point out an obvious contradiction in the way TUF is run. We saw the problems created by providing the fighters with bountiful, free alcohol back in season one. Then we saw it over and over again in successive seasons. Clearly the alcohol is there because it causes problems on a show that has very little going on outside the cage. The fact that it seems antithetical to a sporting competition doesn’t seem to concern anyone.
So okay, the producers are more interested in getting the fighters plastered than in getting them to act like serious athletes. Not exactly a revelation. But wait, there’s more.
As a testament to that option, would you believe that some of the cast members showed up to the fights drunk? Some made it a point to get trashed just to go to the weigh-ins and fight-picks? Would you even believe that some of my fellow cast members showed up to team practices too drunk to participate in any meaningful capacity other than captivating the cameras with their slurred speech and bouts of random uselessness?
Believe it friends, because it happened, often!
There’s something they don’t seem to be in any hurry to show, which brings up an interesting point. They provide these guys with as much liquor as they can drink, but even the producers must have realized that it was a bad idea to show them drunk in the gym. That would make us think, as Dolce points out, that they weren’t taking it as seriously as they should have been. So they cut it, while leaving in the drunken property destruction back at the house. Very interesting decision. I guess that’s reality for you.