Perhaps the most unique thing you can say about last year’s TUF: The Smashes was that it showcased the age old rivalry between England and Australia for fans who might not have known how deep-seated it truly went. It not only raised the stakes between teams to a new level, but it also played a role in the verbal (and allegedly physical) on set squabbles between coaches Ross Pearson and George Sotiropoulos, and culminated in a pretty damn entertaining fight when all was said and done.
And while TUF: Brazil 2 is currently playing LinkedIn to The Ultimate Fighter’s Facebook, there were at least a few of us who were excited to see which rivalry would be showcased on the next other, other version of TUF, which I guess you would label the MySpace of Ultimate Fighters, maybe? I dunno; management keeps telling us that we need to start writing to our key demographic (drunk, agoraphobic 14 year-olds) and I’m just trying to keep up with the times. *stares out window, finishes scotch*
In any case, MMAFighting has passed along word that the next international season of The Ultimate Fighter will showcase the epic rivalry between…Canada and Australia. I may have lost most of my long term memory in that scaffolding accident, but I can’t seem to recall any conflict every existing between the two –it doesn’t help the Wikipedia page for “Canadian military history” is completely blank.
Why the UFC decided to go with this rivalry (or another season of Australians, for that matter) is anyone’s guess, but here are a few rivalries we think would have better suited the next international season of The Ultimate Fighter…
There ain’t nothin’ better than a good old fashioned Dubya Dubya Two rivalry *reaches for Copenhagen Snuff* and these two have already established a bitter hatred for one another in one of the wimpiest sports out there: Soccer. Prior to their EURO meeting in 2008, the Polish National Newspaper published an image of their country’s coach, Leo Beenhakker, clutching the severed heads of Germany’s team captains. And go figure, Germany had zero sense of humor about it. Suffice it to say, if the Germany/Poland rivalry can ignite that kind of anger in the world of this nonsense, just imagine how brutal the MMA rivalry could get.
Of course, you gotta have coaches, but that’s the easy part. Dennis Siver is set to face Cub Swanson at UFC 162. Currently, Swanson is listed as a 2-to-1 favorite, so let’s assume he takes the fight for the sake of argument. Siver becomes the head coach of Team Germany and Polish-American slugger Bart Palaszewski is appointed the head coach of Team Poland. Sure, Palaszewski is on a three fight losing streak, but he’s a veteran of the sport with a wealth of experience and one who almost always puts on entertaining fights. Besides, both Pearson and Sotiropoulos were coming off losses when they began TUF: Smashes, so can we just agree that TUF coach fights don’t really matter anymore?
#2 – Canada vs. Mexico
Talk about capitalizing on an opportunity; this happened at the World Baseball Classic this year, you guys. Aren’t those things, like, for charity?
#3 – Scotland vs. Ireland
You’d have to be a fool not to want to see this rivalry play out in the octagon, and if Conor McGregor has shown us anything, it’s that there’s a ton of untapped potential in that area of the world. Homeless, untapped potential.
Honorable Mention: Ireland vs. Jamaica: The Subtitles.
Coaches: Conor McGregor and 1-0 Scottish phenom Andrew Glenn. To level the playing field, the fight will take place at the Bushmills Distillery at 2 a.m. after Mcgregor is half in the bag.
#4 – The Ultimate Fighter: Paraguay vs. Uruguay – One Guay Out.
I believe the title speaks for itself.
#5 – The Civil Fighter: North vs. South
OK, this one’s not international per se, but just try and tell us that this isn’t must-see TV.
Let’s face it, reality television has been scraping the bottom of the barrel since it was pushed out as the afterbirth of sitcoms in the early aughts. There are no boundaries anymore, and if you don’t believe me, just ask that last sentence. But if there’s one issue that never ceases to pucker our buttholes, it’s race. Thankfully, Brad Paisley and LL Cool J ended racism last week, so no one should be offended by the concept of pitting the semi-racist North against the super-racist South moving forward.
Can you imagine it? A big line painted straight down the middle of the TUF house, forcing each team to choose whether they want to be able to use the bathroom or the kitchen for the next six weeks. White guys on Team South doing everything in their power to avoid coming off as racist to the television audience. Team-segregated water fountains at the gym. This show would break barriers, you guys.
Coaches: Oh…we are not going near that one.
Like it or not, The Ultimate Fighter has become more about finding enough young talent to fill the UFC’s ever-increasing amount of cards than it has about creating a rivalry between coaches. Sure, the supposed “hatred” between Chael Sonnen and Jon Jones was the lone reason they were booked opposite one another on TUF 17, but just look at how that panned out once the show actually got under way. Fucking excavators and tire pyramids, you guys. So being that we’re stuck with this one, tireless concept until the end of time, shouldn’t we start having a little fun with it?
Are there any other great rivalries that you think The Ultimate Fighter should have gone with? Let us know in the comments section.