(Where’s your glass trophy now, playboy? Props: thesun.co.uk)
By CagePotato contributor Jim Genia
In a perfect world, The Ultimate Fighter would give us an up close and personal look at some of the most promising mixed martial artists out there, vying for greatness in the crucible of combat. But in reality, it’s become a perversion of manufactured drama and prefabricated stars — stars made bright not by the depth of the competition they must face but by the trouncing of whatever hapless wannabes a SpikeTV producer chose at the tryouts. You see, it stopped being about “who’s the best” a long time ago, and was twisted into “who makes for the best TV,” so what we get now is more Jersey Shore than Ultimate Fighting Championship, only instead of Snooki and JWoww’s cleavage we get an IFL champ or Sengoku veteran beating the ever-loving crap out of people with maybe a handful (if that) of fights.
That’s why, when a TUF winner loses in Octagon — sometimes after facing real UFC-level competition for the first time — it’s totally awesome! Because, sure, Michael Bisping, Joe Stevenson and Mac Danzig are tough, likeable guys, but don’t try to fool us into thinking they’re the definition of “badass” just because they defeated a personal trainer from New Orleans, a boxer from Maine and some kid who should be working on a farm. We’re not the ignorant general public flicking through the channels, we’re knowledgeable MMA fans. We know better!
Therefore, here, in no particular order, is a list of the ten greatest TUF winner fails of all time. It’s a list based not on animosity towards any particular fighter, but on animosity towards the Spike TV executive who skipped over the few hundred fighter hopefuls with real talent and real skill, and instead chose the clown with the funky hair, the drinking problem and the propensity for trashing houses…
Michael Bisping vs. Dan Henderson, UFC 100
British fighter Michael Bisping was a stud in the UK MMA scene (which is a lot like saying you’re a gold medalist in the Special Olympics) when he got the call to compete on TUF, and he took Season 3 top honors after beating, well, pretty much no one of note. But he continued to rack up wins on the pay-per-views, defeating such marginables as Elvis Sinosic, Charles McCarthy and Jason Day. However, TUF 9 saw him pitted against Dan Henderson as an opposing coach, and we were supposed to believe the inevitable Octagon conflict between them would be competitive. It wasn’t, and fans everywhere rejoiced over a knockout so devastating Bisping has no recollection of anything to do with the weekend of July 11, 2009 and about nine days before and after.