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Tag: The Ultimate Fighter

Yes, Ronda Rousey Will Be Coaching the Next (Co-Ed!) Season of ‘The Ultimate Fighter’


(According to the press release, the season will feature 15 talented female MMA prospects, and “one drunken asshole who’s basically like a chick-version of Junie Browning.” / Ronda photo via Getty Images)

By Oliver Chan

When Dana White tweeted that a big announcement will be made at the end of the UFC 158 FX prelims, fans started buzzing with theories ranging from New York MMA legalization to Nick Diaz no-showing the event (although based on his performance, he might as well have). Instead, looking to continue riding the Ronda Rousey Women’s MMA Train, White announced that the two head coaches for the 18th season of The Ultimate Fighter will be Ronda Rousey and the winner of the Meisha Tate/Cat Zingano fight on April 13. TUF 18 will debut sometime this fall, and to add to the intrigue, the season will feature both male and female fighters in the 135 weight class competing for contracts in their respective divisions.

While ratings for this season have seen a slight uptick on FX, the series has failed to match the previous numbers it once enjoyed while on Spike. Now with the rival network preparing to launch two new reality shows featuring a now ousted UFC Hall-of-Famer, the UFC has the added pressure to step up their game in order to keep their MMA/Reality TV market share in point. While to some die-hard MMA fans, this may not seem like a big deal, for the UFC and Bellator, the ratings for their reality TV programs do have a significant impact on how the networks will present their brands to potential television partners in the future.

This current season of TUF has seen a change of direction in terms of how the competition has been portrayed. There is significantly less drunken buffonary, bodily fluid pranks, and even a limited instances of a-holes being a-holes (*Cough*Bubba*Cough*). Hell, even Chael Sonnen has been on his best behavior! (Which I’m kind of disappointed with, but you can’t win them all.) Instead, as Joe Rogan pointed out during last night’s Mike Ricci/Colin Fletcher fight, TUF 17 highlights the challenges faced by contestants being a struggling MMA fighter as well as the added pressure of being on a reality show. Throw in some exciting finishes and we have MMA at its purest with no gimmicks needed. But a fundamental problem remains: Do we really feel that any contestant on this show could have a significant career in the UFC?

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‘The Ultimate Fighter 17: Team Jones vs. Team Sonnen’ Episode 7 — Complete Video & Recap


(Video courtesy of Hulu.) 

Last week, Team Jones was able to chalk up victory #2 after an injured Josh Samman blistered Swede Tor Troeng. With control finally back in their corner, Jon Jones decided to place his #1 pick, boxer Clint Hester, against Team Sonnen’s most decorated grappler in former police officer Jimmy Quinlan. It was a matchup that completely baffled Chael Sonnen, but will Jones’ unorthodox strategy pay off this time? Check out last night’s episode in full above and join us below for all the highlights.

- To kick things off this week, the house is treated to an ever-so-rare night on the town at a local Hooters establishment. Hooters: Our wings might taste like dirty bath water, but hey, tits! Fives are highed. Waitresses are groped. Gilbert Smith repeatedly finds ways to take his clothing off. And by the end of the night, Uriah Hall somehow manages to alienate himself from everyone even further. Collin Hart states his distaste for Hall’s attitude and hope he gets the chance to smash him.

- Hall admits that he hasn’t been sleeping well lately because his desire to nearly decapitate another housemate is eating away at him. You sure you still want a piece of this guy, Collin? Anyway, Sonnen’s assistant coach, Scott McQuary, tries to offer some zen-like wisdom to calm Uriah down. “A non-quiet mind is like a tractor,” he says, “You just can’t stop it.” Not sure which model of John Deere Scott’s used to plowing the fields with, but I’m pretty sure that the worst thing a tractor can do is give you gonorrhea.

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‘The Ultimate Fighter 17: Team Jones vs. Team Sonnen’ Episode 6 – Complete Video & Recap

Following his shocking upset loss to Kelvin Gastelum last week, Bubba McDaniel emerged a much humbler man in the opening moments of yesterday’s episode of The Ultimate Fighter: Jones vs. Sonnen. With Team Sonnen now back in control of the fight selections, this week’s matchup pitted highly-touted Swede Tor Troeng against Team Jones’ #2 pick and self-appointed captain Josh Samman. Was Samman able to overcome his nagging injuries and regain control for Team Jones, or did Troeng notch “another on for the bad guys?” Check out the entirety of last night’s episode above and join us after the jump for a full recap to find out.

- The episode kicks off with Jimmy Quinlan constructing a hammer for Tor (pronounced Thor. GET IT?). Although the prototype is laughably undersized, Quinlan showcases some MacGuyver-esque resourcefulness when building Troeng a life-sized model. If Josh Samman turns out to be less a human fighter and more a mole in need of whacking, he is pretty much screwed now.

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‘The Ultimate Fighter 17: Team Jones vs. Team Sonnen’ Episode 5 — Complete Video & Recap


(Props: The Ultimate Fighter on Hulu)

After Collin Hart’s decision win over Kevin Casey returned matchup-control to Team Jones, it’s fan-favorite Robert “Bubba” McDaniel‘s time to shine — or crash-and-burn, whichever the case may be. Here are the major plot points from last night’s episode of The Ultimate Fighter: Team Jones vs. Team Sonnen, which you can watch above in its entirety.

- This week’s fight will be Bubba vs. Kelvin Gastelum, a 5-0 prospect (and full-time bail bondsman) from Arizona who, at 21 years old, is apparently the youngest competitor ever allowed onto The Ultimate Fighter. Jones picked the matchup because he sees Kelvin as Team Sonnen’s weakest link, and feels that Bubba’s vast experience edge and overall skills will make the difference in the fight. As usual, Coach Chael Sonnen tries to stay positive: “They don’t know what they handed you,” he tells Kelvin. “They handed you a big opportunity. Everybody here’s gotta win this tournament to get in the UFC. You just gotta beat this guy. This is your ticket, right here.”

- Kelvin is apparently a big Ronda Rousey fan, so Chael sweetens the pot by arranging for Ronda to call Kelvin and wish him luck, then promises that Ronda will come down and train with him if he wins. Man, that devious bastard.

- Chael Sonnen’s friendliness is still throwing Jon Jones for a loop; the champ likes to keep a “mystique” about himself and maintain a distance from future opponents, but Sonnen is making that difficult by constantly engaging Jones in pleasant conversation. Seriously, Chael, when are you going to start fucking with his parking spot and hiding his sandals?

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Poll: Who Is the Least Likable Contestant in ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ History? [UPDATED w/Results]


(Don’t worry, Julian, at least this moment was not forever immortalized by the power of the internet. That would be *super* embarrassing.) 

If BG’s recaps are any indication, this season’s The Ultimate Fighter appears to be void of most of the fabricated, frat boy drama that has plagued countless seasons before it, opting rather for a more straightforward, yet stylistic focus on the fights themselves. And while TUF has undoubtedly matured after some 17 seasons, that isn’t to say that the show has completely rid itself of the kind of unsightly characters reality television oft shines a light on. This season’s Julian Lane is none other than Robert “Bubba” McDaniel, a relentless a-hole who thus far has both bashed teammate Gilbert Smith for being mentally weak the day before he was scheduled to fight and unsuccessfully attempted to troll Kevin Casey into a fight using tactics usually saved for elementary school playgrounds (or the comments section of BloodyElbow).

So while a few of us were discussing McDaniel’s douchiness in the comments section of our latest recap, we (we being ReX) got to thinking: Who was the least likable fighter in TUF History?

After the jump lies a poll with the most obvious offenders (Browning, Lane, Koscheck the participant, Koscheck the coach, etc.) for you to choose from, along with an “Other” option in case you feeling like calling out some of the lesser-known but equally offensive jackwagons to enter the TUF household. I cannot stress enough that I have never entered the TUF household. I’ll announce the results at some point tomorrow, because I do what I want, when I want. OK, you can include me as an option for that statement alone.

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‘The Ultimate Fighter 17: Team Jones vs. Team Sonnen’ Episode 4 — Complete Video & Recap


(Props: ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ on Hulu)

With Team Sonnen up 2-0 following Uriah Hall‘s brutal knockout of Adam Cella, it’s time for Team Jones to shift the momentum before it gets out of hand — and it’s up to their #5 pick Collin Hart to save the day. Here are the brass tacks from last night’s episode of The Ultimate Fighter: Team Jones vs. Team Sonnen, which you can watch above in its entirety.

- Adam Cella returns to the TUF house, still wearing his hospital gown, and claims he has no memory of the fight. Nevertheless, he tracks Uriah Hall down in the shower and jokingly asks Hall why he hit him so hard. Hall still feels uncomfortable about the fact that he nearly ended Cella’s life. The fact that he’s naked while Cella is trying to have a conversation with him does nothing to alleviate the tension.

- Kevin Casey suffered a cut over his right eye during his elimination-round fight against Eldon Sproat, and says he chose to fight Collin Hart — a wrestler — because he runs a lower risk of getting the cut re-opened against Hart than he would against a talented striker, like Bubba McDaniel, for example. So yeah, in a way he is ducking Bubba, but it makes sense from a strategic standpoint. Unfortunately, Collin vows to elbow Kevin Casey’s face in.

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And Here’s That Insane Spinning-Back-Kick KO From Last Night’s Episode of TUF… [VIDEO]


(Props: TheUltimateFighterFX)

The UFC was so damn proud of the Edson Barboza-esque knockout that Uriah Hall laid on Adam Cella during last night’s episode of TUF, that they actually made it available on YouTube along with some extended aftermath footage. And come to think of it, I can’t think of a knockout from the show’s history that was more impressive — or more brutal — than this one, especially considering how long Cella was unconscious. Cella did in fact go to the hospital for a CAT scan when he woke up, but it looks like the black dude in the ambulance that they kept showing in promos was footage from a different fight. (Could be the next one, actually.)

Hall’s win makes him an iron-clad front-runner for the $25,000 Knockout of the Season prize, and puts Team Sonnen up 2-0 in the preliminary round. A couple other notable moments from episode 3…

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Video Preview: Shit Is Going to Get Violent on Tonight’s Episode of ‘The Ultimate Fighter,’ But Will You Be Watching?

As one could tell from the opening moments of The Ultimate Fighter 17 premiere a couple weeks back, some drastic improvements have been made to the long neglected reality show. The sleek production, the lack of fabricated drama, the fight quality — nearly everything audiences were demanding over the past few seasons seems to have improved for the time being and has been reflected in the show’s much improved ratings.

And tonight’s episode, featuring a showdown between the highly touted Uriah Hall (Team Sonnen) and the all but completely overlooked Adam Cella (Team Jones), promises to deliver not only one of the most violent KO’s in the show’s history, but in the history of the sport. That is according to noted TUF hypeman and occasional UFC president Dana White, of course.

So in order to do a little TUF-hyping of our own (I know right? WHAT YEAR IS THIS?!), we’ve thrown a preview of tonight’s episode above for you all to check out. And indeed, if the audience’s reaction is any indication, then someone is going down in a big way during the night’s main event. Unfortunately for you spoilerphobes, if you freeze frame the video around the 45 second mark, you can see that the fighter strapped to the stretcher appears to be of the African American persuasion. A bit of intentional misleading by the TUF production team, or a massive upset in the making? And more importantly, how many of you Taters will be tuning in to find out?

After the jump: A little more video hype, featuring a sneak peak of Ronda Rousey’s special on Real Sports, which airs February 19th on HBO. Liz Carmouche’s special, on the other hand, will be airing tonight on Lifetime After Dark in the form of a 30-second trailer during the network’s coveted 3 a.m. spot. We kid, we kid; Liz didn’t get a special.

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‘TUF 17: Team Jones vs. Team Sonnen,’ Episode 2 — The Good, The Bad, And the Ugly

You’d think that Jon Jones would understand the importance of having a tremendous reach advantage, considering it’s one of the key elements of his own success in the UFC. But I’ve already said too much. Read on for our quick breakdown of the best and worst moments from last night’s episode of The Ultimate Fighter 17: Team Jones vs. Team Sonnen, which produced the season’s first middleweight quarterfinalist.

The Good
- The sheer glee on the faces of the castmembers as they enter the TUF mansion for the first time, especially the ones who are used to living a much more humble lifestyle. Not a single one of them goes straight to the booze closet and starts breaking shit. Luke Barnatt is just thankful for six weeks of free food. The house is “astronomically extraordinary,” according to Gilbert Smith. Enjoy it guys, because that beautiful house will soon become…YOUR PRISON.

- Sonnen wearing wind-pants to every appearance in the gym — gotta love it — and the familiar faces among the assistant coaching staff, including Frank Mir (Team Jones), Vinny Magalhaes (Team Sonnen) and Mike Dolce (Team Sonnen).

- Uriah Hall telling Sonnen he wants to fight the best guys in the house, after Sonnen makes it known that he’d like Hall to get an easy road to the finals. Hall’s attitude is a refreshing contrast to Bubba McDaniel, who is fixated on getting the matchups that would give him the best chance of advancing in the tournament, and spends the first half of the episode lamenting how the Smith vs. Barnatt selection puts Team Jones at risk for losing control of the picks.

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CagePotato Open Discussion: Could an All-Female Season Save The Ultimate Fighter?


For that matter, could Good Guy Junior have saved last season?

We’rejust finishing up with a season of The Ultimate Fighter that most of us didn’t even pretend to watch, and are getting ready for a season that we’ll only watch to see how creatively Chael Sonnen can troll Jon Jones. Okay, perhaps some of us actually want to watch TUF for less cynical reasons – say because it’s free MMA or to see if the show discovers a legitimate fighter who has slipped through the cracks – just like how some professional football fans actually keep up with the UFL.

With the show in desperate need of a mix-up, Dana White has been open to the idea of casting Ronda Rousey as a coach, while still keeping the contestants themselves men. The idea picked up even more steam yesterday when White suggested that Ronda Rousey could be coaching against Miesha Tate on an upcoming season of The Ultimate Fighter. Via MMAFighting:

“It could happen,” White said. “If there’s two people who would probably coach, you kick [the idea] around, this could happen, that could happen. If they did, it could be [Rousey] and Miesha. You know, we’ll see. Timing has a lot do with it.”

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