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Tag: The Ultimate Fighter

Jon Jones vs. Chael Sonnen Update: Hendo’s Pissed, Sonnen Starts Trash-Talking, The Injury That Made It Possible + More

(This fan-made hype video was first posted to YouTube on September 30th. Wow. CletusDamVan must have read The Secret.)

Ugh, you guys, I had the worst dream last night. I was at home, but it was actually the house I grew up in, you know? I was watching TV, and suddenly all the lights went out. Dana White walked in through the back door. He told me — and here’s the freaky part — that Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen would be coaching the next season of The Ultimate Fighter, and they’d actually be fighting for the light-heavyweight belt in April. I was like, “Why? Why are you doing this?” And he said, “Because I fucking hate you.” And when he said that, I realized it wasn’t Dana White, it was my own father. Then, my teeth started cracking and falling out one by one, and-OH MY GOD NO! AHHHHHHHH! THIS CAN’T HAPPEN! THIS CAN’T HAPPEN! [scene]

Look, we’re not alone in our utter distaste for this booking. Elsewhere on the Internet, pundits have called Jones vs. Sonnen (vs. TUF) a thinly-veiled money grab that reeks of desperation and sets a horrible precedent. But this matchup is now our reality, and we have to deal with reality on reality’s terms. Here’s a sample of the fallout and news updates that yesterday’s bombshell kicked up:

- Tweet of the Day, from Dan Henderson: “I guess I should just quit training to win fights and to be exciting for the fans and just go to shit talking school. @danawhite”. Dan and Chael might be bros from way back, but that clearly doesn’t make this news any easier for Hendo to swallow. It’s insulting, really. Henderson is still the most rightful challenger to Jones’s belt, but an ill-timed injury has apparently put him on the UFC’s “pay no mind” list. Don’t make us say it.

- More sour grapes: Of course, Sonnen’s new opportunity now leaves Forrest Griffin without an opponent; FoGriff was originally supposed to meet Sonnen at UFC 155 in December. As you can imagine, Griffin doesn’t seem too thrilled about this latest development either, telling Ariel Helwani, “I’m not mad at him. Why fight your way to the top when you can talk your way to the top? I’m actually happy I’m not fighting him anymore, because watching his fights was boring and tedious.” The hot new rumor is that Griffin could possibly face the recently-wrecked Stephan Bonnar instead. Fine, whatever.

- And now, the Chael Sonnen reaction video you’ve all been waiting for/dreading…


[BREAKING] Jones vs. Sonnen Announced for TUF 17, Title Fight Set for April 27th

(Let this be a lesson to all you up-and-coming fighters out there: Wearing a fake belt and talking trash on Twitter will do more for your career than legitimate wins ever will.) 

What the fucking fuck, you guys.

Look, we know that we’ve been all over The Ultimate Fighter’s ass lately, citing such complaints as their tired formula, lackluster fighters/fights, and steadily declining viewership. We also remember that when Chael Sonnen stepped in to face Jon Jones on a week’s notice, we were all for it. But when Dana White announced to the LA Times some minutes ago that Chael Sonnen and Jon Jones had been booked as opposing coaches for the next season of The Ultimate Fighter, with a title fight set for April 27th, our reaction was that of horror and revulsion.

This is madness, pure and simple. Let’s look past the fact that Chael Sonnen has not fought at light heavyweight since his UFC debut way back at UFC 55, or the fact that he was supposed to fight Forrest Griffin at UFC 155, or that he is just coming off a loss to Anderson Silva, or that there is at least one legitimate contender in line before him, or that Dana White just got through telling us that the winner of Shogun/Gustafsson would likely receive the next title shot. Actually, we can’t look past any of that. In no alternate universe does this matchup make sense.


‘TUF 16′ Viewership Plummets Even Further, Hits New Low-Water Mark of 624,000 Viewers

(I know I’ve seen you on TV somewhere. Hillbilly Handfishin’? Duck Dynasty? Can you give me a hint?)

By George Shunick

Yes, I know we just called for a hiatus on these “TUF ratings are in the shitter” posts. And I know O Chan just finished explaining why, from a network perspective, selling ads on original programming like TUF is better than giving them away during a broadcast of Big Momma’s House 2, even if the raw numbers are declining. But still, guys. You need to hear this.

A week after season 16 of TUF scored its highest amount of viewers with 1,100,000 — thanks to a strong lead-in from the UFC on FX 5 broadcast — the show reached rock bottom and saw that number shrink to just 624,000 for episode 5. In other words, only 56.7% of last week’s viewers stuck around for the next episode. It’s the worst viewership tally in the show’s history, falling alarmingly short of the previous low-ratings record of 775,000 viewers. It’s gotten so ugly that BG’s prediction of 660,000 viewers representing the nadir of the season has already been shattered two weeks after he made it. Time to readjust our already-low expectations.


‘TUF 16′ Episode 3 Draws 775k Viewers, Sets New Record for Worst Ratings in Show’s History

(What if they threw a mattress into a pool…and nobody came? / Props:

I’m sure a lot of you couldn’t care less how many people are watching The Ultimate Fighter — and yeah, we’re beginning to sound like a broken record at this point — but you’ll have to forgive us, because we have a perverse, car-crash-rubbernecker fascination with how low these numbers are dropping. As MMA Junkie informs us, episode 3 of TUF 16: Team Carwin vs. Team Nelson took in just 775,000 viewers, which sets a brand-new record for lowest viewership of a TUF episode. The previous record-holder was the eleventh episode of last season, which pulled in 821,000 viewers.

TUF 16′s viewership numbers have sunk about 18% from the premiere’s, which were shaky to begin with. While the 0.5 rating that Friday’s episode drew in the Adult 18-49 demographic was good enough for #4 in its timeslot among cable programming — behind re-runs of American Dad, Law & Order: SVU, and Diners, Drive Ins & Dives — it finished 98th out the top 100 shows on Friday night in terms of total viewers.

As Dana White might say, that’s an absolute home run and we should shut the fuck up. But still, the audience is simply not sticking around from week to week. So instead of making a new post every time TUF hits a dubious new ratings record, we’ll just ask you: How low will the viewership get this season? Throw your guesses in the comments section, and the closest guess wins a CagePotato t-shirt at the end of the season. We’ll start: 660,000. Your move.


‘TUF 16′ Episode 1 Pulls In 947k Viewers For Worst Premiere Ratings in Show’s History

(If you don’t tune in to see this guy put his shoulder through some drywall, then you’re just not a real fan.)

As first reported by MMAJunkie, Friday’s debut episode of The Ultimate Fighter 16: Team Carwin vs. Team Nelson drew just 947,000 viewers on FX. That number makes it the worst-performing premiere episode in the history of TUF, and marks a 27% drop from the 1.3 million viewers who watched the season premiere of The Ultimate Fighter: Live in March.

And while we’re piling on abuse, 947k viewers means that TUF 16‘s first episode is tied for the fourth-lowest-rated episode in the history of the show; only the 8th, 11th, and 12th episodes of last season did worse. That’s particularly bad news when you consider that premieres are generally the highest-rated episodes of each TUF season — aside from the Kimbo Exception — with the ratings numbers gradually sinking afterwards.

So how low will the numbers sink this season, and how long will it take before the total viewership drops below the show’s all-time bottom of 821k? Cue Dana White rant about how they got this [expletive] thing dialed in, and FX is actually really happy with the numbers. Come on guys. Put this sick dog out of its misery.


CagePotato Roundtable #18: Who’s Your Favorite TUF Cast-Member of All Time?

(Seriously? Not even *one* vote for Jason Guida?)

The 16th season of The Ultimate Fighter kicks off tonight on FX, and while we wouldn’t exactly say we’re looking forward to it, the premiere of a new season always puts us in a reflective mood. In this week’s installment of the CagePotato Roundtable, we’ll be paying tribute to our favorite cast-members in TUF history, and joining us today is a very, very special guest — Luke O’Brien, an award-winning journalist whose work has appeared in Rolling Stone, The New York Times, The Atlantic, Fortune, and many other outlets that are much more respectable than the one you’re reading right now. (I first discovered Luke through his excellent MMA reporting for Deadspin.)

Shoot us your own favorite TUF guys in the comments section, and if you have a topic for a future Roundtable column, e-mail us at

Luke O’Brien

Has there been a more unlikely TUF champion than Amir Sadollah? In 2008, the Persian-Irish surgical technologist came out of nowhere — or in his case, Richmond — to win the seventh season of the show by beating All-American wrestler C.B. Dollaway. Sadollah armbarred Dollaway not once, but twice. Before that, he triangled Matt Brown, who oozed tough. And before that, he TKOd Gerald Harris, who certainly looked tough. At the time, Sadollah had never had a pro fight. Not one. I liked him immediately. Not because he was an upstart, a little doughy around the middle and a bit of a lumberer. There were purer reasons that drew me to a fighter who walks out to Iranian techno music.

For one, he had a mullet. This wasn’t the unaware bumpkin coiffure found in many stretches of this country. Rather, it was a curated flange of keratin that complemented the smirk often playing on Sadollah’s face. It was a mullet that, like its owner, didn’t take itself too seriously. A mullet that grasped irony. And irony has always been in short supply on TUF. The premise of the show — quarantine 16 fighters for a month in a house stocked with unlimited amounts of booze and see what happens — is absurd, although I guess you could say the same about all reality television. As much as I enjoy TUF, the only way I can fully appreciate it is at a sardonic remove. Sadollah allowed me to do that.


‘The Ultimate Fighter 16′ Preview: A Whole Lot More of What You Hate [VIDEO]

If you asked a longtime UFC fan what he — or she! — thinks of The Ultimate Fighter, they would likely tell you that the series has gotten stale. (Damn, have we really been complaining about this for over three years now? Time flies when you’re bitching.) It’s not that we won’t tune in to watch up-and-coming fighters slug it out for a spot in the UFC — although that Friday night time-slot is still a pain in the ass — but all the “house drama” officially got old around the Junie Browning era, and highlighting the contestants’ dumb frat-boy behavior makes the sport look worse.

So it’s unfortunate when you watch this new teaser for “Ultimate Fighter Fridays” (known to regular folk as TUF 16), and you realize that the show is actually doubling down on the stupid. Let’s run through the checklist…

- A dude getting up in another dude’s face in the kitchen. (check)

- A prank involving flour. (check)

- A prank involving a bed being moved outdoors. (check)

- An idiotic piece of trash-talk, made worse due to silly delivery. (“You got more stories than Dr. Seuss, ho-mee.” –> check)


‘The Ultimate Fighter: Team Carwin vs. Team Nelson’ Fighter Roster Released

(This is your promo, for real? It’s like the UFC gives even less of a fuck than we do at this point.)

FX has released the list of 32 welterweights who will be competing on the 16th season of The Ultimate Fighter, which debuts on Friday, September 14th, at 9 p.m. ET/PT. You can check out the names after the jump, though not a lot of these guys jump out, besides Bristol Marunde, who lost to Jacare Souza in Strikeforce earlier this year. On the other hand, we do have at least one terrible nickname, and one terrible actual name.

The premiere of “Team Carwin vs. Team Nelson” will be a two-hour elimination episode, in which the 32 TUF hopefuls are immediately cut down to 16, who will then be divvy’d up by coaches Shane Carwin and Roy Nelson (a former TUF winner himself). From the press release: “Carwin and Nelson are two guys who just can’t stand each other and Roy and I haven’t exactly seen eye to eye either — he’s been a nightmare for me to work with on this show with all his stupid BS,” said UFC president Dana White. Oh God, Dana. Please tell me you didn’t eat the special sushi.

Carwin and Nelson will fight each other at the show’s live finale on Saturday, December 15th, on FX.


Don’t Worry, We Can Look Forward to Plenty of Bickering on This Season of TUF

(Dana White only has three looks: The “Life is Good”, The “Bouncer”, and the “Fuck You and the Horse You Crushed With Your Obesity”, displayed here.) 

If there of any of you left who haven’t grown tired of the, for lack of a better word, tiresome formula that The Ultimate Fighter has devolved into over the years, which is to say, fighters argue–>training montage–>coaches argue–>fighters argue–>actual fight, then boy do we have good news for you. Not only are you going to be treated to the verbal back-and-forth of one Roy Nelson and one Shane Carwin throughout the season, you are more than likely going to see “Big Country” and UFC President Dana White at each others throats as well, as both men have basically been taking a fat steaming dump on the others chests via various MMA media outlets lately. Metaphorically, of course.

TUF 16, which is set to debut on September 14th on FX (yep, that’s a Friday), will showcase 32 welterweights attempting to battle their way to the next interim championship of the world, but it seems the real firefight will be between Nelson and White, who just can’t seem to get along on anything. Take for instance, the TUF 10 winner’s recent interview with MMAJunkie, where he basically calls Dana a lying wannabe fighter:

[The onset tension is] probably because he wants to be a fighter, and he’s not. I think we were talking about coaching or something like that, and [White's] not a coach. There’s an understanding of being a fighter, and I don’t think he understands. 

I’m always at the back of the bus when it comes to the UFC. I’m just trying to further MMA to the next level, hold journalism up to higher standards, holding fights to higher standards, holding promotions to higher standards, holding athletic commissions to higher standards, and even holding the fans to higher standards. 

You never know with Dana. Dana will tell you guys one thing, and then five minutes later tell you another. Last week, ‘Shogun’ and Brandon Vera were fighting for the title, and now all of the sudden, Machida and Ryan Bader are, too. Next thing you know, he’s going to say Randy Couture gets the next title shot when he comes back.


TUF 14 Winner Diego Brandao to Murder Joey Gambino at UFC 153

(Step 1: Combine equal parts Rage virus and Mr. Clean’s DNA. Step 2. ????????? Step 3. Profit.) 

We don’t mean to sound harsh, but come October 13th, the UFC will more than likely be severing its ties with 9-1 prospect Joey Gambino. As was the case with guys like Antonio Silva and the poor saps who made it onto our “Cursed From Birth” list, it seems that the UFC  doesn’t want to give “The Raging Warrior” a rebound match or a chance to develop in the organization, and will sit idly by as he is pummeled into mincemeat on two separate occasions.

We don’t want to write the guy off (but are doing exactly that), but to put it simply, Gambino was basically filleted then submitted by TUF 14 veteran Steve Siler in his UFC debut at UFC on FX 4. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, now he’s been booked to face not only the winner of that season in his sophomore appearance, but the man who absolutely annihilated Siler (among others) in Diego Brandao. The world is truly an unjust place.

Then again, it’s not like Brandao has looked bulletproof since entering the UFC. He will also be looking to bounce back from a loss, which came at the hands of Darren Elkins at UFC 146. Despite stomping Elkins in the first round, Brandao looked visibly sluggish in the second and third, allowing Elkins to use his superior grappling to keep Brandao on the bottom en route to a unanimous decision loss. So maybe, just maybe, Gambino stands a chance here.

But probably not.

Check out a shoddily filmed video of Gambino’s UFC 146 bout with Siler after the jump and let us know if you agree or disagree.