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Tag: The Ultimate Fighter

‘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.

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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 tips@cagepotato.com

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.

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‘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)

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‘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.

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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.

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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. 

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Shane Carwin Announces Pat Barry’s Shenanigans will be Part of his TUF 16 Coaching Staff


“You think that’s funny? This motherfucker on my left THINKS HE’S A WELTERWEIGHT!”

Finding someone who still gets excited about The Ultimate Fighter is a lot like watching a guy wearing a gi or a Luchador mask in a cage fight: It’s a throwback to the days when our sport was arguably more pure and definitely more innocent. It’s oddly refreshing, incredibly confusing and somewhat disturbing, all at the same time. It’s the type of encounter that you’ll look back on a few months from now and say something like “Remember when we went to that event in the middle of nowhere and they let a guy compete wearing a Psicosis mask?” (Come on, stranger things have happened) or “Remember that night at The Korova when we met that guy who was all about TUF Live?”

That being said, TUF 16 actually looks like it has some promise. At the very least, head coaches Roy Nelson and Shane Carwin should provide some entertaining antics and some original trash talk. The fact that the two were originally set to fight each other at UFC 125 is a nice touch, too. And earlier today, Shane Carwin told MMAJunkie.com that UFC Heavyweight and one of MMA’s most recognizable personalities Pat Barry will be a part of his TUF 16 coaching staff.

If anything else, Carwin and company should be able to revolutionize the TUF coaches ribbing, which, let’s face it, has become pretty stale, predictable and disturbing throughout the history of the show. Looking over the rest of his coaching staff, his fighters will have one hell of a coaching staff to learn from. They’re listed for you after the jump.

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TUF or WTF?: A Season-by-Season Retrospective of The Ultimate Fighter


(Thanks to tufentertainment.net for the fitting logo.)

By Nathan Smith

With the recent announcement that Roy Nelson and Shane Carwin have been named as the coaches for the next installment of The Ultimate Fighter series, the MMA universe immediately launched into a full-blow orgasmic ticker-tape parade complete with tons of flying confetti and a marching band belting out death metal tunes. Once I heard the news, it was as if my life instantaneously turned into a beer commercial and the entire Potato Nation was invited. There was a rad pool-party, barbeque, a plethora of hotties, endless alcohol, and an overall quest for fun.

Well . . . . . actually, none of that happened. In fact, when word spread that Nelson and Carwin would helm the next season of TUF, it was officially filed under “WTF?” Judging from the comment section, most of the CP brethren didn’t care for the choices either. TUF is coming off a season that saw the ratings dip lower than they ever had, which could partially be blamed on the move to FX and the dreaded Friday night time slot. Regardless of the variables for the ratings drop, something drastic needs to be done, but is anybody really convinced that Carwin and Nelson are the answer to TUF’s slow and painful demise? Let’s start from the beginning and take a look back to see if this runaway train can be coaxed back onto the main rail.

The Season That Started it All 

The inaugural season of TUF featured future Hall of Famers Chuck Liddell and Randy Couture as the competing coaches who would go mano y mano at the PPV after the season finale. For fans of the UFC, that was good enough for most to initially tune in for the Fertitta-funded experiment. It still remains the best crop of young talent and personalities to ever grace the show; future stars like Forrest Griffin, Stephan Bonnar, Josh Koscheck, Chris Leben, Diego Sanchez, Mike Swick, Kenny Florian, and Nate Quarry were all complete unknowns vying for stardom in a fledgling sport. You mix in the whole “fatherless bastard” angle and the show was off and running even before the awe-inspiring climax between (pre TRT) FoGrif and The American Psycho. Even before that, we were treated to the greatest speech of all time that has since been condensed into a few words. “Do you wanna be a fighter?” Though there were other memorable moments from the seasons that followed, Zuffa should have quit while they were ahead because it would never be this good again. The unrefined personification of immature talent, undeniable aspirations and gonzo-sized balls oozed from the boob tube during every episode.

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By the Way, The Ultimate Fighter: Smashes Started Filming Today


(You call ‘at a breedge? Check out old Albert and get back at me, you tosser.) 

And go figure, the British Team is already being called “cocky.” In case you had already forgotten, the “hit” reality show recently announced its coaches for both the 16th season of the show here in America and the second international season. Pitting the United Kingdom against Australia, TUF: Smashes began filming today, according to a report by yourmmatv.com. When asked how the first stages of shooting were going, UFC President Dana White told the Herald Sun that the British team, going against everything we have ever learned about them, are acting unnecessarily arrogant in the presence of their Aussie opponents:

Because MMA is newer here than it is to the United States and the UK, and this happened when the US fought the UK, the US were very cocky and that they felt like you know, `there’s not enough good guys over there.’ Well that’s the way the UK is acting right now and when you underestimate your opponent, that’s when you get your ass kicked.

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Roy Nelson and Shane Carwin Announced as Coaches for ‘TUF 16: Fat David vs. Goliath’


(For his final masterpiece, Michelangelo decided to pay tribute to the Biblical hero’s fall from grace through the medium of hamstone. The results were shocking, yet delicious.)

As is likely the case for most of you, we here at CagePotato are more than willing to admit that we all but completely missed out on the failed experiment that was TUF Live. The placement of the show on Friday nights, the rehashed trash-talk and pranks between coaches; it just seemed all too played out and tired to really get us hooked. The fact that Dominick Cruz tore his ACL with only a couple episodes to go only furthered our belief that the season would have been a complete loss if not for the uplifting story of the season’s lightweight winner, Don Cheadle (or something like that).

So when Dana White informed USA TODAY Sports yesterday that the coaches for this season would be polar opposite heavyweights Roy Nelson and Shane Carwin, it more than piqued our interest. Aside from being the winner of the show’s tenth (and arguably least talent filled) season, TUF: Heavyweights, Nelson is by all accounts, one entertaining and funny sumbitch. Carwin, on the other hand, has shown before that he is up for a good joshing as long as it is not aimed at him. If you recall, the last time we got on Carwin’s bad side, Old Dad packed up his things, fled, faked his death, died his eyebrows, and attended his own funeral as a man named Phil Schiffley. The last we heard, he was still reporting on all things MMA from a one man vessel in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean out of fear that “The Engineer” was still looking for him. So clearly, the potential for hilarity between these two on the set is higher than Nelson’s cholesterol levels.

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