(Image via fueltv)
In case you missed the announcement during the TUF 17 Finale broadcast, the UFC confirmed this weekend that The Ultimate Fighter will shift to the recently-announced FOX Sports 1 channel, beginning with the upcoming “Team Rousey vs. Team Zingano” season (aka TUF 18), which premieres Wednesday, September 4th at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT. From the press-release:
“Bringing The Ultimate Fighter to FOX Sports 1 is like adding a big bat to an exciting young lineup,” said [Fox Sports Media Group COO and co-president Eric] Shanks. “TUF has jump-started the careers of dozens of fighters, many who have gone on to become UFC champions. It’s going to be a welcomed addition to FOX Sports 1, and the perfect anchor for our Wednesday prime time UFC block. We’re absolutely thrilled to have it.”
“Season 17 of The Ultimate Fighter just ended and it was the best season we’ve ever done,” said UFC® President Dana White. “Season 18 is going to be historic and groundbreaking with the first-ever women coaches, and men and women training and living together, and we’re excited to be airing it on the best new sports network in the country, FOX Sports 1.”
Later, the announcement boasts that TUF “has launched the careers of more than 100 UFC fighters and has produced past champions such as Forrest Griffin, Rashad Evans, Michael Bisping and Matt Serra.” Ah, yes…who could possibly forget Michael Bisping‘s epic title reign as the UFC Middleweight Interim Gatekeeper Champion of the U.K.? Nice try, guys.
With TUF now locked down in its new broadcast home, all of the UFC’s cable-TV offerings will officially be aired on FOX Sports 1, which should help alleviate some of the channel flipping confusion that has plagued the promotion in recent years. (Spike…Versus…FX…FUEL…yada yada yada.) FOX Sports 1 will launch on Saturday, August 17th, and will feature a live UFC event from Boston that night.