The sixth installment involved none other than the return of Matt Serra taking on Matt Hughes. I have 2 sets of 2 words for you: War Machine & Upper Decker. Unfortunately, those were the best things to come out of this chapter. The season aired in the winter of 2007, but due to injuries suffered by both Serra and Hughes, they would not actually face one another until a year and a half later. That is some great shit right? WOOHOO!
Forrest Griffin made a return to TUF where his career started but he was opposed by (then) LHW Champ Quinton “Rampage” Jackson for TUF 7. There is something to be said about the participants when the competitor that has had the most impact in the sport of MMA . . . was eliminated in the first round of competition. That participant was Mike Dolce, who has made cutting weight a science, just don’t ask him to train you on defending a rear-naked choke. The season was marred with controversy after Boone’s Farm-fueled finalist Jesse Taylor went full retard and kicked out a UFC provided limo window while acting the fool after the show had concluded which resulted in his expulsion. Whatever. The dude was a douche and we all got to see that goofy bastard Amir Sadollah force bitter-beer-face C.B. Dollaway to tap-out (again) in the finale.
There was actually a little bit of hype for season 8 because it featured the fan-friendly PRIDE legend (and alleged bus carrot feeder) Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira against a UFC mainstay Frank Mir. Both Minotauro and Mir came across as students of the game with a plethora of knowledge that they were eager to share with the teams. Both guys also brought in talented assistant coaches but I am partial to Mir’s choice of Robert Drysdale as his BJJ sage. I have to admit that TUF is better if one of the coaches is a complete asshole, because it gives you a reason to root but both Mir and Nogueira acted gentlemanly which didn’t make this any fun. But there was Junie Browning and his alcohol/psychosis powered idiocy. In the end, we were left with Ryan Bader winning his weight class and there really wasn’t anything else worth a shit to mention. Sorry. I am not trying to be lazy, but for Christ’s sake, it isn’t like somebody spunked on about-to-be-eaten-sushi. God bless you Mr. Kingsbury.
The poop slapped the partition again during the Dan Henderson and Michael Bisping-coached season 9, which paired the United Kingdom against the U.S.A. Sounds like a recipe for awesome sauce, does it not? But unfortunately, our hopes of igniting a second Revolutionary War were drowned beneath what was truly a sub-par season. There was literally nothing remotely interesting about this shit until Team Hendo participant Frank Lester got his teeth knocked out and they got stuck in his mouthpiece during the semifinals. Other than that, the only true fireworks came when Hendo finally made Bisping eat his words during UFC 100. I offer this photo of complete and total greatness and ask you all to move on.
Following a few seasons that resembled Ishtar, the tenth installment of TUF was pure magic because of some “black on black crime.” Rashad Evans versus Quinton Jackson is the stuff that builds cathedrals. You mix in Kevin “KIMBO SLICE” Ferguson with “BIG COUNTRY” Roy Nelson in a heavyweight edition of the event and you have ratings gold. Well, almost. The two fought in the very first bout of the season and set a record with 6.2 million viewers. The problem was there were 15 episodes left and the talent pool was thinner than Kate Moss on the runway. So that left us with Titties and some outstanding hate filled banter between Rampage and Suga. Meathead made it somewhat interesting, but in the end we just wanted to see the coaches scrap, a fight we would be denied of for some 6 months because of some motherfucker named B.A. Barachus. Due to the complete lack of competition, Nelson winning the competition was fairly predictable, which really took a lot of steam out of what was supposed to be a marquee season.
On the next page: Old legends return, a motorboatin’ son-of-a-bitch, questionably-produced chicken salad, and the uncertain future.