Much like the TRIX Rabbit, Uncle Dana reached into his bag of
dicks tricks and gave us his two ratings darlings for the next interval. The prodigal son Tito Oritz and Chuck Liddell (two of the best American MMA fighters of all time) were summoned to coach a group of kids and then settle a grudge. The fact that the Iceman dominated The Huntington Beach Bad Boy in two consecutive UFC matches lead all of us to wonder . . . what grudge? For great drama? For nostalgia’s sake? For shits and giggles? Much like that fucking owl that takes a couple licks of a Tootsie Pop and then beaks the shit out of it, the world may never know. Thankfully, Tito had another neck or back or skull injury and was forced out of the coach roll towards the conclusion of the season. This led us back to TUF 1 and TUF 2 coaches facing off – it was somewhat cyclical although the ratings didn’t show the drama. Having Rich Franklin replace Tito was not exactly a shock because it was leaked by somebody who took a picture on TUF Training Facility. Note:It wasn’t – and I repeat WAS NOT leaked by CP, we only prematurely disclose nude photos of formerly alleged domestic abuse perpetrators and things of that nature. With the exception of a near riot, the season was fairly pedestrian by entertainment standards, but the PPV main event was golden thanks to a very game Chuck and a broken-armed KO thrown by Rich Franklin, who proved once again that he is the ultimate Zuffa company man. *foreshadow*
This leads us to the inevitable season of the man that is better than everyone in the world – Georges St. Pierre – kiss his ass and suck his dick everyone – squaring off against one of the biggest douches ever to grace the UFC, the infamous Fraggle Rock. Sure, GSP was a guest coach on season XXIIV or whatever, but we finally got to see him for weeks on end. Am I a GSP jock sniffer? You bet your ass I am, and to be completely fair and honest with you, the season sucked. We were presented with the prototypical “face” and “heel” but it fell completely short of all expectations. Koscheck and his shadowy fedora were supposed to make GSP’s blood boil, but the damned hockey loving, round bacon-eating, maple-syrup-loving, polite Canadian nice guy refused to take the bait. The best we got was some male nurse bullshit (Ed note: And this moment, which in my opinion, was great enough to give the season a pass). The fact that the likable, pseudo-philosopher Jonathan Brookins won and has since failed to deliver anything is just another black eye on TUF franchise.
Season 13 brought us the Chicken Salad and Chicken Shit period of TUF. That’s right (Karma and other) wrestling aficionados! A BONA FIDE star was in our presence. Excuse me while I wipe the puke reminisce from the corners of my mouth. What we, the audience, were force-fed was episode after episode of Junior Dos Santos being a very likable dude and Brock Lesnar being an arrogant prick. The problem with the end of the season was: first off, Lesnar was stricken with another bout of Diverticulitis which meant he was replaced by Shane Carwin in the PPV finale – secondly, all the fighters on the show were MEDIO-CORE at best (Chris Cope? Shamar Bailey? Clay Harvison?) It is pretty sad when the entire making of chicken salad from fowl feces is the only thing anybody remembers.
Cue Joe Strummer with “London Calling” as Michael Bisping returned for yet another season of TUF against (at the time) the likable trash-talking Jason Miller. To be honest, I didn’t hate this season. In fact, I found the verbal jousting between The Count and Mayhem reasonably entertaining. You put the bad blood between the coaches with some damn talented up-and-comers and it makes for a pretty decent season. Also, the fire extinguisher and Mariachi hoax was one of the better pranks to be performed on the show. Diego Brandao looked like a beast and that dude from Bloodsport, John Dodson, walked away with top honors as Mayhem began taking his walk to Puppy Lake at the season finale. Also, Bisping fell off an air hockey table, a moment so great that I only wish it had somehow affected him in the three round beatdown he doled out on Mayhem at the Finale. I can dream, can’t I?!
TUF: LIVE (Dominic Cruz VS Urijah Faber) and TUF: BRAZIL (Wanderlei Silva VS Vitor Belfort) were the latest editions of the franchise and thanks to injuries, neither set of coaches actually fought one another. This means that four of the last six seasons have ended with the opposing coaches NOT squaring off. Tito, Brock, Cruz and Belfort were all sidelined prior to their scheduled fights. Although he looked a little different, Rich Franklin stepped in to bail out the UFC brass once against against The Axe Murderer while Renan Barao will face Faber this weekend. Having season 15 air live was a novel idea but proved to be a disappointment, and although I’ve heard favorable things about TUF: BRAZIL, I don’t speak Portuguese (or know how to read subtitles) so other than the actual fights, the rest eluded me.
So fans of TUF have ordered our meal while patiently sitting at the In-N-Out booth, and now we are being served Roy Nelson and Shane Carwin as an animal style Double-Double with fries. I am calling bullshit on this one. Being a coach on TUF used to mean something and I am just going to have to say “Negative GhostRider – The Pattern is Full.” For starters, Nelson has only won two of his last five fights and Carwin has lost his last two contests which have taken place over two-plus years. So both coaches are 2-7 over their previous 9 UFC fights. WTF!!!! Call me a moron but I just don’t get it. We have invested lots of money and hundreds of hours to Zuffa provided content and we deserve better. We all deserve much fucking better!
With ratings in the toilet, I have to ask the question: Why didn’t the UFC brass opt to have a Forrest Griffin versus Stephan Bonnar season where the two charismatic dudes would prank the shit out of each other and then both retire after one last war? TUF would come full circle and it would garner attention from the MMA community at the very least. The casual fan doesn’t know Shane Carwin from Shane Mosley and pitting him against Roy Nelson who looks like any dude in the Mid-West holding a Meister Brau while driving a tractor absolutely baffles me. Wait a second. Is that the new UFC demographic?
What do you say CP Nation? You got any better ideas?