Has TUF run its course / 6 figure contract
I got thinking about this after the lackluster finale between Ricci / Smith last night. I have sort of 2 questions / thoughts.
1. Has TUF run it's course? I don't mean the show itself -- I haven't been able to stand the artificial feuds and drama of 'the house' for a long time. I have a very tough time watching an entire episode. The last season where I watched all the episodes was GSP/KOS, and I skipped a lot of the filler, and went straight to the fights for quite a few episodes. I watched a bit of Bisping/Miller, but not the whole thing, and again, a lot of skipping ahead to the fights.
What I mean is the number of TUF tournaments, and the quality of fighters coming out of it. We went from typically 2 seasons per year, to 4 tournaments in 2012. Is the talent pool running thin? Maybe we just had 1 bad tournament (only 2 finishes after the 16-man roster was set), but I think this will be a growing trend. I think we are going to see a lot of 1-dimensional, fringe type fighters like this Colton guy coming out of TUF unless something is changed.
2. I think part of the problem with TUF attracting fringe-type fighters (Julian Lane anyone? - Let me bang, bro!) is the contract structure. It heavily favours the UFC. A 3 year contract at 3 fights year, with 12k show / 12k win for 3 fights in the first year, 16k/16k for 3 fights in the 2nd year, and 22k/22k for 3 fights in the 3rd year. Problem is, only the first year is guaranteed - the UFC holds the option to drop the contract if they don't like you, or renegotiate the value of the 2nd and 3rd years. Nelson is in his 3rd year, but his 2nd year was at 15k/15k, and his 3rd year is 20k/20k.
Look at Roy Nelson. He's doing decent since winning TUF, and he's in the last year of his 6 figure contract. Problem is, you have guys like Dave Herman who came into the UFC 2 years after Nelson, and are making more in disclosed pay (Herman is at 21k/21k vs Nelson's 20k). Not only that, but Nelson has beat Herman. Herman is 1-3 in the UFC, and was able to re-negotiate his contract after his first 3 fights, and is making more than Nelson.
Up and comers who know they have talent want to skip the house, the non-paid exhibition fights, and the 3 year contract all together. They will want to sign with the UFC for a year and then re-negotiate a better deal for themselves.
Unless the contract is beefed up to attract better talent, I don't think we will see top talent attracted to it anymore.
Last edited by RedRocket44; 12-16-2012 at 10:56 PM.