The Ultimate Fighter: Team Carwin vs. Team Nelson debuts tonight, back for its second season on FX.
The live format of the show has been scrapped, and it’s back to the original version that made the show so popular. And that’s a good thing.
There was too much dead air, too many awkward pauses and unnecessary teases to make it work. It was a DVR user’s money show. You knew exactly when to fast-forward past the filler and get to the goods.
Here’s a few ideas on how to fix The Ultimate Fighter, if you think the original version doesn’t cut it anymore.
The first idea would be to run the soap opera portion on Thursday nights (and that’s what it is) and then broadcast live fights on Friday nights.
They could also incorporate the TUF format into an old school, boxing-like Friday Night Fights show. Have an established pair of fighters as the headliners with the TUF contestants as the lead-in.
It seems the majority of UFC fighters wish they could fight more often, so this would be a way to accommodate them, pump up the ratings of the show and keep the fans interested. It might also ease the pain of fighter injuries ruining pay-per-view cards, which is happening at an inordinate rate.
They could even feature superfights on those nights. Bring back a Shonie Carter, a Mo Smith or some of the other former UFC vets that are still fighting. That would be killer.
You could also have the regular version of TUF and mix in 12 or 16 former UFC fighters that want back in the promotion. The fourth season of the show that featured all the comeback fighters was enormously popular. There’s no reason it couldn’t be again, especially when mixed in with the original format.
I'm absolutely all for lower tier fighters getting more exposure. The undercard fighters, at least for me, put on some of the most entertaining fights I've seen.