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Bonnar426 11-15-2007 12:04 AM

TUF: Help or a Hindrance to MMA
Okay, I actually got this off another forum! I know its the second time this week I did that but I felt this guy made some good points in his post and I just wanted your opinion on it!


When The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) aired on Spike TV, it was welcomed as a breathe of fresh air in all the reality TV nonsense that was consuming our air waves for the years previous. We were excited to watch MMA on TV, for free. We were excited about the potential mainstream exposure that it could receive. At this point, it never occurred to us what it all meant.

The Ultimate Fighting Championship is getting popular in North America. Now anyone you talk to has at least heard of it, and many others actually watch it regularly. The former bloodsport had succumed to the same Capitalist concepts as Microsoft had, or even professional boxing had. Now, in the UFC, the concept of having the best champion has disappeared. They want a marketable, entertaining champion instead. For a fanbase of wrestling fans and boxing fans, the art of jiu-jitsu or the style of Greco-Roman wrestling is unknown to them. They want knockouts. They want the bloodsport that began in 1993. They don't want '*****' submissions, and they sure as hell don't want '***goty' grappling in their pure sport.

One year ago, the Ultimate Fighting Championship had a competitive company. No expectations to live up to, nobody to please, except the hardcore fans that wanted the best champion, not the most marketable. They had a good lightweight division. Then TUF happened.

One year later, the UFC has gotten rid of several of their top fighters, due to losses or grappling-oriented fights. Ivan Salaverry lost a decision to Nathan Marquardt and was released. Frank Trigg was released after getting tooled and submitted by Georges St. Pierre. Matt Lindland has been released after defeating everyone the UFC has thrown in front of him, and dominated in a wrestling fashion.

The UFC is losing it's top fighters to the likes of Forrest Griffin, Stephan Bonnar, and Diego Sanchez. Entertaining fighters, yes. High-end, quality fighters, no. Not yet.

The UFC is losing it's hardcore fans to the likes of new ones. With each contract release, it becomes harder and harder to compare the UFC to PRIDE. Dream Stage Entertainment has PRIDE extremely popular in Japan without sacrificing their top fighters. Why can't Zuffa? Is it the audience?
If so, can MMA successfully thrive in the West?
If it has nothing to do with the audience, why is the UFC failing where PRIDE thrived?

The next few months will be important for the future of the UFC. By January, we should know where the Ultimate Fighting Championships; insterests truely lie.

So what do you guys think?

JesperRyom 11-15-2007 11:02 AM

Just because of the focus and it making MMA more mainstream, I would say help.

Besides some of the fighters dropped was dropped for other reasons than stated.

If they want more marketable fighters that are great at KO'ing, why did they bring in chonan, nogueria, yushin?

TBH I think the post, you posted was stupid and just made to critizise the UFC.

Waddup Fool 11-15-2007 08:42 PM

Everytime something becomes mainstream the "hardcore" fans want to bitch about it....its the exact same way with music.

Zender 11-15-2007 09:18 PM

I totally disagree. IMO (with exception of TUF 5)TUF is supposed to be semi-pro fighters that have great potential, fighting in a tournement to get a contract in the UFC. I think Griffin, Bonnar & Sanchez (Swick, Kos, Jardine, Stevenson, Cummo, Evans....) all qualify, ok maybe not Champions (yet?) but you don't find these on every street corner anyway. It does seem to stray quite a bit from the thread title though, into why there are more strikers emerging than ground technicians & a personal gripe about certain fighters no longer in the UFC.

jonnypimps 11-15-2007 10:18 PM


Originally Posted by Waddup Fool
Everytime something becomes mainstream the "hardcore" fans want to bitch about it....its the exact same way with music.

Truth. Nature of the beast.

davidm724 11-16-2007 04:02 AM

I believe TUF has helped the UFC a lot. I know many people who started watching the UFC only because they got familiar with the likes of Forrest Griffin, Bonnar and friends. They are excited to root for these guys they watched for a whole season, and of course, act like they know something about MMA. Some people enjoy the 'reality' tv aspect of TUF, whereas many of us long-time MMA/UFC fans get tired of all the drama and would like to see more training and fighting. Either way, we all keep up with it because the sport is constantly changing. It's like a doctor who doesn't stop studying because he's already a doctor. The medical field is always evolving and expanding. How many of us have criticized how crappy this season has been due to all the drama? Even though we watch idiots like Joey Scarotum and others whine about their girlfriends or whatever, we watch it every week. Anyway, there's no doubt in my mind that TUF has been huge for the UFC.

Nobilis 11-21-2007 12:29 AM


Hardcore fans, "We want our sport to become uber popular and become mainstream. Just don't change it from the formula that was keeping it on the periphery of the sports world."

MalkyBoy 11-21-2007 04:55 AM

TUF helps people recognise fighters, when you switch on to watch an event you want to know who the guys are. Now say you get a 5 fight card and you know who two of the guys are in different fights, so you watch the whole card to see the guys you know fight.

At the end of the card there is now 10 guys you can recognise, which in turn makes you more likely to watch another event in which, those guys fight. Then you watch another card and by the end of that card you recognise more fighters etc etc.

Now TUF fighters get it made compared to those that have had to come from nowhere and that is unfair to a certain extent. I can see why those guys gripe but it may fuel their desire to make try harder and prove a point so they raise their game and become noticed.

Overall I think it is good for the sport but there is a danger of over exposure and a lot of chaff getting through to make up the numbers, which in turn makes the guys that beat the chaff look better than they really are.

Hope thats better

Zender 11-21-2007 05:04 AM

Malkyboy, could you please figure out how to put periods into your sentences. I couldn't read most of your post. :dunno:

hommage1985 11-21-2007 12:08 PM

The major things that helped get MMA/UFC where it is to me is.

The first fight between Ortiz and Shamrock. Ortiz at the time was the biggest star and Ken Shamrock was a big star because of pro wrestling.

The fight between Ortiz and Lidell. Lidell took the poster boy spot from Ortiz by destroying him.

The Ultimate fighter. The first series was a great series. The final fight between Griffen and Bonnar is still one of the greatest fights in UFC history.

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