The Ultimate Fighter
The Ultimate Fighter is a reality television series and mixed martial arts (MMA) competition, originating from United States, and produced by Spike TV and the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). On this show, professional MMA fighters that have yet to make a big name for themselves are situated in a house outside of Las Vegas, Nevada and compete against each other for the title of The Ultimate Fighter, winning a six-figure, multi-fight contract with the UFC.
For the first four seasons, prospect UFC fighters were selected in two weight classes. The fighters are divided into two teams, irrespective of weight class, each team coached by a current UFC headliner. The teams then compete (in a manner which varies by season) to determine which team would have the right to pair one of their own fighters against an opponent of their choice in the same weight class to an MMA match, the loser eliminated from competition. At the end of a season, the two remaining fighters of each weight class are placed in a single-elimination tournament, where the title of Ultimate Fighter is awarded to the winner. From season five to season seven, all fighters competed in the same weight class.
The show features the daily preparations each fighter makes to train for competition and the interactions they have with each other living under the same roof. Day-to-day events on the show are overseen by UFC president Dana White.
With the exception of the season finales, fights on The Ultimate Fighter are sanctioned by the Nevada Athletic Commission as exhibition matches and do not count for or against a fighters professional record. This is done to keep the results from going public before the air date.
- The Ultimate Fighter 17: Team Jones vs. Team Sonnen - Middleweights
- The Ultimate Fighter: Australia vs. UK - Welterweights and Lightweights
- The Ultimate Fighter 16: Team Carwin vs. Team Nelson - Welterweights
- The Ultimate Fighter Brazil: Team Vitor vs. Team Wanderlei - Middleweights and Featherweights
- The Ultimate Fighter Live: Team Cruz vs. Team Faber - Lightweights
- The Ultimate Fighter 14: Team Bisping vs. Team Miller - Featherweights and Bantamweights
- The Ultimate Fighter 13: Team Lesnar vs. Team Dos Santos - Welterweights
- The Ultimate Fighter 12: Team GSP vs. Team Koscheck - Lightweights
- The Ultimate Fighter 11: Team Liddell vs. Team Ortiz (March 31, 2010 - June 19, 2010) – Middleweights
- The Ultimate Fighter 10: Heavyweights (September 16, 2009 – December 5, 2009) – Heavyweights
- The Ultimate Fighter 9: U.S.A. vs. U.K. (April 1, 2009 - June, 2009) - Welterweights and Lightweights
- The Ultimate Fighter 8: Team Nogueira vs. Team Mir (September 17, 2008 - December 13, 2008) - Light Heavyweights and Lightweights
- The Ultimate Fighter 7: Team Jackson vs. Team Forrest (April 2, 2008 - June 21 2008) - Middleweights
- The Ultimate Fighter 6: Team Hughes vs. Team Serra (September 19, 2007-December 8, 2007) - Welterweights
- The Ultimate Fighter 5: Team Penn vs. Team Pulver (April 5, 2007—June 23, 2007) - Lightweights
- The Ultimate Fighter 4: The Comeback (August 17, 2006—November 11, 2006) - Middleweights and Welterweights
- The Ultimate Fighter 3: Team Ortiz vs. Team Shamrock (April 6, 2006—June 24, 2006) - Light Heavyweights and Middleweights
- The Ultimate Fighter 2: Team Hughes vs. Team Franklin (August 22, 2005—November 5, 2005) - Heavyweights and Welterweights
- The Ultimate Fighter 1: Team Couture vs. Team Liddell (January 18, 2005—April 9, 2005) - Light Heavyweights and Middleweights
The winners of each season of the Ultimate Fighter are as follows, with lighter division winners listed first:
- Smashes: Robert Whittaker (Team Australia), Norman Parke (Team UK)
- Season 16: Colton Smith (Team Nelson)
- Brazil: Cezar Ferreira (Team Vitor), Rony Mariano Bezerra (Team Wanderlei)
- Live: Mike Chiesa (Team Faber)
- Season 14: Diego Brandao (Team Bisping), John Dodson (Team Miller)
- Season 13: Tony Ferguson (Team Lesnar)
- Season 12: Jonathan Brookins (Team GSP)
- Season 11: Court McGee (Team Liddell)
- Season 10: Roy Nelson (Team Rashad)
- Season 9: James Wilks (Team Bisping), Ross Pearson (Team Bisping)
- Season 8: Efrain Escudero (Team Nogueira), Ryan Bader (Team Nogueira)
- Season 7: Amir Sadollah (Team Forrest)
- Season 6: Mac Danzig (Team Hughes)
- Season 5: Nathan Diaz (Team Pulver)
- Season 4: Matt Serra (Team Mojo), Travis Lutter (Team No Love)
- Season 3: Kendall Grove (Team Ortiz), Michael Bisping (Team Ortiz)
- Season 2: Joe Stevenson (Team Hughes), Rashad Evans (Team Franklin)
- Season 1: Diego Sanchez (Team Liddell), Forrest Griffin (Team Liddell)
The Six-figure Contract
The winners of the first three seasons of The Ultimate Fighter competition, and certain runners-up depending on their performance in their competition finals, receive the touted "six-figure" contract to fight in the UFC. These contracts are specifically three-year contracts with a guaranteed first year. Each year consists of three fights, the first year's purse per fight consist of $12,000 guaranteed with a $12,000 win bonuses (a maximum of $24,000 per fight), the second year's purse per fight is $16,000 with a $16,000 win bonus (a maximum of $32,000 per fight) and the third year's purse per fight is at $22,000 with a $22,000 win bonus (a maximum of $44,000 per fight). A TUF winner who goes 9-0 can earn $300,000 total on the contract, but only $150,000 is guaranteed for all three years if 9 fights are fought.
Those that have not won the competition can still fight in the UFC. Their contracts however are not the same as the six-figure deal above.
TUFFEST 25 Moments
On October 23, 2007. Spike TV aired an episode of TUF, entitled TUFfest 25 Moments in which the producers and viewers chose the best moments in The Ultimate Fighter History (seasons 1 through 5).