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The Ultimate Fighter has run for several seasons now, helping to fuel the rise in popularity of mixed martial arts (MMA). The first season of The Ultimate Fighter premiered back on January 17, 2005. At the time MMA was a fringe sport that most people knew nothing about. The creation of The Ultimate Fighter was a desperation effort by the owners of the UFC to try and get some notice among the general public.

The show's format was simple. Two teams of fighters would compete against each other to try and win a six-figure, three-year contract with the UFC. The two teams would be coached by two of the most popular fighters in the UFC, and the show would serve to promote the fight between the two coaches in the next UFC pay-per -view event.

Chuck Liddell and Randy Couture served as the coaches of the two teams in the first season. The show steadily increased in ratings over the first season, and the season finale aired live. The finale featured live fights between the competitors to try and win an UFC contract.

The most famous of these bouts was the legendary battle between light heavyweights Stephen Bonnar and Forrest Griffin. This three-round battle between the fighters is today considered one of the most important fights in UFC history. The fight's incredible intensity showed MMA at its best, and many consider this the fight that launched the UFC into the mainstream consciousness of the sporting world.

The show kept growing in popularity from that point on. Every season the ratings continued to grow, and many of the UFC's most popular stars have gotten their starts on The Ultimate Fighter. The show's producers have constantly changed things up to keep the show fresh. The ninth season had a format in which the two teams were United States fighters versus fighters from the United Kingdom. Kimbo Slice, one of the most popular and polarizing fighters in MMA history, was brought in to spice up the tenth season, which was the first to have only heavyweight fighters on the show.

The most recent season is the first international season in the history of The Ultimate Fighter. It is being filmed in Brazil and is only the first of many international seasons. As the popularity of MMA and the UFC continues to grow, The Ultimate Fighter will continue to expand its reach around the world.

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Friday 10:00 PM et/pt on FX
21 Seasons, 260 Episodes - Currently Airing
Reality, Sports
8.3/10
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The Ultimate Fighter Full Episode Guide

  • For the first time in The Ultimate Fighter history, two teams battle it out in a gym versus gym smack down in South Florida. The Blackzilians, led by Glenn Robinson, take on American Top Team, led by Dan Lambert, and in the end, only one team will leave the cage victorious.

  • The Ultimate Fighter Finale main event in Las Vegas. The UFC's first strawweight champion will be crowned, plus featherweight contenders Jeremy Stephens will take on Charles Oliveira.

  • Jessica Penne takes on Carla Esparza in the semifinals followed by Randa Markos and Rose Namajunas.

The Ultimate Fighter News

The Ultimate Fighter Season 16 Episode 1 - Team Carwin vs. Team Nelson - Recap

The moment we've all been waiting for has finally arrived, as The Ultimate Fighter Season 16 premiere airs on FX! This time, it's former UFC Heavyweight champion Shane Carwin squaring off against The Ultimate Fighter Season 10 winner Roy "Big Country" Nelson, two captains battling to lead their team of young Welterweights to victory.   Host Dana White stands firmly in the center of the octagon, as all 32 contenders make their way down the aisle, an experience that would be chilling to even the toughest of fighters.

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Comcast/NBC Universal are looking to dump their controlling interest in their video game-oriented G4 Network. The first buyer in line might surprise you. Deadline and other outlets including the Wall Street Journal report today that cable giant Comcast is in talks with the Ultimate Fighting Championship to take a controlling stake in the network. On paper, it could indeed be a match made in Heaven. UFC President Dana White never met an opportunity to expand exposure for mixed martial arts as a sport, but first and foremost for the UFC as a brand.

'The Ultimate Fighter': UFC Star Brock Lesnar Is Losing at Reality TV, Crying All the Way to the Bank

So UFC superstar Brock Lesnar’s debut coaching stint on “The Ultimate Fighter” has so far been a failure. From what ESPN The Magazine tells us, he won’t have trouble drying his eyes. Just look for the nearest crisp, new Benjamin lying about. The former UFC Heavyweight Champion went 1-1 in 2010 and lost the championship he’d defended twice successfully. Still, pocketing a reported cool $5,300,000 must make quite the consolation prize. Lesnar also joined Mike Tyson as the only two one-million-buys pay per view draws over a single year for his title defenses against Shane Carwin and Cain Velasquez.

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