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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
20 Seasons, 252 Episodes - Currently Airing
Reality, Sports
8.2/10
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The Ultimate Fighter Full Episode Guide

  • Aisling Daly tries to advance in the competition by beating Angela Magana.

  • After Team Melendez falls short for the 3rd time in a row tension escalates between Heather Clark and the rest of Team Melendez. Urijah Faber takes over for Anthony Pettis for a few days as a special guest coach. Then, in the fourth fight of the tournament Team Pettis pits #1 ranked Carla Esparza against #16 ranked Angela Hill for a chance to advance to the quarter finals.

The Ultimate Fighter News

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

The Ultimate Fighter Season 16 season premiere aired on fox. Get the episode recap. It's former UFC Heavyweight champion Shane Carwin against The Ultimate Fighter Season 10 winner Roy "Big Country" Nelson.

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UFC In Talks To Purchase Struggling G4 Network From Willing-To-Sell NBC Universal/Comcast

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.

'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 $5.3 million must make quite the consolation prize.

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