Watch The Ultimate Fighter

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.

Wednesday 10:00 PM et/pt on FX
26 Seasons, 336 Episodes
January 17, 2005
Reality, Sports
7.9/10
Cast: Dana White, Mike Rowe, Herb Dean
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The Ultimate Fighter Full Episode Guide

  • Dana pays a surprise visit to the house to hang out with the teams. One of the fighters puts together a personalized training regimen that throws off her coaching staff's plans. Then, two flyweights face off in the seventh preliminary fight of the competition.

  • Eddie Alvarez pulls out all the stops to give his team a competitive advantage; a fighter struggles with an old injury; and one of the most accomplished fighters in the tournament takes on a young rising star in the sixth preliminary fight.Watch Soon

  • After losing in the Octagon one of the fighters skips training, causing a rift between her and her coach. Then, two flyweights face off in the fifth preliminary fight.

  • Two top-seeded teammates discuss the possibility of having to face each other later in the tournament. A fighter shares the story of her lifelong battle with addiction. Then, a heavily favored veteran takes on an underdog in the fourth preliminary fight.

  • The teams step away from the TUF gym to train at the new UFC Performance Institute. One of the fighters has an emotional breakdown during practice. Then, it's the third preliminary fight with a spot in the quarterfinals on the line.

  • Justin Gaethje struggles to communicate with an international fighter. An injury during a training session puts a competitor's future in doubt. Then, an experienced flyweight takes on a dark horse in the second preliminary fight.

  • After an open-call tryout is held at Palace Station in Las Vegas, 16 of the best female flyweights from around the world are chosen to compete for the first-ever UFC women's flyweight belt. Upon arrival at the UFC Training Center in Las Vegas, the fighters are greeted by their coaches for the season, former UFC world champion Eddie Alvarez and UFC rising star Justin Gaethje. UFC President Dana White welcome the fighters, introduces the coaches, and explains that this season the winner of the tournament will become the first ever UFC women's flyweight world champion. As the coaches pick their teams the fighters' seeds are revealed, and the fight matchups are revealed. Then, the first preliminary fight is announced. After the fighters move into the TUF house, team training begins leading up to the first preliminary fight of the season.

  • The finalists square off inside the Octagon for the $290,000 check and the title of The Ultimate Fighter.

  • In the last episode of the season, a semifinalist attempts to recover from injury in order to get cleared for his fight. Former TUF winner Tim Elliot visits the house and chaos ensues. Then, two welterweights battle for the remaining spot in the finale.

  • Team Dillashaw pranks Team Garbrandt with live snakes. With an injury putting his fight future in doubt, one fighter gets paranoid at the house. Then, two welterweights face off in the first semifinal fight.

  • Four welterweights compete for the remaining semifinal spots in two thrilling back-to-back fights. The animosity between the coaches goes too far at the weigh-ins. Then, Dana White picks the semifinal matchups.

  • A prank war heats up between the teams. The coaches take the fighters out for a night on the town. Then, teammates face off in the second quarterfinal fight.

  • In a special two-fight episode, an emotional wildcard matchup determines the last quarterfinalist. Then, Cody and TJ face off in an epic tetherball challenge. Finally, two welterweights compete for the first semifinal spot.

  • Two welterweights seeking redemption take to the Octagon in the final preliminary fight. Then, after Dana and the coaches deliberate, the wildcard matchup is announced.

  • Cody puts his team through an innovative training technique to help improve their endurance. Then, close friends are forced to fight each other in the fifth preliminary matchup.

  • The blue team finds a peculiar way to celebrate TJ’s birthday. Cody brings several UFC stars to the fighter house. Then, one of the favorites in the competition goes up against an underdog in the fourth preliminary fight.

  • All hell breaks loose at the gym as the coaches confront each other over their contentious history. Then, two veterans of the sport take their first step towards redemption as they face off in the second preliminary fight.

  • In a special 25th season, 14 welterweights from past seasons of The Ultimate Fighter return to Las Vegas for a second chance in the competition. At stake is the biggest prize in the show's history...$250,000.

  • The best moments from the first six episodes of "The Ultimate Fighter: Team Garbrandt vs. Team Dillashaw.''

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.

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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The Ultimate Fighter Video Clips & Extras

Watch the announcement for the next TUF match-up | The Ultimate Fighter Clip (01:34) Dana White drops by the TUF house | The Ultimate Fighter Clip (05:23) Watch the highlights of Rachael Ostovich-Berdon vs Melinda Fabian | The Ultimate Fighter Clip (01:25) Barb 'The Little Warrior' Honchak finishes Gillian Robertson | THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER Clip (03:22) FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENT: Rachael Ostovich vs. Melinda Fabian | THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER Clip (01:24) Sijara Eubanks had to cut her hair to make weight | THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER Clip (01:34) Eddie Alvarez announces the next TUF fight | THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER Clip (01:53)