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
25 Seasons, 325 Episodes
January 17, 2005
Reality, Sports
7.9/10
Cast: List of current UFC fighters
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Clips & Extras

The Ultimate Fighter Full Episode Guide

  • 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.''

  • Middleweight Elvis Mutapcic vs. Anthony Smith Light Heavyweight Josh Stansbury vs. Devin Clark

  • The two remaining flyweight champions enter the Octagon for the six-figure contract and a title shot at Demetrious Johnson. The Ultimate Fighter trophy is awarded.

  • Four flyweights take to the Octagon for the third round of the tournament in a special two-fight episode.

  • In a special two-fight episode, T.J. Dillashaw joins Team Benavidez as a guest coach to help prepare the fighters. Then, the four remaining flyweights enter the octagon for the third and fourth fights of Round 2 to determine who advances to Round 3.

  • During a night of drinking, Eric Shelton and Tim Elliott argue about their different approaches to the fight game. Hiromasa Ogikubo struggles with a language barrier at the house. Then, two more flyweights square off in the second fight of Round 2.

  • The fighters enjoy a surprise party at the house. Controversy arises after Benavidez invites both teams to train with his head coach, Duane Ludwig. Then, in the first fight of Round 2, two skilled warriors go to battle in the octagon.

  • Benavidez and Cejudo head to Top Golf for the coaches challenge. Then in the final fight of Round 1 two more flyweights face off, with a spot in Round 2 on the line.

  • Team Benavidez takes a break from training to go paddle boarding. The seventh fight of round 1 takes place between two experienced fighters known for ending fights in the first round.

  • A fighter discusses his past and how it continues to bring motivation, the fighters get a brief rest to watch UFC 200 at the house, and the No. 7 and No. 10 seeds compete as a ground specialist goes up against an all-around fighter.

  • At the house, Eric Shelton and Matt Schnell discuss fatherhood at an early age. The coaches review their past fights against Demetrious Johnson, offering advice to the fighters. Then, in the fifth fight, two flyweights face off with a spot in the second round on the line.

  • A member of Team Benavidez expresses hostility towards Coach Cejudo. The coaches continue to challenge each otherâ€ôs patience. The most feared fighter in the house goes up against a seasoned veteran in the tournamentâ€ôs fourth fight of round one.

  • The international fighters attempt to make friends with house with mixed results. The coaches annoy each other. Then, in the third fight of the competition, the #5 and the #12 seeds battle it out in a classic striker vs grappler matchup.

  • In the season premiere, sixteen flyweight champions from around the globe congregate in Las Vegas to compete in a tournament. The winner will earn a UFC contract, a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, and an immediate title shot against current UFC champion Demetrious Johnson.

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

Fight Replay: James Krause vs. Ramsey Nijem | THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER Clip (01:39) Fight Replay: Jesse Taylor vs. Hayder Hassan | THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER Clip (01:19) Garbrandt and Dillashaw engage in war of words during weigh-ins | THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER Clip (04:44) Cody Garbrandt plays a prank on T.J. Dillashaw | THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER Clip (02:08) Fight Replay: Dhiego Lima vs. Gilbert Smith | THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER Clip (02:25) Gilbert Smith announces his retirement | THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER Clip (02:17) Garbrandt and Dillashaw face off in the coaches challenge | THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER Clip (03:53) Fight Replay: Tom Gallicchio vs. Justin Edwards | THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER Clip (01:33)