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
24 Seasons, 313 Episodes
January 17, 2005
Reality, Sports
Watch Episodes
Clips & Extras

The Ultimate Fighter Full Episode Guide

  • 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.

  • This TUF 23 fight pack includes the Khalil Rountree vs Muhammad Dereese and Cory Hendricks vs Marcel Fortuna elinimation fights.

  • Main card.

  • Prelims

  • The final two semi-finals take place in this special two-fight episode. First, two dedicated strawweights battle in the octagon. Then, two friends compete in an explosive light heavyweight matchup. Things almost get physical between Claudia and Joanna nearl

  • UFC women's bantamweight champion Miesha Tate surprises Team Claudia during practice. One of the semifinalists struggles with a difficult weight cut, threatening her future. Then, two strawweights face off in the Octagon with a spot in the finale on the line.

  • A bombshell announcement brings a twist to the competition. Joanna and Claudia compete in the biggest coaches challenge in Ultimate Fighter history. Then, in the first light heavyweight semifinal, two friends battle it out for a spot in the finale.

  • Cory gets the test results from his neck injury. The coaches begin training on their own for their upcoming title fight. Then, two more strawweights compete for the final spot in the semifinals.

  • With the semifinals just around the corner, one of the winning fighters suffers a setback as a painful injury prevents him from training. Then, a dangerous striker and a seasoned pro go to battle inside the octagon in the last light heavyweight matchup.

  • Joanna's insults at the fight announcement rubs Team Claudia the wrong way. Khalil gets emotional on the anniversary of his father's death. Then, two strawweights face off in the Octagon for a spot in the semifinals.

  • Dana intervenes as Abdel's personal problems jeopardize his future in the competition. A losing fighter is hopeful he may get a second chance. Then, a young but determined competitor faces a skilled veteran in the fifth preliminary fight.

  • TUF 20 winner Carla Esparza stops by and helps Team Joanna during training. Abdel Medjedoub gets a troubling call from home, putting his future in jeopardy. Then, two strawweights battle it out for a spot in the semifinals.

  • Joanna lashes out at her fighters after a perceived lack of effort during training. A rallying cry by the Red Team rubs Team Claudia the wrong way. Then, in the third preliminary fight, a classic striker vs grappler matchup determines the next semifinal spot.

  • Helen Harper is heartbroken after getting injured in practice. Cory and Khalil compete in a donut eating contest. Dana White rewards the fighters with a night of video gaming. Then, two strawweights face off for the first time this season.

  • The competitors move into the TUF house. As training starts, the animosity between coaches erupts while two fighters struggle with injury and illness. Then, in the first preliminary fight, a dangerous striker faces off against a familiar opponent.

  • In the season premiere, heavyweights and strawweights compete together for the first time.

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

The Ultimate Fighter Redemption: Team Garbrandt vs. Team Dillashaw Clip (01:03)