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The specifics of how Griffin/Bonnar saved TUF and the UFC

With Forrest Griffin being hilariously labeled the first ‘real’ TUF champ (oh, the indignity of being Matt Serra), there was a lot of TUF talk at Saturday night’s post-event press conference. We’ve all heard Dana White talk up Griffin/Bonnar as the most important moment in UFC history, but this time he gives a little more of the back story behind how it changed the fate of the company:

“Going into that finale, we didn’t have a deal,” said White in a sobering moment of candor. “Spike TV was in turmoil. The president of the company had just been fired. I was flying back there 50 times a day fighting with these guys and it didn’t look like there was going to be a season two of The Ultimate Fighter despite the huge numbers it pulled.”

(Enter Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar on matching white stallions.)

“This is no (expletive). But when (the Griffin-Bonnar) fight happened that night, (The Ultimate Fighter) deal was signed in the alley behind the Thomas & Mack.”

Back alley transactions rock, because they’re either all about big money or dick sucking. And while the UFC might have been the one doing the sucking back then, the shoe is on the other foot now and Spike has commited to five (yes, FIVE) more seasons of TUF. As usual, everyone is talking about hopeful big changes in the format but I’m no longer holding my breath. Unless this next season of TUF starts out really strong, I’m probably just gonna stop watching and let our pal Supercrap deal with the job of recapping. Even when he just makes shit up, it’s better than any other site’s coverage.