The new season of the Ultimate Fighter is still too new to be able to judge it’s quality one way or another. The first two episodes are the ones where they whittle 32 contestants down to 16, and I think we all agree that it’s hard to fuck this up. But if you’re hoping the show returns more to the vibe it had in it’s first few seasons, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. As Michael Rome says, the show isn’t made for you any more:
The main goal of The Ultimate Fighter now is to keep a million or so fans regularly watching Spike and UFC-related content. By keeping these fans watching, they are exposed to regular PPV previews, countdown shows, and all sorts of other content that keeps them buying PPV shows. The secondary goal is promoting a fight at the end of the show. It’s no longer a big goal for the most part, Mir-Nogueira and now Henderson-Bisping are semi main events at best.
The Ultimate Fighter is not for the sophisticated fight fan. It is there to keep that classic 18-34 male that likes “Manswers” interested in the UFC. For years I’ve been frustrated with what the show has become, but I’ve come to realize the show just isn’t aimed at people like me, and it’s unrealistic to expect it to change.
I think the degradation of the show is still something worth feeling sad about. It went from being the catalyst for the MMA revolution to a mockery of the sport. Fortunately for me, Fightlinker also makes a mockery of the sport so some of us can still enjoy it on that level!