In the past “The Ultimate Fighter” TV show was all about a bunch of fighters entering a house and staying there for 4-5 months and trying to get a contract with the UFC. That is still true for this season but with a few adjustments.
With the production of Spike-TV the show was taped and then shown months later to audiences. Many already knew the fighters involved and they had to sign a non-disclosure contract on who was victorious each week. With the Spike-TV contract expiring and FOX picking it up, things were turned 180.
I can admit I was getting bored with the same thing every season and the format was getting outdated. Sure you had a couple of big names go through the show the last couple of years, but overall I was struggling to get through episodes. Two episodes in the rebirth of TUF and it has me glued to the television.
The new format which has the fights live every Friday night and everything that is filmed happened that week leading up to the live episode. There is no more delayed broadcasting and everything that is seen, has happened recently. This is what makes the reality show true to the name. It doesn’t have producers standing in the shot setting up events, this is as real as it can be and the production is top notch.
Many have been complaining about the lack of commentary for the fights but that’s the beauty of this show. There is no commentary and for the right reasons. These individuals haven’t won anything yet and are trying to earn that contract. Giving them commentary is more of displaying that they already have gained notoriety of being in a UFC gym. The past seasons didn’t have any and it gives the feel that these fighters are still at the bottom of the food chain.
With Jon Anik who is the newest play by play voice for the UFC, has been implemented for interviews and short spots during the show. In the past there weren’t post fight discussions with the winner and loser and nobody knew what these fighters were feeling. It’s a fresh approach and Anik delivers the questions efficiently and quickly. It’s an added positive for the show and fans get to see more of the personal side of the fighters after a fight.
Even though the show has only gone through 2 episodes this new and fresh approach has really opened up doors for future seasons to shape up to be better than the ones in the past. Now, I'm not saying that TUF wasn’t a successful show or SPIKE did a terrible job, but with the ratings noticeably declining year after year something had to be changed. I was cautious at first about the differences but with the FOX production teams and the UFC combining ideas, it has been successful.
The feel is different the format is different and these fighters are getting a taste of what it takes to get to the UFC. The viewers are getting more of a look on what it takes to train to the actual fight and the personal issues that arise.
My judgment may be coming a little early on this show but it has me wanting more each week. Hopefully, after this season is over I will still feel the same and not settle into that bored "shell" that plagued me from years past. It’s highly doubtful as the UFC and FX have made all the right decisions.
Hopefully, it continues.
Filed under: TUF