In its last season on Spike, the people behind “The Ultimate Fighter” are making some big promises to viewers. Next season, when it moves to FX, it will feature live fights, which should help make it more interesting.
In the meantime, neither the UFC nor Spike wants to make it a throwaway season. Ratings have taken a nosedive in the past few seasons, and the show just isn’t as compelling as it once was. They’ve given us a few good reasons to tune in.
— “Mayhem” Miller and Michael Bisping: Neither of the coaches will be boring, and both are comfortable with cameras. Bisping previously coached on TUF against Dan Henderson, and Miller hosts “Bully Beatdown” on MTV. Miller said that his first priority is coaching his fighters, but knows that his second priority is to make entertaining TV.
“The second [priority] was to make entertaining television,” Miller admitted. “I noticed after the first week that I was a bit bored, so I immediately started cranking it up so that there would be some interaction between me and Mike. At the end of the day, we’re doing television, and we need to make something happen so that the audience is engaged. Many things happened.”
There two know how to trash talk. There’s no telling if it will reach Quinton Jackson/Rashad Evans levels, but it should be fun.
— Fight-in returns: Last season, the fighters under Brock Lesnar and Junior dos Santos did not have to fight for a spot in the house, unlike in seasons 7-12. Not only will the fight-in bouts return, but the show’s premiere episode will show every full fight.
— Big bonuses: One of the fun changes, both for fighters and fans, is the creation of bonuses for the fighters that fans can vote on. The UFC will award $25,000 bonuses for the season’s best fight, submission and knockout, just like they do for every fight card. Fans will get to vote on the bonuses.
The show will premiere on Wednesday, Sept. 21, at 9 p.m. ET. Do you plan on tuning in? Tell us in the comments or on Facebook.