By Jeff Miller
The Ultimate Fighter Reality Television Show can be seen on on Spike TV.
Without “The Ultimate Fighter” would UFC still exist? It’s hard to say . The sport had worn out its welcome and fans had moved on, but then The Ultimate Fighter better known as TUF, revolutionized the sport. The show has been responsible for many successful careers and a couple champions. Ever heard of Forrest Griffin, Rashad Evans, Kenny Florian, Diego Sanchez, and Josh Koscheck?
TUF gave us questionably THE greatest fight to date, Griffin vs. Bonnar. Not only did that fight revive the sport, Griffin eventually became the light-heavy weight champ and a crowd favorite. Now the question is which fighter from TUF has been the most successful? Griffin rose from complete obscurity to elite fighter status but he isn’t my pick.
Rashad Evans has been a top ten pound-for-pound fighter longer than any other fighter from the show. Evans is a former champ and will have another go at the title if he beats “Mr. Wonderful” at UFC 133. With his knockout win over Chuck Liddell in 2008, slow tear running down my cheek, he received Knockout of the Year honors. His fight with Forrest Griffin solidified his 2008 run at the title and with those two wins he received Sherdog.com Fighter of the Year. Yeah he’s hit a rough patch, but I think 2011-2012 will prove Evans is resilient, and yes he will retain his elite status in the light-heavyweight rankings if not a return to the best pound-for-pound list.
It’s been a few seasons since TUF has produced a fighter that is of any relevance. I guess you could say Ryan Bader from TUF 8 in 2008, but now that he’s lost two in a row we would need to go back Nate Diaz from TUF 5 in 2007. I feel comfortable saying that Nate has been the most active and most productive of the last nine seasons…wow that stinks! Come on Dana! I think it’s time for another light-heavyweight season. Bantam and featherweights won’t make the latest season interesting, it will surely be the banter between “Mayhem” Miller and “The Count” Bisping. Oh by the way I’m picking Miller to kick the living sh*t out of Bisping.