The Ultimate Fighter (2005– )

TV Series  |   |  Action, Reality-TV, Sport
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Sixteen top mixed martial arts fighters compete for a UFC contract.

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Series cast summary:
 Narrator / ... (70 episodes, 2005-2010)
 Himself / ... (63 episodes, 2005-2013)
Herb Dean ...
 Referee / ... (29 episodes, 2005-2013)


The Ultimate Fighter is a reality TV show where 16 contestants live together and battle each other for a pair of Ultimate Fighting Championship contracts. The UFC is divided into five weight classes, Heavyweights, Light Heavyweights, Middleweights, Welterweights and Lightweights. In the first season of The Ultimate Fighter, there are 8 Light Heavyweights and 8 Middleweights, with four of each trained by two legendary UFC competitors Randy Couture and Chuck Liddell. Willa Ford hosts the reality challenge segments that help determine who fights who to stay in the competition. Written by Daniel McKay

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Determination. Discipline. Excellence.


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Release Date:

17 January 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

UFC Presents the Ultimate Fighter  »

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Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Follows UFC 16: Battle in the Bayou (1998) See more »

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User Reviews

A few flaws, but very, very promising...
9 March 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

It was bound to happen: A show about UFC hopefuls training, living, and eventually competing with each other to see who would win a contract in North America's biggest mixed martial arts event. With the glut of reality television shows about anything from weight loss to word puzzles where contestants win by chicanery, politics, and backstabbing, it's refreshing to see a show where the outcome is determined by actual skill, not elections, not BS.

TUF beats the Contender by about 8 weeks... and its contestants possesses more mettle than the Contender has marketing, nothing against what boxers do. Don't believe it? An MMA fighter has to know how to fight on the ground and on his feet: Anything that works, is used. Anything that doesn't, is not even given a second thought. Mixed martial arts has done more to bring what's real to the table and kick all the BS to the curb than anything or anyone else in the broad subject matter of the "fighting arts". Like Joe Rogan said: We now know exactly what happens between two guys in an (approximately) no holds barred fight.

All I can say is FINALLY! For someone who's a big UFC and Pride fan, this is a godsend.

Few flaws and kinks, such as the changing of the rules midway through the competition, first two episodes eliminated two contestants through physical challenges and not through fights (Another way of saying, BORING), the strange way that the good fighters of Team Liddell like to fight the bad fighters, the very 'coincidental' twists of fate (that allowed for an eliminated rabble-rouser to re-enter the competition). However, since all the fighters were selected as the best MMA unsigned fighters in the country, then it stands to reason that they should all be good, and that no fight among them should be "unfair".

Sometimes I see an invisible hand moving the pieces of this "reality show" and am hard-pressed to ignore such improbable coincidences.

EG, the Leben-Koscheck rivalry, between one who's a good striker/frat boy loudmouth and an excellent wrestler, was obviously good for ratings but ended in a judges' decision that eliminated Leben from the competition in Episode 6. In Episode 9, Leben comes back, due to the prerogative granted an injured Nathan Quarry to choose one member to take his place as a competitor. Not surprisingly, he picks Leben, who he has counseled through the tiff that arises between Leben and Koscheck/Southworth.

And the decision between Stephan Bonnar (Team Couture) and Bobby Southworth (Team Liddell) that sends Southworth packing. Granted, judges' decisions usually tick people off regardless of sport, but this one strangely ends at Round 2 when it easily could have gone to Round 3, due to the inconclusiveness of the 2nd Round. But Team Liddell has had straight fight victories.. Team Couture has had nothing. It can be a drag... especially considering that only one person from each weight class is going to get a contract, and all this team rivalry is for naught.

If you're not interested in the team politics or the characters of the show, there's a fight each episode... watching Diego Sanchez dish it out is truly a joy. That in itself, it worth watching TUF for.

TUF shows promise. Randy Couture and Chuck Liddell, arguably the two best heavyweights in the UFC, coach and comment on their teams... the members of the teams form rivalries and friendships, and Dana White throws in a little bit of caustic pep talks mixed with rational advice here and there... If TUF works out its details, I don't think I will miss even one second of Season 2.

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