The Ultimate Fighter has been going strong for 14 seasons, and with the 15th installment underway, it seems like a proper time for a retrospective. While participation in the competition obviously hasn't led to stardom for everyone, many fighters have made a name for themselves on the show.
Several current or former champions took part in TUF and were able to take a huge leap in their careers because of it. Not every success story from The Ultimate Fighter actually won the competition, but there have been some impressive winners over the show's history.
Here is a power ranking of the three best TUF winners of all-time. Who knows? Perhaps the next great fighter could be taking part in the current season and will one day join this list of greats.
3. Matt Serra
In what was one of the more interesting seasons of TUF, Season 4 allowed veterans to participate rather than unknowns with the prize being a title shot to the winner. Journeyman welterweight Matt Serra took part in the competition and ultimately won his weight class. Up to that point Serra wasn't considered to be anything special, but winning The Ultimate Fighter completely turned his career around.
Serra earned a title match with Georges St-Pierre and entered the bout as the decided underdog. Shockingly, Serra ambushed St-Pierre and knocked him out in the first round, however, handing GSP only the second loss of his career. Serra only has a career record of 11-7 and he dropped the title to St-Pierre in a rematch, but he made the most of his TUF experience.
2. Rashad Evans
Heavyweight Rashad Evans is one of the most successful and recognizable fighters in the sport, and he got his start on The Ultimate Fighter. Evans defeated Forrest Griffin for the UFC light heavyweight championship in 2007, and although he lost the belt to Lyoto Machida in his next match, Evans is widely regarded as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the sport.
Evans has a career record of 17-1-1 and stands a good chance of one day reclaiming his title. The goal of TUF is not only to develop serviceable fighters, but also bona fide superstars. That is precisely what Evans has become as he is one of the biggest drawing cards UFC has to offer. There is no question that the company is particularly proud of Evans winning the competition.
1. Forrest Griffin
Although he has recently struggled against some of the sport's top fighters, Griffin is unquestionably the greatest and most successful fighter to come out of TUF. Griffin won the first season of the competition and is credited by many as helping to save the livelihood of UFC. Griffin won the heavyweight division in TUF and he went on to become the UFC light heavyweight champion.
Griffin has taken part in some of the most memorable fights over the past several years and is a fan favorite in every sense of the term. Griffin has been heavily involved in the show ever since and he is considered the face of The Ultimate Fighter. If not for Griffin, the competition may never have survived, so the UFC should be eternally grateful for that.