TUF 9: UK Vs. USA, Does Size Matter?

Mark HoppsCorrespondent IFebruary 6, 2009

With the new season of The Ultimate Fighter just around the corner, I believe questions have to be asked. The UK is starting to produce Talented MMA practitioners; however, when you look at the USA Vs. UK format, tiny little Britain would appear to be at a disadvantage.

MMA's popularity hit the USA sooner, combat sports such as wrestling are taught in gym class across America and are the solid ground that a lot of MMA fighters start from in the country. In little old England, it's virtually unheard of and no combat sports enter the school gates.

Thanks to the evolution of the sport and its popularity in recent years the UK is producing fighters that began there training in MMA rather than making a crossover from another combat sport. This is great for British MMA but these fighters are young and lack experience in the main.

The more experienced fighters you see from the UK will usually have been Boxers, Kickboxers or trained in Karate before they made the crossover, Mike Bisping and Ian Freeman spring to mind.

The UK also has sheer numbers stacked against it, The US has a population of over 303,000,000 to pick its team from, the UK has a population of just over 60,000,000.

To put this into perspective: England would fit into the bottom corner of Texas!

There is no doubt that Britain has fighting spirit, it has produced many world champion fighters. Lennox Lewis, Joe Calzaghe, and Ricky Hatton are just a few names I can mention.

We have even stepped into the unusual TUF tournament before and came out on top with Mike Bisping. However at the time The Count was an undefeated champion in the UK, The very best we had to offer.

There is no doubt that the standard of MMA in the UK has increased phenomenally in recent years but B Britain is still playing catch up.

Does size matter? The odds are firmly stacked against the UK but then again it is something Britain is used to, the perpetual underdog.

Will Britain rise to the challenge and put up a fight, perhaps even win? Could David Defeat Goliath?

As a proud English man, you might expect me to say yes to the above questions but honestly, I really don't know.

We shall just have to wait and see.