On the surface, the link between American Idol and The Ultimate Fighter seems to be nonexistent. The UFC's trademark reality TV show and America's most popular singing competition aren't often thought of as kindred spirits.
However, when you think about the two shows, there are certainly some similarities.
Both shows attempt to find largely undiscovered up-and-comers and offer them a shot at making it to the big-time through competition (all while not-so-subtly making money off of the ensuing drama). These two shows may not have much overlap between their audiences (I may be the only one who will admit to watching both), but they have been entertaining us for the better part of a decade.
Another thing they have in common is that it's hard to tell just how far the winners will go. There are TUF alumni that have gone on to hold championships and there are a few that never quite lived up to the billing of winning the show. Similarly AI has produced some highly successful recording artists and a few artists that never quite made it and ended up with a minor role in a Broadway adaptation of Grease.
Whether you are a fan of both shows or not, there are a few winners from each whose careers are very similar.