With the premier of The Ultimate Fighter: Team Rampage vs Team Forrest on April 2nd, I begin to wonder if this will be another lackluster display of mixed martial arts by either team. Although recent Ultimate Fighter seasons have produced outstanding headlining fighters such as Rashad Evans, Josh Koscheck, Kenny Florian, and Keith Jardine to name a few, I still hope that the casting team chooses above-average fighters instead of guys who can create drama and call it reality tv.
In Made In American, an excellent book by Matt Hughes, he speaks to one of the fighters from the show during a training session. When the kid leaves, Matt Hughes says to himself, "It's just the nature of the business. It's not his fault he got in the UFC for being a character on TV, not from putting in the work." Is Matt Hughes right when he says this? I believe so, in a sense. Did Corey Hill deserve to be on the show because he was a 6'4 lightweight? He openly admitted that he didn't have any fights before coming on the show after his victory over Emerson. How many fighters out there, rolling around in puddles of their own sweat, burning off their ringworm, spitting blood, and improving on their legitimate records, would kill to be on The Ultimate Fighter?
Instead, we get fighters like Weems, who was content with lasting 10 seconds against Gray Maynard. Ok, I'll admit. The Ultimate Fighter has produced some excellent talent such as crazy-man Joe Lauzon, and triangle choking gumby-monster Nate Diaz. But for such an awesome show, which was set by the all-out-war of Forrest Griffin and Stephen Bonnar, to begin it's depressing decent from credibility by allowing such fishes like Blake Bowman to compete in the competition . . . is just sad.
With the UFC being the top premier fighting organization on the planet, I expect to see talent in that eight sided octagon and not characters. I guess we'll have to wait and see on the 2nd of April if this season will be any different, or at least wait till the semi-finals for the good fights.