When The Ultimate Fighter finally dies, it’s going to be a bittersweet day for MMA.
Most fans think the show is irrelevant, the level of talent has gotten noticeably worse over the last few years, and the format as a whole has become stale.
But no matter how bad it gets, there is always going to be that group of fans (including myself) that got their first taste of MMA due to the show.
No one can deny the impact the show had on the sport, and that’s likely one of the reasons the UFC seems determined not to let the show die.
With ratings hitting an all-time low, the UFC and FX are doing everything possible to ensure that TUF makes a full comeback when it returns to television next year, moving the show off of Friday nights and booking a duo of coaches in Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen that are guaranteed to get fans talking.
Next season could easily see a nice boost in both ratings and hype due to the amount of promotion that will likely go along with the high-profile coaches, but after Jones and Sonnen finish up their rivalry, the UFC is going to need to make sure the next coaches they select have something that will draw in viewers.
The UFC has plenty of fighters that can move the needle in terms of ratings, but most of those guys have been on the show before, and in all honesty, TUF needs all the new blood it can get.
Here are a few fighters who would not only be coaching on the show for the first time, but would be interesting enough to draw some viewers in the process.