As you may know, in recent months, the UFC's signature reality television show The Ultimate Fighter was expanded into China. As a result of more than one billion people living there, it's kind of a desirable destination for people who are in the business of attracting eyeballs.
Reliable ratings information is a little hard to come by, so the jury remains out on the show's success (or lack thereof) among its target audience. In the West, the show's legitimacy was hampered by claims that it featured underwhelming talent, with several top Chinese fighters not participating as contestants and those who did participate—including a yoga instructor who literally did not know how to fight—not exactly turning heads.
And yet, the show also drew positive reviews as a well-produced piece of television that effectively introduced MMA and the UFC to a massive Chinese viewing audience. That, rather than producing the new featherweight champion, was probably the point from the beginning.
No matter how you slice it, the finale goes down Saturday from Macau, China. It airs in the U.S. at 8 a.m. ET Saturday on UFC Fight Pass. And the four-fight main card is actually pretty decent.
Never deterred and never discouraged, our Bleacher Report MMA staff members are here to provide their picks. Riley "Kobra" Kontek. James "The Athlete" MacDonald. Craig "Wiseacre" Amos. Sean "Salmon" Smith. And yours truly, Scott Harris.
Let's get it on.