Three hundred and four MMA fighters have circulated through The Ultimate Fighter.* A few handfuls at a time, 19 seasons' worth of would-be professionals lived, trained, bro-hugged, cried, played pool, pulled pranks, cut weight, hung out by the pool, missed their kids, bared their souls, performed unspeakable acts on each other's snacks and blended approximately seven cubic miles of smoothie together.
In search of that six-figure UFC contract, these men and women left their homes and families for weeks at a time, foregoing contact with the outside world and surrendering their lives to the daily boom-and-bust cycle of world-class vocational instruction and a desert mansion full of medium-grade bourbon.
Of all those 304 who were skilled and lucky enough to make it to the house, 28 hoisted the glass winner's plaque at the season finale. But even that doesn't guarantee—or disqualify—real success on the sport's biggest stage.
Here are the best 10 (plus a few honorable mentions) to graduate from the show. Rankings based on record and level of competition.
*Domestic version only. What am I, a mathematician?