That's right, folks. The Ultimate Fighter has lost its relevancy in the sport of MMA. The reason is simple and easily remedied: Make it about the fighters again!
People watched the first few seasons to see up and coming fighters that could possibly become the stars of tomorrow, not to see a feud between coaches. Yes, watching Tito Ortiz and Ken Shamrock bicker like 12-year-old children was entertaining, but the show was noticeably weaker because of it.
Arguably, the strongest season of The Ultimate Fighter was season four, "The Comeback." It featured fighters who had fought in the UFC and were seeking to rebuild their careers. "The Comeback" had no head coaches.
Instead, fighters were responsible for the bulk of their own training, with special appearances by well-known fighters as guest coach of the week. Fighters also acted as corner men for each other.
As the focus of the show has shifted from the fighters, the fighters themselves have become increasingly less talented. Season five was the last time truly good fighters were showcased, Gray Maynard and Nate Diaz chief among them.
As I am bombarded with advertisements for The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights, I find myself once again very annoyed with the UFC.
Why Rampage Jackson and Rashad Evans? Because they dislike each other, of course. Why feature Kimbo so prominently? Because the hardcore fans think he is a joke.
I know I will watch it, but I have the feeling I will be very underwhelmed by the talent on display, as they will be forced to take a backseat to Rampage and Rashad.
Please Dana, make it about the fighters again, for everyone's sake.