This Saturday another season of The Ultimate Fighter will come to a close. The show was started as a way for the UFC to market its product by showcasing what it is like for a fighter to train and to let people get to know fighters on a personal level.
At the same time there was also a house with plenty of drama, the result of having 16 guys trapped in a house with no contact with the outside world and tons of free alcohol.
The first season was very memorable mainly because of an exciting finale and also how well the fighters fared in the UFC, but even without that it was an exciting season to watch.
Let's look at the pros and cons of this season, starting with the cons.
First, there were no elimination fights. This led to fighters not having to earn their spot in the house, because it was expected that these fighters knew what was required of them. Keon Caldwell, however, was not prepared to spend that much time away from his family and chose to leave the show without even fighting.
Next, there were the injuries. Myles Jury, who came to the show sporting a 9-0 record, was considered one of the better prospects, but he injured his knee in evaluations and was forced to withdraw from the competition. Also, Justin Edwards put on an amazing first fight, but could not get a wild-card slot due to suffering a concussion resulting in a medical suspension.
The final con is all the build up the show is creating for a fight between the coaches, which is no longer happening. As with past seasons it makes the trash talk anti-climatic when there is no longer a fight at the end of the season to settle things.
Now onto the pros. The first has to be Brock Lesnar. For someone who is known for being extremely private, spending six weeks on the show with cameras on him had to be rough. Also, he admitted that he took an interest in his fighters and sometimes seemed very genuine when talking about his experiences fighting.
The second pro is that most of the fights have been above average. There have been a couple duds but many were exciting and kept viewers glued to the television.
One aspect that falls in the middle is the personalities of the fighters. Some do an excellent job of displaying the type of people most want identified with MMA. Others embody the street brawler image that many try to distance the sport from by talking about how castmates would be killed on the streets they are from.
Overall, the fights and Brock Lesnar make this season watchable television, but not must-see TV. The weaknesses create a series of what ifs and a feeling that this season is lacking compared to other seasons.
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