There have been a lot of crazy people and wild characters on the set of The Ultimate Fighter.


Probably not. Considering it's a reality-television show designed to locate and publicize the best young cage fighters in the world, that likely doesn't come as much of a surprise.

More than that, the UFC and the show's producers have actually encouraged antisocial and reckless behavior. After all, the bigger the hijinks and the louder the trash talk, the more camera time you get.

And, in the reality-television business, camera time is the name of the game.

USA Today

It's often said the journey far outweighs the destination.

The saying is meant to shed light on how the path navigated is supposed to provide more meaning when the person gets to where he or she is going—how the miles that roll beneath one's feet hold a greater importance than the place one eventually ends up.

Chris Leben's path through life has come with its fair share of peaks and valleys, but the 33-year-old is still standing tall. Storms of both the personal and professional varieties have been weathered and "The Crippler" is looking forward to completing his mission of getting everything back on track.

The TUF 1 alum's public battle with opiate addiction has played out in plain sight, and after two years of ongoing recovery, he's winning the battle of sobriety. That said, with his past three showings inside the Octagon ending in defeat, there is an urgency surrounding his ability to get back into the win column.

USA Today

Depending on your point of view, your heart either leapt or stopped cold last week, as Lorenzo Fertitta stood at a podium in New York and announced that the UFC planned to do 54 events during 2014.


It was a breathtaking number, a staggering increase from the 33 the UFC will have done by the end of 2013 and one that obviously meant the fight company would average more than an event per week during the next calendar turn.

Later, Fertitta said he misspoke.

The UFC CEO corrected himself in an interview with MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani, saying his organization’s fight cards would number “in the 40s” next year. Most of the upsurge, he added, would happen at overseas Fight Night shows that might not even air in the U.S.

If accurate, Fertitta’s recalibrated number simply represents the next step in the UFC’s ongoing international expansion plans. The faint whooshing sound you heard in response was American MMA fans sighing in unison—half of them with relief, half with disappointment.

Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

Brian Foster's world has been on a roller coaster for the past three years.

In November of 2010, he was coming off an impressive second-round submission victory over Matt Brown—current resurgent title contender—which was his second consecutive win after being tapped out by resilient veteran Chris Lytle at UFC 110. His victory over "The Immortal" provided the momentum he had been looking for to move up the 170-pound ranks, and when his next bout against Sean Pierson was lined up for UFC 129 in Toronto, everything appeared to be moving precisely to plan.

But that is where the story takes a jagged turn, and anyone familiar with the Oklahoma native's plight can certainly understand the frustration that came as the result of what happened.

A failed MRI for a brain hemorrhage knocked him out of the bout, and eventually led to Joe Silva releasing him from the organization. While there was no surgery necessary to repair what essentially was a broken blood vessel in his brain, he was too much of a liability for the company to keep around.

USA Today

Chances are that the Nevada State Athletic Commission was planning its upcoming regulatory “workshop” long before UFC 167.

Still, when the NSAC announced this week it will hold an event on Dec. 2 to “solicit comments from interested persons” on any “proposed regulation” regarding combat sports, the timing seemed...awkward.

It had been less than 48 hours since UFC president Dana White went scorched earth on the commission following Georges St-Pierre’s controversial decision win over Johny Hendricks.

For at least a couple of weeks, things had seemed strained between the nation’s largest MMA company and the most powerful state athletic commission, and the judges’ verdict that ended UFC 167 only turned up the volume.

USA Today

The past two years have been crazy for Cub Swanson.

Where the 30-year-old was once seemingly fixed on the roller-coaster ride of unfulfilled potential, those days have long since been in the rearview mirror. Once the Palm Springs, Calif., native found the confidence to go with his diverse, explosive skill set, the results came quickly—and oftentimes in painful, brutal fashion for the person sharing the cage with him.

After spending five years trading leather in the WEC, the Jackson's MMA fighter finally made his UFC debut against Ricardo Lamas at UFC on Fox 1 in November of 2011. Despite getting out to a great start, the scrappy veteran made a tactical mistake in the second frame and was submitted via arm triangle.

The loss stung as Swanson believed he was on the verge of finally putting everything together. And while that final gear may not have clicked on that particular night, it certainly did in his next showing—and hasn't slowed in the slightest.

USA Today

You like bold statements, right? Of course you do. Everyone likes a bold statement or two. 

Welcome to our newest feature here at Bleacher Report: Tweet-O-Rama. Our three lead writers put out a Twitter call for bold statements from you, the reader and avid mixed martial arts connoisseur. Your responses were hilarious and thoughtful. 

Each of us picked our two favorite Bold Statements (we're working on getting that trademarked), and then we had ourselves a little round table discussion about each of them. 

If you want to get involved in the next edition of the Tweet-O-Rama, you'll need to follow us on Twitter: Jonathan, Jeremy and Chad.

Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

There is an eagerness pulsing through Jake Ellenberger.

Beneath his Midwestern-bred good manners and crisp presentation that is undoubtedly a product of his time in the Marines, "The Juggernaut" has a beast within the begs to be released.

When he lets it go, devastation is sure to follow. And if there is any doubt lingering in your mind as to its savagery, Mike Pyle, Sean Pierson and Jake Shields certainly can validate, as all three were laid out on the canvas as the result. Those accomplishments and victories were all a part of a six-fight run that allowed him to finally breakthrough into the upper-tier of a stacked welterweight division, but those achievements aren't what is on his mind these days.

While letting his power go helped him establish his name, it was a fight where he didn't let much of anything fly that still isn't sitting right with him. Back in July, the Team Reign staple squared-off with rising Canadian talent Rory MacDonald in the main event of UFC on Fox 8 in Seattle, Wash. Over the course of the 15 minute affair, neither fighter found much success, but it was ultimately MacDonald's jab which earned him the unanimous decision on the judge's scorecards.

USA Today

Leading up to UFC 167, there was a quote floating around from UFC president Dana White lauding the perseverance and iron will of his longtime welterweight champion.

“When you’re as rich as Georges St-Pierre is,” White said, “to stay mentally tough and to keep having the drive and the passion to win that he does, that’s what separates him from all the rest.”

A version of the quote appeared during the UFC’s series of Primetime specials for St-Pierre’s fight against Johny Hendricks and later in a Forbes.com story where an executive from Under Armour also called GSP “the Michael Jordan of MMA.”

So, you know, no pressure.

Viewed with the benefit of hindsight—now that we’ve witnessed St-Pierre’s grueling bout with Hendricks, its controversial outcome and the champion’s ensuing public breakdown—it’s clear White’s sentiments, while genuine, belied the truth.

USA Today

After a week spent celebrating the past, the mixed martial arts world inches ever forward.

We're 11 days away from the next major Ultimate Fighting Championship event—that being the TUF 18 Finale here in Las Vegas, on November 30—but there's no shortage of things to talk about coming off UFC 167.

And so, without any further ado, let's get started on this week's Buzz List, which includes the four most buzz-worthy topics in the MMA world. 

GSP Speculation Continues

Even though he was awarded a win over Johny Hendricks, last Saturday night represented the worst imaginable outcome for Georges St-Pierre.