When the UFC moved their reality TV show ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ from SPIKE TV to the FOX network of channels for the 15th season, there was a lot of high hopes and expectations that the show would be refreshed, the format changed and that live fights would carry the day. Well as we are through more than half of the season, have things really changed?
Another of the changes for this season was bringing Jon Anik aboard as the host of the show. Anik is pretty good, I have no complaints, but if the UFC and FOX think that adding Anik and the live fight format are enough changes to refresh a format that has been growing increasingly stale, they are completely out of their minds!
Urijah Faber and Dominic Cruz are the coaches, as the season is being used to hype the third matchup between the two of them. Both are very focused athletes that think preparation first, and certainly the third match between the two will be heated. But neither has the personality to carry a TV show, and it shows.
A few weeks ago one of the fighters (Chris Tickle) played a practical joke on the opposing team. Get this – he put a container of water above the door, and one of the guys on the other team had it fall on him, and he got wet! Awesome!
The live fight format has added the ability to bet on the fights, which is a boon for the betting man and the sportsbooks, but it does nothing appreciable for the casual fan.
The biggest sign that the format is stale and not taking is that the expected boost in rating that should have come with the move to the FOX networks has simply not materialized.
So this is a call that for season 16 true change come to the format of the show. Or they can start recycling jokes, gags and storylines. Like we could use a thief again, I think it was Sam Hoger. Big Sammie isn’t doing much these days, maybe he can come and steal some stuff himself. Or they can bring in Cris Leben and have him pee on a pillow again. Then, because of all Leben’s problems they can test the pillow for dope!
Man they gotta do something, the show after 15 seasons is barely watchable.