Monday, August 22, 2005

The Ultimate Fighter is Back!!!

One type of show I am normally not a fan of is reality TV. I think most reality TV shows are ridiculous. The major exception I have is The Ultimate Fighter. After seeing an episode in Season 1, I was hooked, and even bought the PPV UFC match of Randy Couture/Chuck Lidell after the final. Season 2 starts Monday at 11PM on Spike TV.

The Ultimate Fighter is a spin off of the UFC pay per view events. It involved 18 fighters in two weight classes who are vying for a UFC pay per view contract. In Season 2, there are 9 welterweights and 9 heavyweights. One person in each class will earn a UFC contract.

For those who are unaware, Ultimate Fighting is a mixed martial arts event. It used to be almost no holds barred(Rules were no biting, eye gouging, or fishooks), but RINO John McCain's big government crusade did not help matters and pushed cable companies to get off the air in several markets. The newer format unlike the old one is sanctioned by the Nevada State Game commission. The newer format is more similar to boxing where judges can make decisions. It also introduced weightclasses, title belts, and one fight events. Under the old system, there were tournaments and a fighter had to win three matches to win. There were no weight classes, so you could have 150 pound fighters up against 300 pounders.

There are three five minute rounds. Fights take place in the Octagon, an eight sided cage.

Unlike boxing, there are several styles of fighting used in the UFC's. The early fights had strong advantages to grapplers over strikers, and to this day good grapplers are formidable opponents. Striking is still important, and Chuck Liddell has won many fights by strikes. The best fighters today are capable in both styles.

If the format is similar to season one, then the fighters are split into two teams headed by coaches who are UFC stars. They train with them, and then the two teams face each other in challenges. The team with wins the challenge picks a fighter from their team to face a fighter of their choice on the other team, usually one where matchups favor the challenger.

Unlike most reality TV, there is little whiny drama queen BS here. No one is voted out, and there is little subjectiveness(judges if there's no KO or tap out). Everything here is settled in the octagon. The winner of the fight stays in the competition, and the loser goes home.

This Monday is the premier of Season II. It is on Spike TV at 11PM. In the words of referee Big John McCarthy "Are you ready? Are you ready? Let's GET IT ON!"

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