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The Ultimate Fighter

Posted By SPMA

The Ultimate Fighter

The Ultimate Fighter is a long-running reality television series that features mixed martial arts fighters competing in a tournament for a UFC contract.

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About The Ultimate Fighter

The Ultimate Fighter is a long-running reality television series that features mixed martial arts fighters competing in a tournament for a UFC contract. The show began airing in 2005 on the American channel Spike TV. Its debut spurred the growth of MMA and the UFC in particular. Since its debut over a decade ago, the Ultimate Fighter has had 28 seasons shown on three different television networks in the United States. The show belongs on The Shelf because it has accomplished something no other sports-based show has ever done. The Ultimate Fighter has led to an increase in the popularity of a sport allowing fans a peek into the lives of those trying to earn employment with fight promotion. Rather than being a companion piece to the UFC, the Ultimate Fighter led to an increase in viewers to MMA and competitors training for a career in the combat sport.

The Ultimate Fighter's Relation To Sport Business

The Ultimate Fighter changed a fledgling sport into one that is covered by the biggest media outlets in the world today. It changed the career pathway for fighters and drew in new fans that would have never discovered MMA. The tryouts for the Ultimate Fighter featured newbies and old pro MMA fighters. Everyone saw it as a path into or back to the UFC due to MMA having no feeder system like baseball, basketball, and football. The show also depicted what fighters go through behind the scenes in training and their personal lives. It was a window into the world of an MMA fighter and that is why it was a must-see for any fan of combat sports. Sport professionals are able to see how UFC has utilized this show for marketing and analyze the way the sport evolved.

The Ultimate FighterSport Industry Areas Touched

Related Industry Trends

The Ultimate Fighter Industry Endorsements

The Ultimate Fighter has been suggested to us by sport industry professionals we talk to on a regular basis. See a list of those individuals below.

 Industry Professional  Organization  Position

Why watch The Ultimate Fighter?

Since its inception, the UFC marketed big fights and events. The problem with this promoting tactic was the UFC had no weekly show (like pro wrestling) to give fans a taste of the action each week. It also prevented fans from being invested and following along on a regular basis. With only events sporadically held throughout the year, or even once a month, it was difficult to retain fans. The Ultimate Fighter was the stop-gap that gave fight fans the chance to watch MMA bouts, or training, on a weekly basis. Although it was packaged in a reality series, it still gave fans the chance to see hard-hitting action.

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