So the new season of The Ultimate Fighter is upon us, and despite the UFC’s best efforts, I couldn’t give a fuck. I watch streams of anonymous Thai fighters kick each other at 5 am on weeknights, but for some reason this new season just doesn’t appeal. It’s safe to say the show needs some new lifeblood. Either that, or it needs to be taken out back and shot in the head like my first dog when he broke his hind legs (thanks Dad). So, the UFC is making changes and bringing back some old TUF competitors, which is actually something I can get behind. But when it comes down to it, it just isn’t enough. So here are five steps I think the UFC can take (all ethically and legally sound) to bring excitement back into the Ultimate Fighter.
- Armed Combat Demonstrations / Exhibitions Matches
- Nothing quite steps up the excitement factor combat quite like a jacked motherfucker swinging a battleaxe. Don’t believe me? Head over to your local Medieval Times and watch all those poor assholes doing tricks while riding horses. That’s some impressive shit, but no one cares. Why? Because they’re all drunk off Miller Lite in pewter goblets and want to see a dude in armor smash a mace into another dude’s stomach. I still believe that Medieval Times could be the coolest place in the world, if they just stopped it with all the choreographed bullshit and let those knights sword fight for real. Not convinced? Take a peek at the classic film Mad Max: Beyond the Thunderdome. That post-apocalyptic town was into the fist fight, but pretty soon they were bored and said hey, let’s throw some weapons into this cage and spice this up. Those people are our future grandchildren. Where you think they got it from? Still not convinced? Go to any regional MMA competition worth a damn. In between fights what do you see? Ninja looking cats in gis whipping around nun-chucks and katanas, breaking concrete blocks with their head. That’s what martial arts is about. So stop hating and let these guys fight with swords.
- Forced Steroid Use
- You’re going to make grown men fight multiple times in a short time span and not allow them the life giving benefits of human growth hormone? That’s borderline criminal. Nothing would make me happier than to watch a bunch of TUF competitors talk about the finer points of their PED regime, and critically mock their opponent’s roid cycle. But I’m a man of simple tastes. Plus, the piles of uses syringes at the season’s end would become the quintessential visual to represent this fine sport.
- Required team drinking games
- Remember when there was all kinds of team competitions during TUF? The crews bonded together over their ability to carry coaches on chairs through the ocean, or whatever dumb shit these reality TV producers came up with. Why not bring that back with the one event that truly unites America, binge drinking. I would love to see some competitive flip cup or beer pong finally played on national television. For far too long has America’s great passion for drinking based games of skill been regulated to the college campuses of America. Bring them out into the light of day. Let’s see our finest athletes compete in what truly matters.
- Celebrity Coaches
- I’m not saying that I want to see Snoop Dogg coaching TUF… wait no, that’s exactly what I want. Could you imagine TUF30: Team Snoop Dogg vs. Team Anthony Kiedis? Well, I fucking can and I promise you, it’s just because of the weed. Sure, you could say that as coaches, they couldn’t give proper technical advise and wouldn’t know the first thing about creating a schedule for athletes to train during a three fight mini camp, but who gives a fuck about that? Can you imagine the advice Snoop Dogg would give in the corner? And you know he would refer to everyone on the show as Cousin because he forgot their names after the first day. That’s solid TV.
- Human Animal Combat
- Let’s all stop fucking around with this holier than thou attitude when it comes to watching humans fight animals. Stop acting like you don’t want to see that. That video of Khabib as a kid wrestling a bear is popular as hell, so that dispels all those myths. And if you want my unfiltered opinion, that bear seemed weak as fuck. I want to see Jake Shield fight an anaconda. Jorge Masvidal fight a tiger. GSP battle an alien. You tell me if I put that on TV you wouldn’t watch, and if you said no, you’re a goddamn monster. It’s just natural to want to see people fuck up animals. We’ve been doing it for millions of years. So instead of hurting the cute and awesome animals, let’s wreck shop on some of these ugly ass ones. I say, before the TUF semifinals, let the last four remain contestants spin a Wheel of Animals, with all the animals from the Chinese Calendar up there and they gotta battle whatever one it lands on. These fools would be hoping to land on the Rat. And whoever ends up getting gouged to death by the Ox, probably wasn’t going to cut it in the UFC anyway. Just think of it an an accelerated form of natural selection.
Despite the fact that this new season of TUF won’t feature any of these awesome ideas, it is debuting tonight on Fox Sports 1 and features the return of some old favorites from past TUFs, including a sober Joe Stevenson (we are predicting a relapse). Check out the promo and let us know if the UFC’s plan to get you back watching is better than ours: