Ah, the never-ending story of ‘Ultimate Women Challenge’ — originally called ‘Ultimate Women’s Combat.’ Back in 2009, NBC issued a press release of their new female MMA reality show featuring Felice Herrig, Angela Magana, Angela Hayes, Melissa Steele, Roxy Richardson, Lauren Sugahara, Kerry Vera, Michelle Vera, Marloes Coenen, Casey Noland, Molly Helsel, Vanessa Mariscal, Jessica Aguilar, Martha Benavides, and Kate McGray. Bas Rutten was pegged to host the show along with Joanna Krupa. The coaches for the show were supposed to be Cris Cyborg, Rosi Sexton, Tara LaRosa and Cesar Gracie.
The concept of the show called for two female fighters to compete against each other, the winner stayed until only two remained — basically a modified version of The Ultimate Fighter. The winner of the show obtained a contract with a partnered fighting organization (rumored to be Strikeforce) and a hefty sum of cash. At least, that was the plan.
In reality, the entire show turned into a hellish experience for everyone involved, especially the fighters that literally had to survive from canned vegetables for weeks. MMA Junkie’s @BenFowlkesMMA managed to interview everyone involved, including the creator, and chronicled the story of Ultimate Women Challenge, the most hellish female MMA reality show that never aired. Here’s an excerpt from the article.
Things really got serious when the women finally made it to the gym. After being in the house for roughly three days, according to Kedzie, they’d only spent one day actually training. And when they did train, one competitor badly injured her knee. Instead of getting her medical attention, the producers brought her, along with all the other women, back to the house.
“You could see her knee retaining fluid,” Ould said. “I was like, ‘I just want to go home. I feel like we’re getting Punk’d right now.’ “
The way Kedzie remembered it, the other fighters took one look at the injured knee and knew it was worse than the normal bumps and bruises that come along with hard training.
“We were like, ‘Can we at least get her some drugs or something?’ ” Kedzie said. “Clearly she’s not going to be able to fight now. And Kaitlin Young, I really admired her balls. She just got up and walked out of the house and walked down the street — we were in, like, a little subdivision — and she walked up to someone’s house and borrowed their phone and called her manager and said, ‘Get on this. We need help.’ Nobody was at the house to help us.”
So what you’re telling me Kedzie is that Ultimate Women Challenge was just a hybrid crossover of Survivor that was simply ahead of its time? Interesting. You can read more of the cacophony of mishaps here.