With the joke that is currently the boxing world, comes the continued rise of mixed martial arts. The MMA plainly features a more exciting product that appeals to the average fan and has been capitalizing on that excitement for the past decade. One of the premier programs that showcases MMA, more specifically, the UFC, is the reality TV show “The Ultimate Fighter,” which pits unknown wanna-be fighters against one another for a shot to be in the UFC.
The show, which will be entering it's 16th season this year, took a dramatic change of pace last season when it went to a live format with it's fights. Unfortunately, though UFC president Dana White said he loves the live version as he recently told Yahoo Sports that the show will be returning to its taped origins next season.
This change, according to White, is mainly due to the inability of the show to format the fights within the allotted time frame, leading to over-runs. Also, with the live format, it was more difficult to create storylines that humanized the fighters to the audience.
Another potential problem with the show itself is that since it switched from Spike TV to FX before last season, it had to take a Friday night slot, which is usually considered a dead zone in television. In it's inaugural season on FX, the show did see good numbers but White feels that overall the show might be better served with a change of night, which he believes will happen if there isn't a good ratings increase for the next season.
"FX wants to try it again on Friday nights," White said. "But if it's not up to the standards I'm expecting, I'm pretty sure they'll give me what I want. But this season was a smash hit home run for them."
Overall, the flagship show for the UFC continues to go strong and though the fights won't be live next season, you can expect the action to be just as intense and the stories to be even more captivating…as well as within the slotted time-frame.
James LeBeau is a sports contributor for CraveOnline Sports and you can follow him on Twitter @JleBeau76 or subscribe on Facebook.com/CraveOnlineSports.