Friday, June 20, 2008

The Ultimate Fighter 7: A different twist

The Ultimate Fighter 7 Finale takes place this Saturday night in Las Vegas, Nevada. Below the fold is a fight card with the bouts that will take place at the Pearl at the Palms. The UFC promised us some twists that have never happened and a finalist getting kicked off the show is certainly a new twist. Another twist that may not be as large as JT Money getting the boot for going on a drunken crusade through a Fertitta owned casino is that many of the cast members of the show did not make the finale. Here are my thoughts…

In previous seasons every fighter on the Ultimate Fighter show was given an opportunity to showcase their skills in the Octagon in front of a real audience after the season ended unless they were kicked off the show for fighting. Last season was no different but a new change was that one month after the finale, fighters such as Richie Hightower, John Kolosci, Dorian Price, Paul Georgieff, Dan Barrera, and Billy Miles were all cut. The UFC has stated that their rosters and divisions have to many fighters and they need to thin out the fields.

This season I wrote an article at called TUF 7 Blogs: Ultimate Fighters or Ultimate Writers. The main point of the article was that this season had an unusually large number of cast-members blogging about their experience on the show, a trend I believe that was successfully started by Matt Serra in Season 4. I assume that this was a way for the UFC to better market it’s failing show by having the contestants tell their tales weekly in the form of a written blog. Wisconsin Combat Sports was lucky to have Nick Klein of Twisted Fitness discuss the behind the scenes details for us each week and I thank him for it.

As the weeks continued and the show progressed I would continue to notice that several non-TUF 7 contestants were being added to the card, which is somewhat normal. But as it continued, I noticed seven fights that were non-TUF related on the card, meaning only that several fighters from this season were not going to get the opportunity to fight in the finale.

What’s surprising is that the UFC didn’t tell many of these fighters until weeks into the television season and after tickets had already gone on sale that eight of the sixteen contestants would never get their shot in the finale. While I am aware that MMA and fighting is a cutthroat business, it’s this writer’s opinion that these guys got the shaft in a big way. Many of the fighters went home and began to train for a fight that they believed was going to happen only to find out that it wasn’t; not only that but many also blogged about the experience to help out the show. If that’s not a kick in the balls I don’t know what is.

I just wanted to personally thank Nick Klein for blogging at Wisconsin Combat Sports this season and sharing his experiences with us and letting us behind the scenes. My advice is stay strong, train hard, get a few more wins under your belt and you’ll get back in the UFC or with another major organization very soon. Good luck.

Here’s the card:

The Ultimate Fighter 7 Finale
The Pearl at the Palms
Las Vegas, NV

Main Card

Main Event
Kendall Grove vs. Evan Tanner
The Ultimate Fighter 7 Championship
C.B. Dollaway vs. Amir Sadollah
Luigi Fioravanti vs. Diego Sanchez
Spencer Fisher vs. Jeremy Stephens
Matthew Riddle vs. Dante Rivera

Preliminary Card

Josh Burkman vs. Dustin Hazelett
Marvin Eastman vs. Drew McFedries
Matt Arroyo vs. Matt Brown
Jeremy Horn vs. Dean Lister
Tim Credeur vs. Cale Yarbrough
Rob Kimmons vs. Rob Yundt

No comments: