The Ultimate Fighter series has no doubt been very important and influential in the growth of mixed martial arts since its debut, in January 2005. The Ultimate Fighter series one finale between Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar is regarded as one of the greatest and most important fights in UFC history, to quote Dana White:
“It’s amazing to think…how close we came to not being here today. If it weren’t for what these guys did, I don’t know if there would ever be a UFC. I’ll never forget these guys. Ever.”
TUF has provided us with some memorable moments over the last 8 years, from Tito Ortiz’ battles against Chuck Liddell and Ken Shamrock to “Rampage” Jackson and Rashad Evans’s record tenth series. Here are my favorite top three moments from TUF.
Diego Sanchez can’t handle his beer – Series 1
Dana White took the cast out for a night on the town and series winner Diego Sanchez turned into a drunken mess. The paralytic Sanchez had to be carried to his bed, Josh Koscheck then decides to wind up Sanchez which results in one of the funniest moments in TUF history. Love him or hate him Koscheck creates some great TV. Sanchez would go on to get his revenge beating Koscheck in the semi-finals.
Rampage and Evans at war - series 10
Series 10 proved to be the most popular series of TUF to date. ‘Rampage’ Jackson and Rashad Evans’ intense feud, the shows cast of former NFL players, veteran fighters and ‘Kimbo’ Slice proved to be TV gold for the UFC. The series was filled with many highlights from Marcus Jones sissy fit with Matt ‘Meatball’ Mitrione to ‘Jackson’ picking a fight with a door. Overall though for me the greatest thing was the overall feud between the two coaches which was very intense. To this day both men still hate each other.
Julian Lane: Let me Bang – series 16
In my opinion this is the greatest moment in TUF history. “Bad boy” Julian Lane … had tried to start fights with almost every cast member in the house. Lane had a mental break down after he defended close ‘bang bro’ Michael Hill against Neil Mangley and Dom Waters. Waters laughs off Lane’s embarrassing performance. But it still remains as one of the funniest moments in my opinion, ‘Let me Bang' is now well known over the Internet.