Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) used to be an action lover’s paradise. It has risen to become the face of American Mixed Martial Arts, and rightly so. With over 22.5 million followers on Instagram, it has hit the right chord with millennials too. While one might even be convinced to believe that, it could be popular than boxing, the stats show otherwise.
However, one particular media has helped UFC garner more fans and followers amid the many other sporting enthusiasts. However, surprisingly it’s not a sporting promotional event that promoted this championship. On the contrary, it is a reality TV show that pushed UFC to become a favourite.
It is ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ that helped the game scale heights.
The success of ‘The Ultimate Fighter’
Much like the sport, it is based on, ‘The Ultimate Fighter’(TUF) is unique too. The American audience is not new to physical competitions, but TUF scales it a level up. The show often ends in its players pitting against each other till the last moment, making the showdown all the more exciting to watch.
Produced by Fox Sports 1 and the UFC, the show debuted on July 17, 2005. Ever since it flagged off, each year has accommodated two seasons of TUF. There have been 28 seasons in total, with each of them presenting the scenes of one or two weight classes that are part of the tournament.
Many popular names in the field of MMA were featured in the show. Some of them remained as coaches in further seasons after their debut in TUF. Thus, the show that as made as an experimental venture drew in millions. As a compound effect, the UFC also became the talk of the town.
Links between TUF and the UFC
Betway has made some interesting observations on the key takeaways of TUF, and how it impacted the UFC. The company was on the verge of facing a financial blow when the first season of the reality show happened.
With 16 fighters competing for two six-figure contracts, it opened the audience to moments away from the American TV mainstream. Forrest Griffin and Diego Sanchez who came out as winners plunged into fame and overnight success, thanks to the show.
One would feel that fighters themselves are not of much consequence when looking at the game as a whole. However, t’s important to note that without out-of-the-usual scenes the show offers, it might not have helped the UFC have an impact on people’s minds.
In the history of UFC, figures reflect how TUF has managed to help it rise back to its glory. A total of six Hall of Famers, 10 champions, 22 challengers, and even the 105 regulars; they make up a part of the narrative.
However, more than the fighters or the ones who put their names in history, it would be the moments that matter. MMA like most sports thrives on these moments and that is why TUF has become the supporting staff to the UFC.