The Ultimate Fighter
Ronda Rousey is quickly ushering in a new era in MMA history. The former Olympic Judo medalist has been unstoppable thus far; amassing a perfect record of 7 fights, all ending in the first round via armbar submission, and none with much adversity. She recently became the first women’s UFC champion, as well as one of two of the first women to ever compete inside the octagon. Now in an attempt to further the exposure of women’s MMA, along with the winner of Miesha Tate vs. Cat Zingano this coming April 13th, Rousey has also been named a coach for the next season of the Ultimate Fighter, which will feature the first ever co-ed class of applicants to the school of hard knock(er)s.
This intriguing new dynamic will add an interesting estrogen-ous flavor to the traditionally testosterone ridden UFC mansion. And one can’t help but wonder how this will affect the behavior of the often juvenile male portion of housemates. Will the traditional uncomfortably drunken arguments between cast members be tempered by the presence of women? Could having some nearby femininity somehow appeal to the masculine sense of chivalry? Perhaps the pranking on season 18 will include an “Animal House” style panty-raid.
With male and female bantamweight contestants cohabitating for the duration of the competition, it should be expected that a new and more complex picture of these fighters as human beings will emerge. Much of the attitude and behavior of the ultimate fighter casts in years past has been shaped by isolation. Fighters separated from their families and support systems have only themselves and their competition to relate with. However, with women in the picture these fighters will for the first time have direct human contact with people they can look to as something other than competition. Rivalry extends deep in this show, with even teammates eventually pitted against each other for the grand prize. With members of the opposite sex in close proximity to one another, the collective psychology of the fighter’s is bound to make a drastic change.
And of course, this opens up an avenue to romance that wasn’t really present before. With amazingly beautiful superstars like Ronda Rousey, Miesha Tate, or even Gina Corano at the top of the WMMA heap, the idea of a mish mash of well-conditioned and attractive male/female roommates becomes quite tantalizing. A fact I’m certain isn’t lost on the executives at Fox. Furthermore, the idea of such a group living and working together for months at a time being completely devoid of sexual tension is somewhat far-fetched.
With UFC President Dana White’s recent proclamation that every single thing that happens in the house will be “caught on camera,” the imaginations of the voyeuristic must be going wild. Add this to the recently improved production value of the show brought on by the collaboration with Fox, and a very interesting outline of sports entertainment begins to emerge.
The best case scenario: the actions and interactions of male and female fighters begin to breakdown stereotypes and gender expectations. We begin to see these men and women simply as people at the height of physical perfection looking to perfect their art and strengthen their minds and bodies.
The worst case scenario: the show descends into a more violent version of big brother.
We still get to see fights regardless, so I’ll tune in. It might be fascinatingly flirtatious or disgustingly disastrous, only time will tell. Either way, I expect to see a healthy ratings boost for the UFC’s signature flagship programming.
HISTORY WILL BE MADE ON SEASON 18 OF THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER®, AS WOMEN MAKE THEIR DEBUT IN THE REALITY SERIES
Male and female bantamweights (135lbs) are invited to try-out for season 18 on April 15
In a move set to make history, The Ultimate Fighting Championship® (UFC®) announced Saturday evening that it will feature women as coaches on the 18th season of The Ultimate Fighter®, its long-running reality series. Newly minted UFC bantamweight champion, Ronda Rousey, will coach opposite the winner, and eventual title contender, of a fight between Miesha Tate and Cat Zingano set for The Ultimate Fighter Finale on April 13 in Las Vegas, Nev.
Earlier this year, the UFC announced Rousey as the first-ever female fighter signed to the organization. She cemented her position as UFC champion and baddest woman on the planet with an impressive win against Liz Carmouche at UFC® 157 in Anaheim, Calif.
On April 13, former Strikeforce bantamweight women’s champion Miesha Tate will square-off against highly touted, undefeated contender Cat Zingano in the second women’s bout in UFC history. The winner will ultimately join Rousey as coach to the newest class of bantamweights – living and training together – vying for the title of The Ultimate Fighter and a six–figure contract with the UFC.
Tryouts for season 18 of The Ultimate Fighter will take place on Monday, April 15 in Las Vegas, Nev. All TUF™ 18 candidates must be at least 21 years old, have the legal ability to live & work in the United States, and have a minimum of three professional Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fights – holding a winning record (with verifiable records).
Tryout details will be released on Monday, March 18. TUF 18 is expected to debut in the fall of 2013.
Meanwhile, tickets for season 17’s The Ultimate Fighter® Finale are on-sale now. To purchase tickets to the April 13th event at Mandalay Bay Events Center, or for more information, visit the Mandalay Bay Events Center Box Office, all Ticketmaster locations, Ticketmaster.com, or charge-by-phone at 800.745.3000.
Catch all new episodes of this season of The Ultimate Fighter 17 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
Universally recognized for its action-packed, can’t-miss events that have sold out some of the biggest arenas and stadiums across the globe, the UFC® is the world’s premier mixed martial arts (MMA) organization. Owned and operated by Zuffa, LLC, headquartered in Las Vegas and with offices in London, Toronto and Beijing, UFC produces more than 30 live events annually and is the largest pay-per-view event provider in the world. In 2012, the UFC burst into the mainstream with a landmark seven-year broadcast agreement with FOX Sports Media Group. The agreement includes four live events broadcast on the FOX network annually, with additional fight cards and thousands of hours of programming broadcast on FOX properties FX and FUEL TV. This also includes the longest-running sports reality show on television, The Ultimate Fighter®, which airs on FX.
In addition to its reach on FOX, UFC programming is broadcast in over 145 countries, to nearly 800 million TV households worldwide, in 28 different languages. UFC content is also distributed commercially in the United States to bars and restaurants through Joe Hand Promotions, in English throughout Canada via Premium Sports Broadcasting Inc. and Australia via Main Event and in French throughout Quebec via Interbox. The UFC also connects with tens of millions of fans through its website, UFC.com, as well as social media sites Facebook and Twitter. UFC President Dana White is considered one of the most accessible and followed executives in sports, with nearly 2.4 million followers on Twitter. Ancillary UFC businesses include best-selling DVDs and video games, an internationally distributed magazine, UFC.TV offering live event broadcasts and video on demand around the world, a new franchise in development with EA, UFC GYM®, UFC Fight Club affinity program, UFC Fan Expo® festivals, branded apparel and trading cards.
Chael gives fight picks at 7:50 of the podcast. You’ll have to listen to find where he discusses his opinion of his Congressional representation.