The Ultimate Fighter Live – How well is this going to work?

The house has been set! The Ultimate Fighter Live premiere went down fairly smoothly on Friday night. There were some slow moments and some technical issues with the broadcast (please move your logo out of where the fighter’s head is at) but all in all I thought it was a great show. The one round format created a frenzied atmosphere with the combatants going full tilt as they didn’t have to worry about blowing their wad in the first round. Because that was the only round available for wad blowing.

We saw a one punch knockout, some killer submissions, and a broken toe that everyone on Monday is going to be talking about.  How gross was that?  There will also be discussion on what was going on with the announcing for the show.  I love watching Faber and Cruz fight, but for commenting they’re just too soft spoken.  Especially Cruz.  Dana White is a funny guy but you could tell he was more interested in watching the fights than doing a play-by-play for them.  Allegedly that was the plan for the broadcast.  Letting the fights speak for themselves.  As a hardcore MMA fan that was fine by me, but for someone who doesn’t follow the sport you may have no idea what is going on when there is an omoplata transition happening.  Which was sweet!

Unlike past seasons of the Ultimate Fighter there was no teaser trailer for the rest of the season.  We could see the big confrontations, ‘zany’ moments, and slick highlights from the fights.  What is going to happen this season?  Who knows!  We still aren’t even sure what the show’s format is going to be.  Will the show be 40 minutes of edited footage from the week which will then go live when it is fight time?  Will we still get to see inside the locker rooms when they are warming up and getting their last minute advice?  I know for sure that we will lose a lot of the production value as now after the fight is done we will not have an immediate summary of what went down with interviews from the other fighters/coaches/Dana.  Will this hurt the watchability of the show?

The success of the Ultimate Fighter came from the blending of reality TV with the UFC mixed martial arts.  Without the ability to craft the story and wrap it up in a neat bow it is uncertain how the show will be received.  There will be no more teasers to draw you in to watching next week.  If the fight is a 30 second knock out, you won’t be able to edit it so that it ends perfectly at 10.  Now there could be 15 minutes of dead time to fill.  That might go over like a lead balloon.

As a huge fan of mixed martial arts I’ll be watching regardless.  Hopefully the new format with the more live event feel will not alienate the reality TV fans that the show was originally made to draw in.

What do you think?

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