Welcome, fellow MMA fans! If you’re a true fan of the sport, you know that The Ultimate Fighter is a must-watch reality show that has become a staple in the MMA community.
With over 30 seasons under its belt, it can be hard to know which ones are worth watching. That’s where we come in! We’ve compiled a list of the top 10 best ultimate fighter seasons that every MMA fan should watch.
Our rankings are based on a combination of ratings, memorable moments, and fan favorites. So, let’s get ready to rumble and dive into the greatest seasons in TUF history!
Table of Contents
Season 5 – Champions
The fifth season of The Ultimate Fighter is an absolute must-watch for any MMA fan. The season consisted of lightweight and welterweight divisions, featuring some of the most talented fighters in TUF history. The season’s ratings were through the roof, and it’s easy to see why.
One of the standout fighters of the season was Nate Diaz, who quickly became a fan favorite with his brash attitude and impressive skills in the octagon. He made it all the way to the semifinals before losing to Manny Gamburyan in a fight that is still talked about to this day.
Gray Maynard was another standout fighter of the season, showcasing his wrestling prowess in dominating performances. He made it to the finals before ultimately losing to Diaz’s teammate, B.J. Penn.
The season was filled with memorable moments, including Diaz’s infamous “Stockton Slap” and Gamburyan’s emotional reaction after defeating Diaz. The drama was high both in and out of the octagon, with tensions running high between coaches Jens Pulver and B.J. Penn.
Season 5 – Champions Highlights:
|“Stockton Slap” and loss to Manny Gamburyan
|Dominating performances and loss to B.J. Penn
“The fifth season of The Ultimate Fighter was an instant classic, with some of the most talented fighters and dramatic moments in TUF history.” – MMA Insider
Season 1 – Redemption
The first season of The Ultimate Fighter was a groundbreaking moment in MMA history. The show premiered in 2005 and quickly became a hit with fans. The season featured welterweight and middleweight fighters competing for a chance to earn a UFC contract.
One of the most notable aspects of this season was the cast of fighters. Many of them went on to become some of the biggest names in the sport, including Forrest Griffin, Diego Sanchez, and Kenny Florian.
The season finale between Griffin and Stephan Bonnar is still talked about today. The two men fought a back-and-forth battle that is considered one of the greatest fights in UFC history. The fight was so exciting that UFC president Dana White awarded both fighters a UFC contract, even though Griffin won the bout.
The first season of The Ultimate Fighter set the standard for all future MMA reality shows. It showed that there was an audience for this type of programming and that people were interested in seeing fighters compete for a chance to become UFC stars. It’s a must-watch for any true MMA fan.
Season 17 – The Launch of the Future
The 17th season of The Ultimate Fighter was a game-changer. Airing in 2013, it was the first season to feature live fights instead of pre-recorded ones. The season was co-produced by FOX Sports and was the first to air on FX. Featuring Middleweight and Heavyweight divisions, the season was a mix of veteran fighters and up-and-coming prospects.
Arguably the most successful fighter to emerge from Season 17 was Uriah Hall, who gained notoriety for his devastating knockouts. After a series of impressive performances, Hall was heavily favored to win the season. However, in a dramatic upset, he lost to Kelvin Gastelum in the season finale.
Despite Gastelum’s victory, both he and Hall were awarded contracts with the UFC. Hall has since become a fan favorite, and his spinning hook kick KO of Adam Cella in the season will always be one of the most memorable moments in TUF history.
Other notable fighters from Season 17 include Josh Samman, Clint Hester, and Jimmy Quinlan. The season’s coaches were Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen, who provided plenty of entertainment with their heated exchanges and trash talk.
Season 10 – Heavyweights
The 10th season of The Ultimate Fighter was a heavyweight extravaganza featuring some of the biggest and most entertaining fighters in the division. The season premiered on September 16, 2009, and concluded with a thrilling finale on December 5, 2009.
The standout fighters of the season include Roy “Big Country” Nelson, who entered the house with an astonishing 13-4 record, and Brendan Schaub, a promising up-and-comer with a 4-0 record at the time. Other notable fighters included Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson and Houston Alexander.
The season had its fair share of drama, including a heated rivalry between Nelson and Schaub that reached its boiling point during the semi-finals. The two met in the finale, with Nelson coming out on top to become the season’s winner.
Overall, the 10th season of The Ultimate Fighter was a must-watch for any fans of heavyweight MMA action. With memorable fights, entertaining personalities, and a thrilling finale, it’s no wonder this season is considered one of the greatest in TUF history.
Season 13 – Team Lesnar vs. Team Dos Santos
Season 13 of The Ultimate Fighter was all about the dynamic between coaches Brock Lesnar and Junior Dos Santos. The season featured heavyweight and welterweight fighters, with standout competitors including Tony Ferguson and Ramsey Nijem.
The season was filled with drama and memorable moments, including Lesnar’s heated confrontation with Dos Santos during an early episode. Ferguson and Nijem emerged as the top two fighters, setting the stage for an entertaining finale.
During the season finale, Ferguson and Nijem engaged in a thrilling back-and-forth battle. In the end, it was Ferguson who emerged victorious, securing a knockout victory in the first round. The win propelled Ferguson to stardom, as he has since become one of the top lightweights in the UFC.
Overall, season 13 is a fan-favorite and must-watch for any MMA enthusiast. It showcased the talent and personalities of the fighters, while also providing plenty of drama and excitement.
Season 2 – Heavyweights vs. Light Heavyweights
The second season of The Ultimate Fighter was another groundbreaking season of the show that saw heavyweight and light heavyweight fighters battling it out to become the next Ultimate Fighter. Rashad Evans, who went on to become a UFC light heavyweight champion, was the standout fighter of the season. He was part of Team Couture, and his impressive performances in the octagon earned him a spot in the finale against Brad Imes.
The dynamic between coaches, Randy Couture and Chuck Liddell, was also a highlight of the season. The two former rivals were both respected legends of the sport, and their back-and-forth banter added some extra entertainment to the show.
The dramatic season finale saw Evans and Imes face off in a thrilling fight that went to a sudden-death round. Evans eventually emerged victorious, earning himself a UFC contract and the title of Ultimate Fighter.
Season 14 – Team Bisping vs. Team Miller
The 14th season of The Ultimate Fighter featured bantamweight and featherweight fighters and is widely considered one of the greatest seasons in TUF history. Coached by UFC veterans Michael Bisping and Jason “Mayhem” Miller, the season was filled with drama both inside and outside of the Octagon.
Standout fighters included John Dodson, who went on to become a perennial contender in the UFC’s flyweight division, and Diego Brandao, who defeated fellow cast member Dennis Bermudez to become the season’s winner.
The season finale was a dramatic affair, with Dodson knocking out T.J. Dillashaw in the first round to become the bantamweight winner. Dillashaw would go on to become a two-time UFC bantamweight champion, making this season a must-watch for any true MMA fan.
Section 9: Frequently Asked Questions about the Ultimate Fighter Seasons
How are the seasons selected?
The seasons are selected based on a variety of factors, including ratings, memorable moments, and fan favorites. The top 10 best ultimate fighter seasons have been ranked based on these criteria to provide a definitive list of must-watch seasons.
How are the fighters chosen?
The fighters are chosen through an application process, where they submit information about their MMA experience, records, and personal stories. The selection process is highly competitive, with only a select few fighters making it onto each season of The Ultimate Fighter.
Where can I watch past seasons?
Past seasons of The Ultimate Fighter can be watched on various streaming platforms, including Hulu and ESPN+. You can also purchase past seasons on DVD or Blu-ray.
What are some other great seasons to watch?
There are many great seasons of The Ultimate Fighter to watch, including Season 3 – The Comeback, Season 9 – United States vs. United Kingdom, and Season 18 – Team Rousey vs. Team Tate. These seasons feature some of the best fighters and most memorable moments in TUF history.