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The Ultimate Fighter Season 10 Preview, With Full List Of Fighters
Total Pro Sports – The circus is back in town as the UFC looks to ram home there “UFC is MMA and MMA is UFC” message with another season of the high rating – if a little stale – marketing juggernaut, The Ultimate Fighter. Season 10 – yes season 10; which sounds almost as ridiculous as triple digit PPV titling – begins September 16 of 2009 meaning the UFC will have aired three different seasons of The Ultimate Fighter in a single year, with Quinton Jackson and Rashad Evans the respective coaches for a heavyweight exclusive season.
Rashad/Quinton should hype their main event clash nicely with plenty of reality manufactured conflict and altercation, but the most intriguing aspect to season 10 is the eclectic selection of contestants that will be shut inside the house. The final cast list was confirmed recently and breaking it down fighter by fighter you realize it’s high on character but low on talent. Last time I checked this show was about giving up-and-coming talent a shot at the UFC, so it seems weird to have three fighters with UFC bouts to their names making the cut; Wes Sims, Scott Junk and Mike Wessel have a combined record of 0-5 within the UFC, an ominous start to finding the ‘next big thing’.
If rundown ex-UFC talent doesn’t get you excited then how about a total of four former professional football players? There’s a certain freak show stigma attached to heavyweights in MMA, and when a quarter of your roster has ‘former Bills fullback’ as their biggest credit you’re not helping the cause. Former Falcon Wes Shivers showed the mobility of a lighthouse in his one and only professional fight to date (ending in defeat), NFL journeyman Matt Mitrione’s first taste of professional MMA will be in the house, Brendan Schaub is perhaps the most successful fighter of the footballers entering the house with a 4-0 record and competition wins in boxing and BJJ, whilst Marcus Jones is the most successful footballer being a former first round selection by Tampa Bay and recording 24 sacks in a 6 year career.
Maybe I’m wrong, but the first two sound like whipping boys for the third, and the last guy on that list Jones is there for ratings. Who exactly would tune in to see him is beyond me, but maybe I’m underestimating the ‘Tampa-Bay-fans-who-are-particularly-interested-in-the-post-football-careers-of-defensive-lineman-between-’96-and-’02-and-are-starved-for-TV-content’ demographic.
I’ve tried to evade the white elephant of this season that we’re all sick of hearing about, but yes, Kimbo Slice will be on The Ultimate Fighter. Kimbo Slice has had more eyeballs on him than any other MMA fighter thanks to Elite XC’s network deal with CBS, but those eyeballs also saw him get embarrassed by Seth Petruzelli inside 15 seconds. The general public isn’t known for its long memory and there is still a large number of ‘Kimbo’s God’s gift to fighting’ fools out there, so I’m sure he will do his job in making TUF 10 the most watched season yet. I don’t like the guy since beating people up in boatyards for YouTube is exactly what MMA is trying to get away from, but behind a pretty suspect entourage it seems the Petruzelli knockout may of humbled him and you would hope he has taken the opportunity to develop something more than a reliance on ‘one punch’ potential.
I’m not jumping on the conspiracy theories that Dana White is bringing in this guy to be crunched first fight and have his own personal vendetta vindicated. In fact, I think the opposite is true and for the sake of ratings they’ll protect Kimbo having him fight last and likely against one of the football players. If he loses, the series still does well, but if he somehow wins the whole thing then God help us all as this guy probably has enough of a name to headline a Fight Night day one in the UFC.
Early favourites would probably be wrestling prodigy Justin Wren or former Elite XC alum Roy Nelson who has decent hands for a big guy, as well as the experience and chin to enter most fights without fear, but the freak show atmosphere will be centre stage in what will likely be the first season MMA fans have tuned into since we were first introduced to the enigmatic YES!-meister Nate Diaz in season 5.
Here is a confirmed roster for season 10: Kimbo Slice, Roy Nelson, Wes Sims, Marcus Jones, Matt Mitrione, Wes Shivers, Jim York, Justin Wren, Mike Wessel, Scott Junk, Zak Jensen, Darrill Schoonover, Brendan Schaub, Jon Madsen, Tony Blackledge, Abe Wagner
Hat Tip – [Every Joe]