The Ultimate Fighter reality show is widely regarded as being one of the pivotal factors in helping Mixed Martial Arts secure a foothold in the sporting world. In the finale of season 1 of The Ultimate Fighter, Stephan Bonnar & Forrest Griffin squared off in what many still consider to be one of the greatest fights in the history of the sport.
Now, in the middle of season 24 of The Ultimate Fighter, which is being branded as “The Tournament of Champions” given that every fighter in the competition is a champion of another promotion, new UFC owners WME-IMG are reportedly planning to cancel the show.
While the series has been criticized in the past for lackluster fights, and seasons that haven’t lived up to their hype, the current season has been praised by fans as one of the best in series history. In addition, the current season is helping the UFC build its flyweight division, with the season winner getting a title shot against pound for pound kingpin Demetrious ‘Mighty Mouse’ Johnson.
Now, according to FloCombat editor Jeremy Botter, the new UFC owners are looking to cancel the series:
Little late night birdie tells me that WME plans on getting rid of The Ultimate Fighter, possibly after this season.
— Jeremy Botter (@jeremybotter) October 20, 2016
This isn’t the first bit of news regarding the WME-IMG owners that has MMA fans riled up. This week, the new owners began to fire numerous UFC employees, including what is being reported as nearly 80% of the UFC Canada office, as well as an estimated 15-20% of the UFC’s global workforce.
While such a move is certainly not uncommon when a company is under new ownership, the possibility of the new owners canceling The Ultimate Fighter hasn’t sat well with MMA fans given the success and entertainment of the current season.
Stay tuned for updates regarding the situation as they become available.