From the sounds of it, The Ultimate Fighter could soon meet its end. As the UFC closes in on its new broadcast deal with ESPN, and new programs like Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series continue to gain popularity, the future of the UFC’s long-running reality show is uncertain. This, straight from the mouth of UFC President Dana White.
“We don’t know yet,” White told MMAJunkie over the weekend (transcribed by Jed Meshew for MMA Fighting). “We’re coming up on the latest season of The Ultimate Fighter. We don’t know. It might be the last one. 13 years, The Ultimate Fighter has gone. It’s incredible.”
While The Ultimate Fighter could be entering closing in on its ultimate chapter, the UFC President assured that there’s still plenty of other action to come from the UFC. Specifically, 42 live events annually on ESPN, plus plenty of new UFC-produced shows on ESPN and ESPN+.
“That’s exactly right, 42 shows [per year],” White stated. “I have the ability to make some original content for those guys too, and it’s going to be awesome. ESPN wouldn’t cover us [originally]; now we’re on ESPN. Anybody who doesn’t think this is a win, just shut up. Stop covering the sport if you think this isn’t a win.”
White also confirmed that, although the UFC will have a large digital presence on ESPN’s streaming service ESPN+, UFC Fight Pass will also continue to exist.
“Fight Pass is gonna be the destination where the entire library sits and you can go in and watch whatever fight you want too or whatever other content we have on there,” White explained. “So that’ll be the same. And this ESPN deal is [only for the] U.S. So, Fight Pass is the rest of the world.”
Over the years, The Ultimate Fighter has given us future UFC champions and stars like Forrest Griffin, Rashad Evans, Michael Bisping, Nate Diaz, Tony Ferguson, TJ Dillashaw, Kelvin Gastelum, Kamaru Usman, and Diego Sanchez. Do you think it’s time for the UFC to pull the plug on the show?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 5/28/2018.This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM