Monday, April 30, 2012

Damon Martin: No Current Plans for Another Heavyweight Season of The Ultimate Fighter

The 10th season of The Ultimate Fighter will go down as one of the highest rated seasons of the show with fighters like Roy Nelson, Brendan Schaub, and Kimbo Slice being a part of the cast.
It was the second time the UFC had put together a cast of heavyweights, the other being the second season of the reality show (although many of those fighters were light heavyweights cast as heavyweights, such as Rashad Evans, Keith Jardine, Seth Petruzelli, etc).
With the heavyweight division in the UFC currently flourishing with highly touted champion like Junior dos Santos at the top of the weight class, and several top flight stars underneath him, the biggest division in the UFC has new life that it hasn’t seen in years.
Also add in two more top heavyweights that will eventually make their way to the UFC in the form of Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix finalists Josh Barnett and Daniel Cormier, and the UFC seems to be in great shape for a very solid and dangerous heavyweight division.
That said, the developmental process that is The Ultimate Fighter doesn’t appear to be a launching pad for new heavyweights again any time soon.
UFC president Dana White says that despite the success of Season 10 of the reality show with an all-heavyweight cast, the division simply isn’t deep enough to do another show with 16 fighters vying to get a spot on the UFC roster.
“The problem is that there aren’t a lot of heavyweights,” White said recently. “For me to go out and find 16 great heavyweights, if there’s 16 (expletive) great heavyweights out there, I need them in the UFC, not on The Ultimate Fighter.”
The Ultimate Fighter fluctuates weight classes each season with the most recent installment focusing on lightweights. Prior to that, featherweights and bantamweights got their first shot on the reality show.
For now though it looks like if you’re a heavyweight trying to get into the UFC, it’s going to have to be because UFC matchmaker Joe Silva gives you a call and not by landing a spot on The Ultimate Fighter.

Follow @DamonMartin on Twitter or e-mail Damon Martin.
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