10 Reasons Why TUF Season 10 Sucked
If you are a big MMA fan like me, season 10 of The Ultimate Fighter was one of the most anticipated seasons yet. It seemed like this could be the season that finally surpasses season 1 or 5 as the best ever. We had some former UFC fighters getting a second chance, four former NFL players, an IFL heavyweight champion, some undefeated prospects, an MMA celebrity in Kimbo Slice and most of all: a great coaching matchup between Rampage Jackson and Rashad Evans.
Sadly, nearly everything I was looking forward to backfired or flamed out quickly. And despite a decent finale that had some exciting stoppages, here are my 10 reasons why as a whole, season 10 of The Ultimate Fighter sucked.
10. Boring Fights / No Gas Tanks – There’s nothing fans hate more than boring fights. Season 10 started off with a whimper of lame decisions with no action whatsoever. After the first two fights were huge stinkers, I was already considering whether I should even stay tuned for the rest of the season. Almost compounding the problem was the total lack of conditioning of the fighters themselves. In nearly every fight, one or both fighters gassed and turned the fight into yet another snoozefest. Heavyweights are slow enough when they aren’t completely out of energy. There were only two fighters who showed any endurance whatsoever in season 10 and surprise, surprise, they are fighting each other for the TUF contract.
9. Fighter Talant was Lousy – With the promise of four former NFL players, they had us believing that these heavyweights would be faster, bigger and more athletic. Not only was that 100% not the case, but the overall favorite to win the show, Roy Nelson, has one of the least intimidating physiques of any of the fighters. Nearly all the fighters this season were either too inexperienced to be effective, or too close to retirement to ever become a contender. All in all, I only counted maybe 2 or 3 guys who will ever have a future in the UFC and I doubt any will be contenders.
8. Too Much Kimbo Slice – Nearly every advertisement or promotional material about this season was focused on Kimbo Slice. Yes, he’s a cash cow that draws in ratings, but the guy fought one time in the third episode and he lost. Dana White ridiculed EliteXC for exploiting the hoopla that surrounded Kimbo Slice, but then he went and did the exact same thing. I’ll admit that the show did a good job of not focusing on his actual fighting talent and instead labeling him as a hungry amateur looking to improve. Regardless, he was given far too much special attention.
7. Rampage Terrible Coach – From the beginning of this season on, Rampage Jackson completely let his team down. He had no legitimate strategy when picking his team, only picking the biggest guys, including Kimbo first. He had very weak game plans for his fighters, offered lousy advice when cornering them in fights and then completely abandoned them if they lost. Why would you shun your own fighters when they needed you the most? More often than not, his rival coach Rashad Evans was there to console Rampage’s defeated fighters. Going into this season, I was expecting Evans to be the villain, but I became a fan of his as Rampage’s childish antics took precedence over actually coaching his team.
6. Totally Uncompetitive – Please refer to reason number 7. Week after week, Rampage’s team got completely shut down. As the first round continued, it became a running joke between my friends to see how long it would take before a member of team Jackson actually got a win. Team Rashad nearly ran the table before Marcus Jones finally pulled off a win to become the only member of Team Jackson to advance to the second round. When a team was outpicked and outcoached this badly, it became almost difficult to watch. Part of the entertainment value of a show like this is the mystique, but it became evident as the season wore on what was going to happen.
5. Massive Bias Against Roy Nelson – From the minute he started fighting on the show, Dana white has had it in for Roy “Big Country” Nelson. He constantly trashed his fight style, his competitiveness and his physique and it made no sense whatsoever. This man is about to fight in the finals and very well could become your next Ultimate Fighter champion. Why would you want to devalue his stock in the organization? I just don’t see his endgame here. Dana’s hatred and comments about a guy that he himself promotes is totally unprofessional and counterproductive.
4. Very Few Redeemable Qualities – With so many people on the show being complete tools, it becomes hard to find a favorite cast member. Usually each season there are one or two “villains” that the editing team decides will be the bad boy of the show. This season, we were saturated with them. Wes Sims, James McSweeney, Matt Mitrione and Roy Nelson all had their moments when they were painted in a negative light. Hell, even coaches from Team Jackson, Tiki Ghosn and Rampage himself were complete jerks for much of the show. Once the show was done taping, Zak Jenson was wanted in a murder investigation and it was discovered Jon Madsen had done time in prison. Very few fighters made it out of the gauntlet unscathed
3. Overhyped – Anticipation of this season may have been as high as it as ever been. Party due to Kimbo Slice, but it was also referred by Dana White himself as one of the best seasons ever. I have no idea how he gave that sound byte with a straight face. If they had just been honest with the viewers, there would be a lot less disappointed fans. Several media outlets had us thinking that Scott Junk and Wes Sims would try to rekindle some glory from their previous stints in the UFC ala TUF season 4. They couldn’t have been further from the truth as both were easily put down in the first round of competition. Dana announced that a fight between Matt Mitrione and Scott Junk was the best of the show, and if that was the case, viewers should have stopped watching the season then and there. Both fighters tired quickly, threw weak shots at each other and failed to do anything to impress me whatsoever. This was one instance where the UFC hype machine backfired tremendously.
2. Kimbo Never Came Back – If there is one thing that the UFC should apologize for most of all was how badly it misled its fans. Every episode after Slice was eliminated hinted at his imminent return. Every instance of a fighter nicking himself in training or not having a good day mentally was used to throw in another promo about Kimbo taking his place. The UFC knew all along that he wasn’t going to get a chance to fight in the quarterfinals but they strung their fans along like a bunch of saps anyways. They should be ashamed of themselves.
1. No Payoff – A very important part of the show is the payoff at the end. By the time filming ends, both coaches usually despise one another and are ready to get in the ring and tear each other to pieces. All those plans fell apart when Rampage Jackson “retired” from the sport to focus on acting. Not only are we not going to see this fight at UFC 107, we may never see Jackson fight again. Worst of all, news of his retirement came out just after the season started airing on television, which made all that wonderful trash talk and tension mean absolutely nothing.