The Ultimate Fighter was the catalyst that launched mixed martial arts into mainstream acceptance and exposure when it debuted on Spike TV in January of 2005. On April 1 at 10 p.m. ET, the popular reality show enters its ninth season pitting country versus country with Dan Henderson heading the American team and Michael Bisping coaching the United Kingdom squad. Ultimate Fighting Championship President Dana White thinks this season boasts the best fights in the series' history.
"Season 9 was (expletive) awesome. It's the craziest season ever," said White. "First of all, it has the best fights, the best fights ever in The Ultimate Fighter history."
While White categorizes the ninth installment as the "craziest," for the first time he didn't have to go to the house a single time throughout filming. "I'm not saying nothing bad happened, I just didn't have to go to the house," commented the UFC president.
Each season fighters enter The Ultimate Fighter house as individuals aspiring to become the eventual winner. As soon as they're separated into teams, team unity and an "us against them" mentality ensues. National pride creeps into the storyline with the country versus country format taking it to another level.
"You know how ever season the fighters fall into this team thing -- my team, we hate your team thing? They fall into that (expletive). We're nine seasons and they get in there and it's this crazy Lord of the Flies thing," explained White. "Never has it been worse than when it's country versus country. When I say that, not only was it bad with the fighters, the coaches were even worse."
T.U.F. 9 CAST:Meet Team U.K. and Team U.S.