As the show enters its eighth season, and interim heavyweight champion
I'll give the T.U.F. producers credit: They aren't afraid to change something if it's not working. Over the past seven seasons, the show has undergone numerous makeovers, and, in the process, has become less of a traditional reality show and more of a low-budget documentary/UFC commercial. Last season, they may have hit on a magic formula by loading each episode with two fights instead of one. No longer were we forced to sit through 55 minutes of exaggerated drama just to see a one-round mismatch. Plus, we didn't have to deal with as many arguments over whose turn it was to do the dishes. The problem, though, is that there are only so many fights each season. If the show can't afford to use them quickly, the producers will likely try something new to spruce up the format. Flaming wheel of death? Perhaps.
The decision to have Nogueira and Mir as this season's coaches was met with heavy criticism from fans who feel that "Big Nog" is light on personality and English skills, and Mir hasn't earned the spot with only two straight victories. It would make sense to look for coaches with vigor and charisma to help carry the sometimes-monotonous storylines, but the duo could prove to be dynamic on camera. Mir's work as a color commentator for World Extreme Cagefighting has shown that he understands the sport well and can articulate it in a way the average fan can appreciate. Nogueira, meanwhile, is arguably one of the UFC's most underused talents, and face time with American audiences could do wonders for him and his career. Of course, the two could end up phoning it in and sleeping on the mats during practices a la "
How many times can we see the same thing happen? Guys get drunk and destroy the house, mainly out of boredom that is aggressively heaped on them in the hopes of creating such drama for the cameras. It's so inevitable that it's practically a rite of passage for T.U.F.'ers. But word has it that, after more than $70,000 of damage to the house in Season 7, the UFC told this season's fighters that they'd have to pay for any destruction they cause. This could be a sign that the show's overall attitude has changed. However, don't for a second think the open bar in the house and the almost-encouraged alcohol bingeing is going anywhere. This may be a competition, but it's also reality TV.
Just looking at the roster, it's easy to spot the favorites. Guys like