There has been a fair amount of criticism launched at the 13th season of “The Ultimate Fighter,” but UFC president Dana White is happy to respond.

This season of the reality show was the first time in the last few years that an elimination round wasn’t held to determine the final competitors that would make it into “The Ultimate Fighter” house.

The show has been attacked by fans for the lack of excitement in the fights, along with what some people feel are fighters that maybe wouldn’t have made the show had their been an elimination round.

White explains what happened with this season and how it will never happen again.

“We had other obstacles we were dealing with this season. In our deal with Spike for this season we don’t have as many episodes as we’ve had in the past. So, we figured we would be killing some of the reality, we wouldn’t have enough time to tell stories, but we really, really, really made a big mistake not having these guys fight to get in the house,” White said on Friday.

“I guarantee you that will never happen again.”

The UFC’s top man did however say that the fights that close out this particular season of the show will make up for anything that has been lacking in the early going.

The other point of contention that most critics have taken up with the long running show are the ratings for this season. While the numbers have been constant, most felt that with former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar on board as a coach, the ratings would sky rocket.

Thus far the show has averaged around 1.3 million viewers, not the same type of numbers that have been drawn in past season, such as the 10th year when street fighter turned MMA fighter Kimbo Slice was a part of the show.

White pinpointed what the problem is, but unfortunately it was out of their control.

“You know what the problem is? We changed time; I don’t like the time change,” White stated. “At nine o’clock, in that slot, you’re going up against a lot of powerful programming. At 10 o’clock, that was the perfect time for us. We didn’t have any say in that.”

Wednesday nights on basic television include Fox’s smash hit “American Idol,” as well as CBS’ “Criminal Minds,” and ABC’s “Modern Family.” Spike TV debuted its new reality show “Coal,” which now runs at the 10 p.m. time slot instead of “The Ultimate Fighter.”

White still believes the ratings stack up well against such powerhouse programming, and that “The Ultimate Fighter” more than pulls its weight.

“Show me another show out there that’s been around for 14 seasons pulling 1.3 million viewers at nine o’clock, up against all the television shows that we’re up to,” said White.

“Nobody does that.”


Damon Martin is the lead staff writer and radio host for MMAWeekly.com.
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@DamonMartin on Twitter or e-mail Damon a question or comment.


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