UFC President Dana White said that changes were coming to “The
Ultimate Fighter,” and he has delivered on that promise.
According to a Yahoo! Sports report, “TUF” will return to the taped
format the reality show used for its first 14 seasons on Spike when
it returns in September. With its transition to FX, “TUF 15” was
the first iteration of the series to feature live fights at the end
of each episode.
The show will remain in its Friday time slot, however, but White
told Yahoo! that could change if he is not satisfied with the
ratings for Season 16. “TUF” had previously aired on Wednesday
nights on Spike, but when the UFC reached a deal with Fox, Friday
nights were the only available slot for the program on FX.
Ratings for the show peaked with the season premiere, when “TUF
Live” drew 1.3 million viewers to the network. The numbers declined
over the course of the season, with five different episodes failing
to reach 1 million viewers. Despite those seemingly disappointing
figures, White told Yahoo! that he considered the season to be a
“smash hit home run” for FX.
Season 16 of “TUF” will feature welterweight fighters, though White
said that coaches for the show have not yet been selected. With a
return to the taped format, filming for the show will likely last
six weeks instead of the 12 weeks required for the most recent
season. According to White, viewers can also expect a greater
emphasis on the personal lives of the fighters.