All the details about the new incarnation of The Ultimate Fighter Live.
The Ultimate Fighter Live begins on Friday, March 9th on FX with a special two-and-a-half-hour premiere at 9:00 PM ET/8:00 PM CT (tape delayed 9 PM PT/10 PM MT). The series then moves to Fridays at 10:00 PM ET/9:00 PM CT (tape delayed 10 PM PT). TUF Live airs live nationally on DirecTV ch. 248 and DISH-Channel ch. 136. (See international broadcast listings)
The season lasts for 12 consecutive weeks, culminating in the championship fight on June 1st.
More than 500 athletes from around the world auditioned. Through tryouts, cuts and background checks, 32 were selected to participate in the series premiere episode, in which they were paired up to “fight in” to the house.
After the premiere, the 16 finalists will be broken into two teams of eight by the coaches and they'll live in a house together for the duration of the season. One fighter from each team will be selected by their coach to fight at the end of each episode and the right to advance in the competition.
At the end of the season, one man will be crowned THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER LIVE Champion and receive a six-figure contract with the UFC and a custom Harley-Davidson.
Each weekly fight takes place under the unified rules of mixed martial arts except for in number of rounds. Because TUF Live bouts are technically exhibition matches, they are scheduled for two rounds with a third sudden-victory frame added in case of a tie.
In the first episode, fighters were awarded $5,000 if they finished the fight (by submission, T/KO or other stoppage) within the one round. (Eight of the 16 bouts wound up ending in under five minutes.) At the end of the season, fans will vote on the best fight, submission and knockout out of the series, and each fighter will receive $25,000.
While the fighters generally move forward in the competition in a tournament fashion, those who lose their bouts remain in the house and on call to fight. They can be tapped at any time for a wild card bout or to fill in for a fighter who is injured or who leaves the show.
The 32 finalists range from 21 to 34 years in age; the shortest are 5’7 and the tallest 6’3”. Pro fight experience levels are between 3 and 26 fights; 9 are undefeated going in to the series premiere March 9. The contestants come from the US, England, Brazil, Mexico, Guam and Northern Ireland. All fighters in the house will compete at lightweight, or 155 pounds,
meaning they must be 156 pounds or under at the official weigh-in 24
hours before their fight.
The coaches are current UFC bantamweight (135-pound) champion Dominick Cruz and former champion and current top contender Urijah Faber. In addition to their coaching duties, Cruz and Faber will be training for their championship rematch this summer. The two have fought twice in title fights and are 1-1 in the series so far.
The series’ previous incarnation, The Ultimate Fighter, was the launching pad for some of MMA’s greatest fighters including Rashad Evans, Kenny Florian, Forrest Griffin, Stephan Bonnar and many others. For 14 seasons over the last seven years, The Ultimate Fighter established itself as one of the most intense and exciting competition reality series on television. Past seasons are available on DVD, iTunes and UFC.TV.
In its previous format, each season was taped months in advance of its broadcast. This season the segments of events taking place in the house will be taped the week that episode airs, and the fight at the end of each episode will air live in the Eastern and Central time zones (tape delay in the Pacific and Mountain time zones).