About The Ultimate Fighter

The Ultimate Fighter is a reality television series and mixed martial arts (MMA) competition, originating from the United States, and produced by Spike TV and the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). On this show, professional MMA fighters that have yet to make a big name for themselves are situated in a house outside of Las Vegas, Nevada and compete against each other for the title of The Ultimate Fighter, winning a six-figure, multi-fight contract with the UFC.

For the first four seasons, prospect UFC fighters were selected in two weight classes. The fighters are divided into two teams, irrespective of weight class, each team coached by a current UFC headliner. The teams then compete (in a manner which varies by season) to determine which team would have the right to pair one of their own fighters against an opponent of their choice in the same weight class to an MMA match, the loser being eliminated from competition. At the end of a season, the two remaining fighters of each weight class are placed in a single-elimination tournament, where the title of Ultimate Fighter is awarded to the winner. From season five to season seven, all fighters competed in the same weight class.

The show features the daily preparations each fighter makes to train for competition and the interactions they have with each other living under the same roof. Day-to-day events on the show are overseen by UFC president Dana White. White has attributed the UFC's success to the popularity of The Ultimate Fighter.

With the exception of the season finales, fights on The Ultimate Fighter are sanctioned by the Nevada Athletic Commission as exhibition matches and do not count for or against a fighter's professional record. This is done to keep the results from going public before the air date.

Format Reality, Sports
Created by Craig Piligian, Frank Fertitta III, Lorenzo Fertitta, Dana White
Starring Dana White
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 117 (including 9 live Ultimate Finales)
Running time 60 minutes
Production company(s) Pilgrim Films & Television
Original channel Spike TV
Original run January 18, 2005 – Present


Six-figure contract

The winners of the first three seasons of The Ultimate Fighter competition, and certain runners-up depending on their performance in their competition finals, receive the touted "six-figure" contract to fight in the UFC. These contracts are specifically three-year contracts with a guaranteed first year. Each year consists of three fights, the first year's purse per fight consists of $12,000 guaranteed with a $12,000 win bonus (a maximum of $24,000 per fight), the second year's purse per fight is $16,000 with a $16,000 win bonus (a maximum of $32,000 per fight) and the third year's purse per fight is at $22,000 with a $22,000 win bonus (a maximum of $44,000 per fight). A TUF winner who goes 9-0 can earn $300,000 total on the contract, but only $150,000 is guaranteed for all three years if 9 fights are fought.[1]

Those that have not won the competition can still fight in the UFC. Their contracts however are not the same as the six-figure deal above.

TV ratings

Season Six ratings were down slightly from previous seasons.[2] Episode three garnered a 1.1 half-hour rating.[3]

  • Finale

The Ultimate Fighter 5 (Saturday, June 23, 2007; 9 pm – midnight): 2.6 million viewers; 3.0 rating/Men 18–34 (834,000 viewers); 2.6 rating/Men 18–49 (1.4 million); 2.0 household rating. Peak Audience: 3.4 million viewers at 11:30 pm.[4]

TUFFEST 25 Moments

On October 23, 2007, Spike TV aired an episode of TUF, entitled TUFfest 25 Moments, in which the producers and viewers chose the best moments in The Ultimate Fighter History (seasons 1 through 5). Later a DVD of the same name was released that included 10 bonus moments.