Maybe the true story of The Ultimate Fighter's effectiveness can be told by the debate that has followed the season. Some think the show is disgusting and out of control while others say it's just boring and has jumped the shark. Sam Caplan from FiveOuncesofPain.com thinks they're all wrong saying that TUF 8 delivered more marketable fighters and potential future stars than any season since the first back in 2005:
"As far as marketable guys UFC has gotten a treasure trove of prospects out of this season. Phillipe Nover is the real deal. He has the Filipino heritage, UFC wants to go into the Philippines next year and they've got a good building block there."
Caplan points to Spanish speaking Efrain Escudero and his Mexican heritage. He also thinks that the biggest push could be made with Junie Browning, the guy who impressed him the most in terms of improvement since the end of the show.
Click below to listen to Caplan discussion (ESPNRadio1100 w/Cofield):
Caplan is correct on the Filipino (Nover) and Mexican (Escudero) potentially being marketing boons. I still believe that Eliot Marshall may be the best 205 prospect from show and yet we shouldn't ignore Ryan Bader's potential at light heavyweight. We've seen plenty of wrestlers add solid striking to their games and become big winners.
He also suggested that since the UFC owns The Ultimate Fighter maybe it needs to do one season a year on Spike and one season on Versus. If not The Ultimate Fighter then come up with something similar to develop the lower weight fighters.