After success in Brazil with an international spinoff of "The Ultimate Fighter," the UFC will head Down Under, with fighting prospects from the United Kingdom taking on UFC hopefuls from Australia. The new show, called "Smashes," will cast in London on June 12 and Sydney June 15.
According to UFC officials, it's playing off the natural rivalry between Aussies and Brits. To the press release:
"Australia and the UK have a fierce, long-standing rivalry, and where better to settle the score than in the UFC's Octagon," said Marshall Zelaznik, UFC's Managing Director of International Development. "The popularity of MMA has exploded in Australia and the UK, with gyms opening all over the respective countries. There is an athlete in one of those gyms who hasn't had the chance to show the world what he can do — The Ultimate Fighter is going give to him that opportunity. We're going to discover the UFC's future stars, you can bet on it."
TUF, American style has already produced plenty of British and Australian UFC veterans. Michael Bisping won season three and then went on to coach a host of Brits on season nine. Ausses George Sotiropoulos and Kyle Noke also made their name on TUF.
There is no word on coaches yet, but American fans can look forward to plenty of subtitles on English-speakers. Most of Team UK from season nine had that honor. By sheer history alone, my money is on Australia. Remember, they are descended from the British convicts of yore.