With the Ultimate Fighter debuting its eighth season tonight on Spike, the show has reached a point where it has finally met its promise. Forrest Griffin, a fighter who was plucked out of nowhere and joined the UFC through TUF, is now the light heavyweight champion. Rashad Evans and Kenny Florian, also TUF fighters, will soon get a title shot. Of course, for every Forrest Griffin, you will have a Melvin Guillard. Before you tune in tonight, we will attempt to answer the questions that season eight brings.
Who will emerge as the top contender? This might be the toughest question of all to answer, because if a fighter truly takes advantage of the TUF experience, someone like Amir Sadollah, who started TUF with a record of 0-0, can win the show. On the other hand, Mac Danzig, the winner of season six, came on the show with more than 20 bouts under his belt. Lance Evans, brother of Rashad, will have a good shot in following in his brother's footsteps. Jose Aguilar has a strong record coming in, and Arizona State wrestling standout Ryan Bader will likely live up to the promise of other Sun Devil wrestlers who have entered the Octagon.
Who will be a dud? Obviously, the first 16 guys who get sent home. Apparently, there are some surprises in the bunch, and some fighters who won't even step into the cage.
Who will follow in the proud footsteps of Gabe Ruediger and Joe Scarola and be remembered for anything but their fighting prowess? Without spoiling anything, I will assure you that the idiots will be revealed in the first episode.
Will we see the kinder, gentler Dana White again? Last season, UFC president Dana White was almost, well, nice. He didn't even pull out "do you wanna be a $%*in' fighter?" That speech, which originated in season one and made an appearance in every other season, was not used last season. However, at the time of the taping season eight, White still hadn't signed Randy Couture, Elite XC and Affliction seemed to be snapping at the UFC's heels, and the New York Athletic Commission decided that the Empire State wasn't ready for MMA. Hopefully, these events will have made Dana crabby, and he'll take it out on the fighters. It is always more interesting when he is mean.
How will Nog and Mir be as coaches? Last season, Forrest and Rampage could not have been more entertaining. They were not only hilarious but also good coaches who got into the spirit of the competition. Mir and Nog are top-notch fighters and both seemed excited about the opportunity to coach. It remains to be seen if they will be able to share their knowledge.
With the edict that the fighters will have to pay for any damage to the house, will the house still get trashed? Of course. You put 16 bored, sexually frustrated guys in a house with plenty of alcohol and it will get trashed.
Photo via UFC Blogger.