Nothing is perfect. But it can sure be damn close. TUF 29 had a great cast and quality production, but it seemed as rushed as it was put together. There are several things fans missed about the older seasons, as well as many things this recent season did well, given the times.
We decided to highlight a couple things that the next season of The Ultimate Fighter should keep and others that should change.
Change: Time to bring back TUF Live
The 29th season of The Ultimate Fighter was amazing, but it could have been much bigger. Taking the pandemic into account and all the restrictions the crew had, it was a great season. What the UFC should do next is change things up and bring back a themed season. Perhaps TUF Live?
When the UFC did their first Live season, it felt super interactive and showcased the perfect amount of house antics, training, backstory, and live fights. As a fan, it was fun and it’s one of the seasons where fans followed the fighters immediately following their time on the show.
Keep: Less Drama, More Sportsmanship
Though major strides have been made to change the stigma of fighters and mixed martial arts, it’s sometimes still present. Presenting TUF as a show with less of the crazy antics is a great thing for the product and sport. We were able to see glimpses of it during TUF 29, and bits of clips that never made the director’s cut.
All in all, it was quite refreshing to see how professional this cast was and the long-lasting friendships that seemed to have blossomed from the experience. The Ultimate Fighter 29 did this well, but with a tad bit more drama or storylines heading into the fights, it would have had the perfect balance.
Change: More In-House Footage
This recent season was a bit disappointing how little we got to know about the fighters, especially if they didn’t win and continue on in the show. It would have been nice to see how the fighters handled their loss, how the team camaraderie continued to build, and how roommate situations went down. We were able to see glimpses of the fighter’s backstory, but not enough to help change a fighter’s following count drastically.
We want to get to know the fighters more and see their personalities, not just when they are fighting. We want to see how it truly was living in under one roof isolated from the rest of the world. Especially how everything was handled during a pandemic, which was never mentioned once. This season really missed the ball here.
Keep: The Overall Production
The Ultimate Fighter 29 had some quality production. Everything was top notch, minus how rushed the season felt (including booking the fights for the finale card). With some more time on their hands and taking everything on this list into account, things may have gone down differently.
This season could have been as badass as the fights were.
Change: Do More With The Cast
One thing Netflix does well with their reality shows, is they hype and build the cast into stars with large social media followings. They have Instagram takeovers, graphics to follow along with every episode and character, and make everything extremely interactive. UFC can be doing so much more to build cast members into stars they could book on future cards.
If they want the show to succeed and adapt to the modern times, they need to make everything more involved with fans. This is an experience that could change fighter’s lives, regardless if they end up in the UFC or not.
What did you think about TUF 29? What would you change? Let us know in the comments below!