With talks of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) coming back, there is always intrigue around the coaches and weight class being represented.
TUF has seen been a reliable pipeline for talent in the UFC. The show has the chance to do more than just bring talent to the roster, there is the entertainment factor. TUF is must see TV. The show gives the chance to develop fighters so they are ready for UFC-level competition with the assistance of current fighters on the UFC roster. Fans get to watch fighters develop over the course of the show; strengthening a fighter’s popularity and following. It ultimately gives UFC potential to generate a future star.
UFC has a few weight classes that needs some new blood, fighters to get behind and be excited to watch fight. Here is a list of the weight classes UFC should consider for the return of TUF:
UFC is always looking for talent at heavyweight. The division has some star power at the top, but tends to lack depth. This is a division full of “gatekeepers”, or guys trying to make one last run in the twilight of their career. Although some are real killers, there just needs to be more. Heavyweights were featured on the last season of TUF, so they may be less likely in the upcoming season. But with Daniel Cormier set to retire after his fight, there will be a void in the division for sure.
Everyone knows this division belongs to Valentina. This is still considered a new division, and has a strong need for more talent. There needs to be a new prospect in this division to eventually challenge the champion. Maycee Barber is a name to keep any eye one moving forward, but her hype has slowed slightly after a loss in her last fight and a torn ACL to go along with it.
UFC has tried to build the women’s featherweight division, or at least made an effort. The last season of TUF was at featherweight, but many of the fighters chose to drop down and fight at bantamweight once in the UFC. The biggest success here was probably Macy Chiasson. This season should feature bantamweights, and get the fighters some experience fighting in their actual weight class.
The division is still around, and arguably more exciting than it has been in years. There is no champion currently, but there are a number of fighters worthy of the belt at the top of the division. Even though Henry Cejudo was fighting at bantamweight, his retirement still influences the division. Having flyweights on this season of TUF would show that the UFC is dedicated to the division long term.
Like the heavyweight division, the light heavyweight roster is not as deep as one would think. When you look at the top-15, sure, it looks stacked with killers. But once you dig deep, you realize the division is quite green. So why not bring on the 205ers during the reboot and see the talent pool on the regional scene that have been working for their opportunity in the big leagues?