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M&F got an exclusive pass behind-the-scenes of The Ultimate Fighter 8 during filming and will run a 13-page superfeature called “Fight House” in the December issue, due out October 27. In the story, you’ll get a look at life inside TUF house as well as the high-octane training habits of both teams. Here at M&F Online, you’ll get more combative goodness.
>> For web-only images of our Las Vegas photo shoot with the TUF contestants, click here.
In “Fight House,” UFC president Dana White acknowledges that the six weeks on the show will likely be the hardest thing that these fighters will ever have to do. But White, who in 2004 helped orchestrate the deal with Spike to bring TUF to television, has more to say on the show that’s churned out better athletes and helped make household names out of men like Forrest Griffin and Rashad Evans.
M&F: What do you think about M&F’s look at the training on TUF 8?
Dana White: It’s amazing. I think we are long overdue [for this kind of article]. People have no idea how really physically and emotionally challenging this is. Very few people could go through what these guys go through, and they come out to be better fighters and better human beings because of it.
M&F: There’s so much that goes on during the show that it seems the training footage is the first thing cut. What do the fighters think about that?
DW: One of the biggest complaints I hear from the fighters is that we don’t really show how hard they train. So because of that new fighters come into the show never really knowing what to expect until they get here.
M&F: Do you guys feel like this year’s crop is in better shape since they knew they’d have to fight to earn a spot on the show?
DW: This is the eighth season of The Ultimate Fighter. It’s one of the top 10 longest running reality shows ever. If you don’t show up in shape after eight seasons of this show you’re a fucking idiot.
M&F: Finally, what do you think fans can expect this season on TUF?
DW: I can tell you honestly, fans can expect to see the creation of what I think will be the next Anderson Silva, but at 155 pounds, and probably one of the best seasons we’ve ever done as far as reality television.
SEASON 8 IN THE CAGE
Last season, Spike TV’s The Ultimate Fighter – a reality show that chronicles the lives of 16 fighters as they work for a six-figure UFC deal – ended with some last-minute controversy and the emergence of an unlikely champion. It was definitely must-see-TV. This season, which began back on September 17 and airs Wednesdays at 10 PM ET/PT on Spike, is delivering more of the same.
Two UFC heavyweights – both in class and in name – coach the teams on TUF 8. Antonio Nogueira, the interim UFC heavyweight champion, coaches the red team against former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir’s blue team. The two coaches will meet in UFC 92, scheduled for December 27.
The original crop of 32 lightweights (155 pounds) and light heavyweights (205 pounds) has been whittled down to 12 competitors as of this posting.
So far, TUF 8 has been anything but disappointing. Through six episodes, it’s been high on drama and replete with stunning knockouts and intense battles in the Octagon. Catch Episode 7 on Wednesday, October 29 at 10 PM ET/PT on Spike. Also be sure to tune in for the TUF 8: Team Mir vs. Team Nogueira season finale on Spike, Saturday, December 13 at 9 PM ET/PT.
>> For more information on the UFC, The Ultimate Fighter or any upcoming UFC bouts, visit www.ufc.com.
>> For Spike’s official page on The Ultimate Fighter, click here.