I’ll admit it. Thirteen seasons into the UFC’s reality show on Spike, and I’m feeling a little bit of "The Ultimate Fighter" fatigue. The show has been on since 2005, and it’s hard to keep any TV show fresh for six years. (Except "Law and Order." How dare they take Jack McCoy off the air?)
But then I thought about the specifics of this season, and realizing that the fatigue I’m feeling can be easily squashed by the time the show debuts at 9 p.m. ET on Spike Wednesday night. Why should you tune in?
5. New start time: Just in time for the UFC to change the start time of the pay-per-view events, TUF is bumping its start time up an hour. The change may seem small, but now you’ll have that much more time to return to Cagewriter and discuss the show before heading to bed.
4. A closer look at some of the best coaches in MMA: No, I’m not talking about Brock Lesnar and Junior dos Santos. Their assistant coaches are some of the best in the business, but relatively unknown by fight fans. Erik Paulson, Marty Morgan, Luiz Dorea and Billy Scheibe will all get a chance to show how they helped Lesnar and dos Santos reach elite levels of MMA.
3. Guest coach potential is off the charts: With dos Santos and Lesnar’s connections and training partners, there is good reason to hope for fun cameos throughout the season. Jose Aldo, Anderson Silva, Pat Barry and the Nogueira brothers could all stop in. I really want Lesnar to pull in his buddies from the WWE days to teach his team about the fine art of selling a fight.
2. Watch dos Santos figure out how to be a star: Dos Santos has said that he just followed Lesnar’s lead in dealing with the cameras. An interesting storyline throughout the season will be seeing if dos Santos is comfortable as not just a fighter, but a star in MMA.
1. Lesnar’s response to a loss will be televised: With his out-of-the-way training camp and surly attitude, outsiders don’t often get a close look at the former champ. When they do, it’s quite often posturing. But with cameras following Lesnar for several weeks, it’s likely they will capture his true response to losing his championship belt to Cain Velasquez. That will be riveting television.
Are you planning to tune in tonight? Tell us about it in the comments or on Facebook.