I never really had anymore than a passing interest in TUF prior to last season. This was mainly because I don’t watch a lot of stuff on the internet and the internet was the only way of getting hold of any TUF episodes. Last season changed all that for 2 reasons: 1 because there was the UK element to it which really interested me and 2 because you could watch it on UK TV.
This time around a deal has been done with channel 5 to put it out on FiveUS. Awesome news for UK fans and yet more proof (as if any were needed) that MMA is on the rise in a big way. Full props have to go to Dana and the UFC for driving the popularity of the sport.
Of course my loyal reader(s?) – This also means that my irregular, late and incomplete TUF round-ups will return on this blog. Hopefully this time I will complete the review of the whole series and not have to stop half way through because I was so busy with other stuff (you know like getting married etc.. :D).
So this time out we get what I affectionately like to call the fatties, the heavyweights. The UFC are really concentrating on what was long considered the least interesting division in the organisation, right now. Of course the arrival of Brock Lesnar has kind of meant they’ve had to, and now the upper echelon of the division is looking pretty stacked. This makes a mockery of the fact that the supposed best HW in the world.. Fedor, is fighting for another organisation against people who are pretty much bums in comparison – but I digress.
As if the athletes now ruling the HW division aren’t proof enough that the UFC are really pushing this weight class… the emergence of some relatively new heavyweights at UFC102 like Todd Duffee and Mike Russow among others, is further evidence of this.
TUF10 is interesting for a lot of other reasons though. Most obviously is the involvement of Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson. If you’ve never heard of this guy you have obviously been living under a rock for the last year or so….welcome back to the world! Kimbo is basically a thoroughly unlikeable (or likeable…depends what you like I suppose) street-thug who became an internet sensation on you-tube by publishing vids of his street fights and pimping some catchphrases like “I gotta get my bread”. Of course he is there to boost ratings and I don’t think any serious MMA fans could actually rate his chances.
I personally don’t like him: Not because of his personality, but I resent the way he has exploded into MMA consciousness with very little actual talent for the sport. On the back of his street fight vids right he has pushed himself (or been pushed) to the forefront of the MMA world. I am sure there are other far more deserving fighters who are struggling to hit the bigtime and here’s this dude who just beat up some blokes in a back-alley and he’s suddenly a big-deal.
Credit where it’s due though, since turning to MMA he has made some efforts to actually train MMA and develop some skills in the sport. However after he got his arse handed to him by a decidedly average Light Heavyweight in Seth Petruzelli (0-2 UFC) it is not too much of a leap forward in logic to say that he is extremely likely to get his ass handed to him on the show by bigger guys who hit a lot harder than Seth does.
James McSweeney is the lone fighter representing the UK on the show. He is an outstanding kickboxer who had some success on Cage Rage / Ultimate Challenge after making the move to MMA, he is someone I’d love to see matched up with Kimbo as it would be great to see Slice get smashed up by a brit. Much as I’d love to see him do well, I feel his game is a little incomplete (althought not as bad as Kimbo’s) and I don’t rate McSweeneys chances of making the final.
The show also sees the return to the UFC of Wes Sims. He has been in the wilderness for ages but brings a lot of experience and has had more fights than most of the other competitors combined. It remains to be seen how well he can do and whether he can live up to his early career hype. Despite going 0-3 in the UFC he was still a cool fighter to watch and has a fuck you attitude which I kinda liked.
The favourite for the show has to be Roy “big country” Nelson. although he is no Todd Duffee/ Brock Lesnar in appearance, he is proof that fat men can fight and you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s big lardy truffle-shuffle cover. He is also 17-4 in MMA and was the only IFL heavyweight champion.
I won’t review each and every fighter as this has been done on many other sites. So I will just point you in the direction of one of those
Not sure I agree with the rankings necessarily, but interesting stuff here
I am anticipating a few more in-house shenanigans than there was on the last series, where the UK team were very much all business. With people like Kimbo in the house it surely can’t go incident free. Should be a great series hopefully with some awesome fights! Stay tuned to this blog for my weekly TUF10 round up coming real soon!!