The upcoming sixth season of Spike TV’s popular “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series debuts Sept. 19, and the show’s producers made a small change to the way fights were arranged.
In seasons’ past, if a coach’s fighter won his bout, that coach earned the right to pick the following episode’s fight. Essentially, the process allowed a coach to assure his top guys easy fights by picking off the opposition’s weakest talent.
The problem was no more apparent than last season, when Jens Pulver’s team beat B.J. Penn’s fighters in the show’s first four episodes.
”(Pulver) got to pick the first fight by wining (the coin toss),” Spike TV Senior Vice President of Sports and Specials Brian J. Diamond told UFCjunkie.com (www.ufcjunkie.com)
. “Team Pulver put their coach on a winning streak, and it made it very hard for B.J. to come back from being stuck in that rut.
“Now, what we’ve done is this. With the coin toss, you pick the first fighter or you pick the first fight. But if you pick the first fight, it only means you get to pick that one matchup because after that, it alternates.“
In other words, a coach can’t go on a winning streak and play matchmaker for an extended period of time.
“We wanted to make the whole process a little more balanced going forward,” Diamond said.
“The Ultimate Fighter 6,” which debuts after UFC Fight Night 11 on Sept. 19, will feature current UFC welterweight champion Matt Serra and former champ Matt Hughes as coaches. The series concluded filming last month.
For the latest news about “The Ultimate Fighter 6,” including a list of rumored cast members, check out the UFC Rumors section of UFCjunkie.com.