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5 Oz. of Pain on CBS Sports: TUF’s all-time top ten

In light of Rashad Evans’ upset victory over Chuck Liddell during last weekend’s UFC 88 event, tonight’s TUF 1 reunion on Spike TV, along with the upcoming season premiere for the eighth season of “The Ultimate Fighter” this Wednesday at 11 p.m. ET, I felt it was rather appropriate to take a look at the casts from six of the seven past seasons of TUF and compile a top-ten list of the best fighters to ever graduate from the show.

Despite the results, a lot of people still are not sold on the reality show concept as a way to develop new talent. But as my top ten clearly demonstrates, TUF has not only created recognizable stars but has produced some damn good fighters.

To see which fighters made my top ten and why, just CLICK HERE.

27 COMMENTS
  • Tattool says:

    Great article Sam, but I have to nitpick and point out one error. When discussing Chris Leben you left out his loss to Kalib Starnes.

    Although one could hardly be blamed for forgetting about Kalib Starnes in this day and age.

  • Butthead says:

    You forgot that Leben also lost to Kalib Stearns.

    Also, it’s really lame to rag on Bisping for the Hammil fight. The decision was a close one, but Bisping won – he was dominating the last round and a half.

  • Chris Hohn says:

    Lebeb is 9-3, he lost to Jason McDonald, Anderson Silva and got screwed by Caleb Barnes

  • James L says:

    Yeah I was going to say, Leban lost to Kalib Starnes and he almost lost that Martin fight until the very end. But still I think Leban is a good fighter

  • ttt says:

    must the term “razor sharp elbows” always be used when mentioning Kenny Florian?

  • Bad Monkey says:

    Either way, Leben puts on a show every fight and he’s gonna go all American Revolution on Bisping’s ass coming up soon.

  • jeff the drunk says:

    The talent on this list speaks for itself. All of these guys are major threats in their respective weight classes. Like you said Sam, “TUF has not only created recognizable stars but has produced some damn good fighters. ” Love it or hate it, TUF has been the proving ground for some of the UFC’s top fighters.

  • Cathedron says:

    Good article. TUF is still a little weird to me. It’s such a gimmick to me. It gives young fighters a chance that they often don’t deserve and turns them into little more than filler fighters who can never hang with the A-level talent. And yet, a few of them have really grown into the sport and become some of the biggest names in the UFC (some are still growing).

    Nothing is going to make me like Bisping, though. At best, he’s a B-level fighter who would be relegated to Fight Night events, except the UFC needs him as their star in the UK so they’ve mostly fed him cans and let him headline shows (though one could argue that the UK shows are smaller than Fight Night shows). Still, his few serious opponents have resulted in a loss and a totally undeserved decision win.

  • Rich S. says:

    I’d have to put Diego above Jardine..
    and i’d like to see Stevenson just a little bit higher.. I know that with the other fighters that are on the list, it’d be hard to move stevenson higher, but, he’s only lost twice in the UFC.. the first one was his debut fight, against Josh freakin’ Neer, and he almost finished that fight in the first round.. and the second, a loss to BJ PENN.. other than those losses to top level competition, he stacked up wins over great opponents in Dokonjonosuke, Yves Edwards, Melvin Guillard, and Kurt Pellegrino.. those are all top guys [maybe not Doko, but, you feel me :) ]

    the list is good though..

  • joetheacupuncturist says:

    Sam, Top 10 is pretty easy to guess most of the dudes there, but what would really be really sweet would be a bottom 10.

  • Bo Jangles says:

    Cathedron, you’re a tit.

    I would have called both the Hammil and Rashad fights with Bisping as draws – they were both super close. You’re just mad because you want to see a Hollywood ending with deaf boy kicking everyone’s ass.

  • Bad Monkey says:

    I’ll vote Jeremy May and Kalib Starnes in for bottom 10, oh, and that guy who went home early b/c he though his girlfriend was cheating on him, Noah something I think. What a fag.

  • Rich S. says:

    hey, despite being somewhat of a douche, Jeremy May wasn’t a bad fighter.. i liked that guy..

  • joetheacupuncturist says:

    May was totally posterized in that fight with Matt Brown. but the Bottom 11 ( hehe-i couldnt help myself) has to have, in no particular order :

    Thaker
    Kenny Stevens
    Jessie Forbes
    Mikey Burnett
    Reutegar
    bowman
    Dorian prince
    Scorola
    Ionhoffer
    Weems
    Andy Wang

  • Rich S. says:

    ok, the fact that the names: kenny stevens, bowman, weems, ionhoffer, and scorola don’t even ring a bell to me justifies their spots in the bottom 10..
    i’ve watched every season all the way through, and i’m not familiar with those names..

    i’d say you should add solomon hutcherson to the bottom 10, but, he seems to do pretty good in his fights OUTSIDE of the UFC..

  • joetheacupuncturist says:

    u watched every season and dont know thise guys? comon’ your just not trying now

  • Rich S. says:

    ok, i’m sure if you put faces with some of those names, i’d remember them, but seriously, ionhoffer?
    does NOT ring a bell at all..

  • mike wolfe says:

    I recorded the season 1 marathon and have watched about half of it. In retrospect it’s a little hard to understand why the show was such a success. Leben was a dysfunctional, binge drinking wreck, and Diego was a thorough db. And the eliminations from the challenges were feeble. Glad they changed that.

  • joetheacupuncturist says:

    the first season was pretty bad in hindsight. the challenges sucked and there was only a few good fights and even the bonner/forrest finale wasnt that good as far as being pure mma/chess match stuff, it was a great great muay thai match but not really mma. the fighters were amazing though

  • joetheacupuncturist says:

    btw, ionhoffer was the dude with the glasses who left because og his girlfriends neediness

  • Mike Wolfe says:

    Who was the guy in one of the later years–3? 4?–who got kicked off for going over the wall to hook up with a female lifeguard he’d met earlier in the day? I can’t recall the guy’s name, but part of his back story was that he’d been living or had lived out of his car and had no job. Always wondered what happened to that guy, and whether the lifeguard was worth it.

  • joetheacupuncturist says:

    Jeremy Jackson. he should have been on my list too. I think he is in jail for rape if im correct

  • Jye says:

    Jeremy Jackson wasn’t a bad fighter though. I give him cred for picking up like that but it seriously wasn’t worth the price he paid

  • THORAZINE says:

    My bottom 10 list ‘for whatever reason’ not in any paritcular order.

    1. Joey ‘little bitch’ Scarola – TUF 6
    2. Jermey ‘Rapist’ Jackson – TUF 4
    3. Andy ‘I’m a Warrior!’ Wang -TUF 5
    4. Noah ‘I luv her’ Inhofer – TUF 3
    5. Gabe ‘Colonic’ Rutegar – TUF 5
    6. Jason ‘Strange Brew’ Thacker TUF 1
    7. Danny ‘I’m UFC Fighter!’ Abbadi – TUF 3
    8. Wayne ‘Too Nice’ Weebs – TUF 5
    9. Blake ‘No Chest’ Bowman TUF 6
    10. Marlon ‘Bullshit’ Sims TUF 5

    Honorable mention

    Kenny ‘Who?’ Stevens TUF 2

  • joetheacupuncturist says:

    Thorazine, you dont have Mikey Burnett on there. He has to be on any TUF bottom 10 list. I know its mean but its true. I think there are too many bad fighters for a bottom 10. It should be a bottom 25.

  • Sonny says:

    I’ll nominate Jeremy May for being an immature, sandbagging, attention whore who bit off more than he could chew (no pun intended) when he messed with Matt Brown.

    Then he tries to get Jesse Taylor’s oafish ass thrown off and Taylor’s dumb enough to fall for that trap, except he had his housemates holding him back.

  • THORAZINE says:

    Crap! How could I forget Jeremy May!…lol… yup, I’ll remove Jason Thacker… and substitute Jeremy May.

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