Now that the Ultimate Fighter 16 is in the books, UFC President Dana White has turned his focus towards promoting the upcoming season featuring coaches Jon Jones–Chael Sonnen. Though White understands the most recent run of episodes were among the poorest the reality franchise has produced, the eager executive is promising a much better effort in January when TUF 17 fires up.
“I told you guys, last season of The Ultimate Fighter was the worst season in the history of TUF. This next season is so awesome and so badass,” glowed White during a sit-down with media members this week.
MMAFighting was on hand and able to capture the conversation.
White went on to explain how pleased he was about the decision to move the show to Tuesdays, pointing to his displeasure with having been on Fridays for the past two seasons based on the difficulty in drawing an audience when most people simply want to start their weekends after work.
“Friday’s the worst night for television. It’s all older people watching TV on Saturdays,” explained White. “That’s where there’s all these myths when we do these things on Saturday…‘Murder She Wrote’ beat you on Saturday.’ Of course they did. That’s all the old people at home watching people on TV. Saturday night. That’s why they beat us. But the male viewers in our demos are off the charts, number one.”
Not only is White expecting higher ratings on Tuesdays, but he’s also happy that the increased number of eyes will have an opportunity to see one particular contestant do damage and relayed such in praise reminiscent of his initial take on TUF 8’s Phillipe Nover.
“We have a guy on this season of The Ultimate Fighter, every fight he’s in, someone goes to the hospital,” said White. “The whole house is terrified of this guy, f*cking terrified. Everybody. I picked this fight, and this guy is lined up with the guy I’m telling you about, and the guy has a nervous breakdown in the house over the weekend. Has a f*cking nervous breakdown. Freaks out and has a nervous breakdown. This guy scared the living sh*t out of everyone. It’s awesome.”
TUF 17 kicks off on January 22 on FX at 10:00 PM EST. After the show wraps, Jones will defend his light heavyweight title against Sonnen on April 27 at UFC 159.
Check out the recently released preview for TUF 17 below:
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC