The tenth season of The Ultimate Fighter is now history and we have a new TUF winner in Roy “Big Country” Nelson. While the veteran heavyweight was successful in spectacular fashion with a knockout punch, the same cannot be said for the evening’s production as a whole.
Perhaps one can attribute a comparatively amateur night of audio/visual downfalls to simple Murphy’s Law but these Spike TV issues have been rearing their ugly heads from some time now (previous “Fight Nights” strewn with A/V gaffes). While Spike is not NBC, FOX etc., they are a significant player on cable television and have developed a healthy business relationship with the world’s best MMA organization in the UFC. One can point to this being evidenced by their recent agreement to collaborate on continuing the TUF series. Audio crossovers, mics being left on, extended video stills etc. cannot be afforded while attempting to nurture that mutually beneficial relationship.
UFC President Dana White publicly states he is shopping for a good network television deal for his promotion. While this does not mean all related programming would have a singular home, Spike should take notice and raise the bar (via talent) on putting together near-flawless Fight Night, under card specials and TUF broadcasts. In addition to the business implications, MMA as a sport is in need of the best exposure it can get right now and we hope the UFC will pressure Spike to put forth the level of dedication and professionalism the athletes do in the Octagon.