Looks like Spike is trying to keep everyone on their toes by tweaking the TUF formula a little bit:
Straying from the normal format and surely likely to cause more than a few head scratches, Ultimate Fighting Championship and Spike TV officials today confirmed that the upcoming 11th season of “The Ultimate Fighter” will feature 28 middleweight fighters.
The show traditionally features 16 or 32 competitors because of its single-elimination tournament format, though officials promise a “new format” that will be revealed during the show’s March 31 debut.
So what the fuck does 4 less contestants mean? This is the first time a single weightclass edition of the show has featured more than 16 guys. Does that mean an extra round? Is the 28 guys thing integral to the ‘new format’ or is it a red herring that’s just putting everyone off the trail? And is there any chance that whatever twist the UFC and Spike have come up with will stay secret until the show airs?
The last time we were promised big changes in the way TUF would run, we got the introduction of an extra eliminator round to get into the house. Pretty cool, but that only spiced things up for the two first episodes the eliminator went for. After that we were back to the same old TUF bullshit.
My guess is that guy are going to get round byes based on their performances. Not a bad way to encourage the contestants to put some effort in and not turn in shite matches earlier on. An extra round would just mean we get more fights, which would be cool but doesn’t really address TUF’s main problem: the show doesn’t need more fights. It needs more fights that don’t suck hairy balls. Imagine that: a season of TUF with great matches. Now that’d be a surprising twist I could really get behind!