The UFC is going toe-to-toe with boxing this summer with SpikeTV's The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 4 going up against The Contender on ESPN.
An article today in the USA Today talks about how both shows are going after coveted demographic of males aged 18-39. It's a gold mine in terms of sponsorship deals that both networks want to cash in on.
Here's a snip:
UFC President Dana White says the shows have become an assembly line for new TV talent. The UFC catapulted in popularity after Spike's live telecast of Forrest Griffin's victory against Stephan Bonnar in 2005, a slugfest that's drawn comparisons to Marvin Hagler vs. Thomas Hearns.
Apparently, the premier episode of The Contender did pretty well in the ratings. But, the fights are so boring that the producers edit them to make them appear exciting.
The UFC doesn't have that problem. Sure, some of the fights in the past have been a little lackluster and lopsided. That's the reason Dana White was shrewd enough to assemble a cast of veterans for this season.
The UFC has eclipsed boxing as the most entertaining combat sport. Not even Mark Burnett can close the growing distance between the UFC and boxing.
The two sports are clearly headed in separate directions.