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Dana White: 'We really made a big mistake not having guys fight to get into the TUF house'

Not happy with this season of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF)? Neither is UFC President Dana White.

One of the early criticisms directed at TUF 13 was the decision to select 16 contestants for the Spike TV reality show without requiring them to fight for a final spot in the competition.

In seasons past, the premiere would feature 32 aspiring fighters slugging it out for the right to bunk at the TUF house. That, according to White, was a luxury they couldn't afford after the cable television network reduced the number of episodes for this season.

That left TUF coaches Brock Lesnar and Junior dos Santos with eight welterweights apiece -- and nothing to indicate how they would perform until it was for all the marbles.

White wanted to make sure he had enough episodes to tell each fighter's story and decided to exclude the elimination round. It was a "big mistake" that he vows "will never happen again."

Here's more (via MMA Digest):

"In our deal with Spike for this season, we don't have as many episodes as we've had in the past. So we figured we would be killing some of the reality, we wouldn't have enough time to tell stories, but we really, really made a big mistake not having these guys fight to get into the house. I guarantee you that will never happen again."

The ratings for TUF 13 reached a season low last week with episode seven, garnering just 1.0 million viewers for an anemic 0.8 household rating.

And it may get worse before it gets better.

That's because the ailing Lesnar recently pulled out of his UFC 131 headliner against his opposing TUF coach, giving viewers little reason to invest in the remaining three episodes. We still have a welterweight elimination to get through but if these ratings are any indication, it may not be enough.

Can the promotion right the ship for season 14?

For a complete TUF 13 recap of last Wednesday night's episode click here.

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