Season 14 of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) officially began production today (June 10, 2011) featuring coaches Michael Bisping and Jason Miller, which is currently slated for a Sept. 21, 2011 debut on Spike TV.
The cable television network made the announcement earlier today.
As per usual, Bisping and Miller, after verbally bashing each other throughout the season, will meet inside the Octagon to physically bash each other on Dec. 3 in Las Vegas.
TUF 14 will feature, for the very first time in the long history of the show, fighters from both the bantamweight and featherweight divisions. In addition, the "elimination" round has returned, which means that 32 hopefuls won't secure a spot on the Spike TV reality show unless they prove victorious on day one.
Speaking of eliminations, the wildcard fights from season's past are just that -- the past.
From the official press release:
The fourteenth season of Spike TV's popular original series, The Ultimate Fighter, will feature 32 of the best up-and-coming mixed martial artists in the featherweight and bantamweight divisions competing for a six-figure contract with the preeminent mixed martial organization in the world, the Ultimate Fighting Championship®. This marks the first time these two divisions have been featured on the show. As in prior seasons, 16 of these competitors must win a preliminary bout to gain a place in the Ultimate Fighter House, one step closer to their ultimate goal, whereas the losers of these bouts are sent home.
Bisping, a TUF veteran in every sense of the word (won TUF 3 and coached TUF 9), was always the first choice to coach the show; however, the UFC was hopeful they could put him opposite mouthy ex-Realtor Chael Sonnen and watch the ratings, which have been anemic all throughout season 13, shoot through the roof.
Unfortunately Sonnen's poor standing with both the California and Nevada State Athletic Commission's put an end to all that talk, as he won't even be able to apply for his license again until June 29.
Enter the "Mayhem."
One trash talker's loss is another big mouth's gain, as Miller quickly stepped in to fill the void. And while he's not as electric as Sonnen, he's certainly not short on one-liners.
Not only that, he's accustomed to the whole reality show thing, having been the host of MTV's "Bully Beatdown" for three seasons dating back to March 2009. All the ingredients are there: Controversial? Check. Gimmicky? Check. Can't stop talking? Check.
Oh, and he's a pretty good fighter to boot.
Can a cocky Brit and a goofy American save the once popular Spike TV reality show? Or is it too little, too late for the program that "saved" the UFC? And who wins when the two square off at the conclusion of filming? Time will tell.
Stay tuned to MMAmania.com for more details on TUF 14 as the develop.