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The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) franchise junks 'live' format and returns to tape delay

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When your prized thoroughbred comes up lame, sometimes you have no choice but to put it down.

Such is the case with The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) "Live" format, which has been abandoned following TUF 15 on the FX channel in early 2012. When the franchise returns later this year for a welterweight season, it will do so under the old formula of tape delay.

That's according to a report from Yahoo! Sports, indicating that "time overruns" and an "inability to develop story lines introducing the audience to the fighters" may have contributed to the decision to revert back to the way things used to be.

Which some media members may consider a step backwards.

The mixed martial arts (MMA) reality show is expected to maintain its 10 p.m. ET time slot on Friday nights on FX, but could eventually return to mid-week if next season "isn't up to the standards" Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White "expects."

TUF 15: "Live" concluded with its live finale earlier this month (June 1, 2012) with "Ellenberger vs. Kampmann" at the Pearl Theater from the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada, featuring Martin Kampmann catapulting himself near the front of the welterweight line by becoming the first man to stop Jake Ellenberger via strikes.

Lightweight contestant Michael Chiesa completed the most heartwarming story TUF has seen in years, as he made his late father proud by winning it all via rear-naked choke submission over Al Iaquinta in the final fight.

Those results and more right here.

Well fight fans, how about it? Is returning to tape delay a good thing for TUF? Or a knee-jerk reaction to a franchise suffering from declining ratings?

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