The Best and Worst of TUF 14
Now that the TUF Finale is complete and the season is but a fleeting memory, I thought I would take the time to highlight a few of the things that I will remember from this past season. Of course not all things remembered are good so I will be highlighting those bad memories as well. Overall I would consider this season a success, especially when compared to some of the recent seasons. While some feel the show has back flipped the proverbial shark, and others remain glued to their TVs every week, I tend to take the show for what it is…yet another way to enjoy MMA for free.
To begin I will highlight what I feel is the best part of this season, the fights. Dana White made it clear from the get go that this season “was the best season of fights ever”. Of course the bald-father has been known to embellish a little, this time he was not kidding. This season had the best most action packed fights in TUF history. Is it because of the fighters, of course but it is also because of the weight classes. True MMA fans know these lighter weight classes, while new to some TUF Noobs and of course Fox Noobs, seem to always deliver when it comes to great fights. The Light Heavy weight class might be the most stacked, but the Featherweights and Bantamweights know how to scrap.
On the other hand one of the worst things to come from this season of TUF is the images of Mayhem gassing against Bisping and getting pummeled into a 3rd round TKO loss. While the season gave us some interesting smack talk and verbal jabs, the actual fight left us all a little flat. Leading up to the fight it seemed obvious that the fight would hinge on Miller’s ability to get Bisping down, however most didn’t see Bisping blooding Miller up early and Miller gassing as bad as he did. The fight left Dana White so unimpressed he has said that he isn’t even sure Mayhem will fight in the UFC again. Not a great way to end a season fellas.
On a lighter note, the two coaches did give us one thing, personality. Coming off of seasons 12 and 13 featuring a couple of the nicest coaches ever, in JDS and GSP, it was nice to see coaches who could not only coach their fighters but do so while being entertaining. While Bisping’s attitude and demeanor rubs most people the wrong way (see below), he did play off of Miller very well. Whether it was verbal confrontations of pranks, the two coaches showed they were there to coach, have fun and attempt to steal the spotlight. In the end one came away with a lot more fans than the other but both showed more personality than most TUF coaches.
Speaking of coaches and personalities, one major negative that came from this season of TUF was most definitely Michael Bisping. I have nothing against Bisping as a fighter and was even a huge fan of his during his season of TUF, season 3, where he showed that he was clearly the best fighter on the show. However, I can say I am no longer a fan of his do to his attitude and juvenile ways. Bisping is the typical sore loser. When losing he speaks of being gracious in victory and condones those who rub it in, but once on top he does the exact opposite and doesn’t seem to even notice his own hypocrisy. It’s that arrogance that has turned him into one of the most hater fighters in all of MMA. Some may argue he is even more disliked than Chael Sonnen, and at times I think they are right. As much as I appreciate coaches with personalities, Bisping’s ‘charm’ is definitely lost on me.
I hate ending on a bad note, so I will give one more negative followed by the last positive of TUF 14. On this I may be alone but one of the things I didn’t like about this season seems to be prevalent in other seasons as well. And that is pulling pranks. Look, I get it, you’re trapped in a house with a bunch of guys with no internet or TV and need to kill the time, and I am fine with that. In fact I am actually fine with the pranks, I just wish ZUFFA, Dana, Spike, or whoever is in charge of editing would not show it. Like most TUF viewers I tune in week in and week out to see the fights. Learning about the fighters and seeing them train is an added bonus. What I don’t tune in to see is a giggling Tiki running around with Bisping laughing like two high schoolers who just pulled the fire alarm. I don’t tend to find the pranks humorous and always fast forward through them (thank you DVR) and wish they would fall on the cutting room floor. Show more training, let us learn more about the fighter lifestyle, let us learn more about the fighters…anything but show these childish acts.
And finally probably the two best things to come of this season were the winners themselves. Love him or hate him, John Dodson is a hell of a fighter and can throw some serious leather. His small frame makes him almost impossible to take down and keep down and his athleticism helps neutralize opponents reach advantages. While Dodson is a good fighter who looks to have some real staying power in the UFC, Diego Brandao has the makings of a potential star and great fighter. With the drive and ability he showed on the show as well as in the Finale, he is defiantly one to watch. I know several people who watch MMA casually that have been talking nonstop about “how good that Diego kid is” and the UFC now has another bright new star. If he keeps it up, he will be not only one of the brightest stars to come out of the show, but one of the brightest stars in the already exciting Featherweight division.
So there you have it, a few of my best and worst things from TUF 14. Of course these are only my opinion and I could be wrong, but I don’t think so.