Let's get in the Wayback Machine, and turn the dial back 28 months. It was January 2005, and Spike TV debuted a new MMA reality show called The Ultimate Fighter. It was the UFC's answer to the reality-TV explosion. Sweet, sweet Willa Ford was our hostess with the mostess, and Chuck Liddell and Randy Couture, two guys among the best of the best ever in the UFC, were the coaches. Perhaps most importantly, though, Dana White finally got a forum to properly get his bald head, and quick wit, over with the masses. And did I mention Willa Ford was the host? Who do we have now? With Dana White busy with "business" every week, basically we get Jens Pulver. Couldn't we at least get Willa Ford back to read the Burger King fighter standings or something?
First, we'll look at the TUF 1 Light Heavyweight Division. I'll follow soon with the middleweights, and we can work our way up through the seasons over time.
I've ranked the TUF 1 light heavyweights based on where I believe they currently stand in relation to each other. I've listed all of the wins and losses for each fighter since The Ultimate Fighter 1 in chronological order. The win-loss records listed by each fighter are for fights after TUF 1 only. The taped fights on the show are technically exhibitions and do not count towards a fighter's overall MMA record. Let's see how things have gone for the TUF 1 light heavyweights since their fifteen minutes of reality-TV fame expired.
THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER 1 - Light Heavyweights
(WIN +) (DRAW =) (LOSS -)
1. FORREST GRIFFIN (4-2)
+ Stephan Bonnar by Unanimous Decision at UFC TUF 1 Finale (April 2005)
+ Bill Mahood by Submission at UFC 53 (June 2005)
+ Elvis Sinosic by TKO at UFC 55 (October 2005)
- Tito Ortiz by Split Decision at UFC 59 (April 2006)
+ Stephan Bonnar by Unanimous Decision at UFC 62 (August 2006)
- Keith Jardine by TKO at UFC 66 (December 2006)
NEXT FIGHT vs. Hector Ramirez at UFC 72 (June 16, 2007)
On the show, Forrest Griffin beat Alex Schoenauer and Sam Hoger to advance to the championship match where he became the Light Heavyweight winner of TUF 1 over Stephan Bonnar. Griffin now holds two wins over Bonnar, one when he won TUF 1 and one to prove the first decision was correct. Two subsequent wins over "enhancement talent," and Griffin got the biggest fight of his life against Tito Ortiz. In his two biggest tests, Griffin unfortunately has failed, which has him currently treading water in the light heavyweight division. His fight with Tito Ortiz was a super-close one, with a split decision, but against Keith Jardine he lost his spot. Back to the drawing board for Griffin with Hector Ramirez, against whom a loss could end up being pretty damaging. Griffin will be favored to win against Ramirez, and likely will take a step back up the ladder he got knocked off by Jardine.
BIGGEST WIN: over Stephan Bonnar to win TUF 1
BIGGEST LOSS: to Tito Ortiz by a close split decision, a chance to beat a legend
2. MIKE SWICK (5-1)
+ Alex Schoenauer by KO at UFC TUF 1 Finale (April 2005)
+ Gideon Ray by TKO at UFC Fight Night 1 (August 2005)
+ Steve Vigneault by Submission at UFC 58 (March 2006)
+ Joe Riggs by Submission at UFC 60 (May 2006)
+ David Loiseau by Unanimous Decision at UFC 63 (September 2006)
- Yushin Okami by Unanimous Decision at UFC 69 (April 2007)
NEXT FIGHT vs. ?
On the show, Mike Swick lost to Stephan Bonnar. After going 5-0 in the UFC middleweight division, Mike Swick lost for the first time against Yushin Okami in his most recent fight. After the fight, Swick said he's moving down to the welterweight division. This is a questionable move, considering the welterweight division is awfully crowded compared to the dwindling middleweight division, but nevertheless Swick should be a top contender in the welterweight division. It just may take him a bit longer to get to the top, but no doubt that is where Swick is aiming.
BIGGEST WIN: over David Loiseau after taking out Joe Riggs
BIGGEST LOSS: only loss to Yushin Okami
3. STEPHAN BONNAR (3-3)
- Forrest Griffin by Unanimous Decision at UFC TUF 1 Finale (April 2005)
+ Sam Hoger by Unanimous Decision at UFC Fight Night 1 (August 2005)
+ James Irvin by Submission at UFC Fight Night 3 (January 2006)
+ Keith Jardine by Unanimous Decision at UFC Fight Night 4 (April 2006)
- Rashad Evans by Majority Decision at UFC Fight Night 5 (June 2006)
- Forrest Griffin by Unanimous Decision at UFC 62 (August 2006)
NEXT FIGHT vs. Mike Nickels at UFC 73 (July 7, 2007)
On the show, Stephan Bonnar went over Bobby Southworth and Mike Swick to get into the final match, where he lost to Forrest Griffin by decision. Even though Stephan Bonnar has lost to Griffin twice, he was able to defeat Keith Jardine, who TKO'd Griffin. Bonnar holds another impressive victory over James Irvin. Losing a majority decision to Rashad Evans holds no shame, in hindsight. After a recent steroid suspension, Bonnar will be returning to the octagon against Mike Nickels on the UFC 73 undercard. The preliminary bout may be punishment for Bonnar, who arguably is still marketable. Originally it was rumored that Bonnar-Nickels would take place at UFC Fight Night 10, where the fight would be a featured attraction, but instead Bonnar will likely fight off-camera for the first time in his UFC career.
BIGGEST WIN: over Keith Jardine on Spike TV
BIGGEST LOSS: to Forrest Griffin to lose TUF 1
4. LODUNE SINCAID (4-4)
- Nate Quarry by TKO at UFC TUF 1 Finale (April 2005)
- Kyacey Uscola by TKO at XFC: Dome of Destruction 3 (October 2005)
+ Alex Schoenauer by Submission at SF 14 (January 2006)
+ James Irvin by Unanimous Decision at WEC 19 (March 2006)
+ Dan Molina by Submission at WEC 20 (May 2006)
- Jason Miller by Submission at WFA: King of the Streets (July 2006)
- Doug Marshall by KO at WEC 23 (August 2006)
+ Kenny Ento by TKO at PFC 2 (March 2007)
NEXT FIGHT vs. ?
On the show, Lodune Sincaid was KO'd by Bobby Southworth. It's doubtful Sincaid would have been ranked No. 4 back when TUF 1 was on, so in that regard he's really done the most for himself since The Ultimate Fighter. After going on a roll in early 2006, with 3 wins in a row over three tough opponents, Sincaid lost two big matches in a row to Jason Miller and Doug Marshall. With a rebound win over Kenny Ento in his last fight, Sincaid will be looking to get back on track.
BIGGEST WIN: over James Irvin in WEC
BIGGEST LOSS: to Nate Quarry in UFC, hasn't been back in UFC since
5. ALEX SCHOENAUER (6-7)
- Mike Swick by KO at UFC TUF 1 Finale (April 2005)
- Buck Meredith by Submission at SF 11 (July 2005)
+ Shannon Ritch by Submission at SF 13 (October 2005)
- Jason Brilz by Submission at VFC 11 (December 2005)
+ Ricky Shivers by Submission at AFC 18 (December 2005)
- Lodune Sincaid by Submission at SF 14 (January 2006)
+ Kenny Stevens by TKO at WEF: Orleans Arena (April 2006)
+ Travis Wiuff by Submission at IFL Legends Championship 2006 (April 2006)
- Jamal Patterson by Submission at IFL Championship 2006 (June 2006)
+ Kazuhiro Hamanaka by Submission at IFL Portland (September 2006)
- Aaron Stark by Submission at IFL World Championship Semifinals (November 2006)
- Mike Ciesnolevicz by Split Decision at IFL Houston (February 2007)
+ Brian Ebersole by Split Decision at IFL Los Angeles (March 2007)
NEXT FIGHT vs. Allan Goes at IFL Everett (June 1, 2007)
On the show, Alex Schoenauer lost to Forrest Griffin. Schoenauer's next bout is arguably the biggest fight of his career. A win over Allan Goes in the IFL would be quite significant for Schoenauer. He's had a lot of fights since TUF, the most of any TUF 1 light heavyweight alumni, but he's been inconsistent at best with his results. Unfortunately, sometimes paying the bills takes precedent over properly preparing for fights.
BIGGEST WIN: over Travis Wiuff in the IFL
BIGGEST LOSS: to Mike Swick in UFC
6. SAM HOGER (2-4)
+ Bobby Southworth by Unanimous Decision at UFC TUF 1 Finale (April 2005)
- Stephan Bonnar by Unanimous Decision at UFC Fight Night 1 (August 2005)
+ Jeff Newton by Submission at UFC 56 (November 2005)
- Rashad Evans by Split Decision at UFC Fight Night 4 (April 2006)
- Ryoto Machida by Unanimous Decision at UFC 67 (February 2007)
- Vernon White by Submission at IFL Moline (April 2007)
NEXT FIGHT vs. ?
On the show, Sam Hoger was eliminated by Forrest Griffin. Oh, and he was accused of stealing everybody's swag. I still think he was guilty. Hoger has currently lost 3 fights in a row, so he'll probably be looking to regroup against a jabroni on a smaller show, rather than keep losing to big names. Rashad Evans and Ryoto Machida are tough sons of guns, but against the gatekeeper Vernon "Tiger" White, that was a fight Hoger needed to win. I, for one, would love to see Hoger back in the UFC someday, so I'm rooting for him. He's a real goofball, but if he were able to win, he'd be a great antagonist.
BIGGEST WIN: over Jeff Newton in UFC, first UFC finish
BIGGEST LOSS: to Rashad Evans by split decision. Hoger had a chance to beat Evans, who would go on to become today's UFC golden boy.
7. BOBBY SOUTHWORTH (1-1)
- Sam Hoger by Unanimous Decision at UFC TUF 1 Finale (April 2005)
= James Irvin at Strikeforce: Revenge (June 2006) [DRAW]
+ Vernon White by Unanimous Decision at Strikeforce: Triple Threat (December 2006)
NEXT FIGHT vs. Does anyone really care?
On the show, Southworth KO'd Lodune Sincaid and lost a split decision to Stephan Bonnar. Southworth is notorious for his weight cutting episode, which was recently put to shame by Gabe Ruediger on TUF 5. Southworth placed well on the show and recently beat Vernon "Tiger" White, so his record isn't all that shabby, but it may be that he's a bit too flabby to be throwing down, if you know what I mean. Sorry to go all Dr. Seuss on you there. Anyway, Southworth sits at the bottom of the list, above only a kid who didn't fight then and hasn't fought since.
8. JASON THACKER (0-1)
- Chris Leben by TKO at UFC TUF 1 Finale (April 2005)
NEXT FIGHT vs. N/A
On the show, Thacker wasn't even given a chance to fight. Randy Couture had to send one fighter home before fighting, so Thacker got the pink slip. Thacker got the chance to fight at the TUF 1 Finale, where he jobbed to Chris Leben, who had competed on the show in the middleweight division, and the MMA world has not seen Thacker since.
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