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By: Frank Hyden, MMATorch contributor
Roy Nelson and Shane Carwin are going to be the coaches on the new season of The Ultimate Fighter. I'm trying to be positive, but the fact is that it doesn't really matter that much who the coaches are. Even when Brock Lesnar was a coach the ratings didn't move much. TUF is what it is, the ratings it's going to draw are probably going to stay consistent with last season, especially if it stays on Friday nights. There's not going to be a lot of movement, and it really doesn't matter that much who the coaches are.
Going live with the previous season was a mistake from a financial standpoint. Having the fight be live isn't going to do much for the ratings, certainly not enough to justify the cost of being live.
This upcoming season could be the best season in TUF history, but you wouldn't see much of a spike in the ratings. It takes time for word of mouth to spread. You might see an increase in the initial episodes of a subsequent season, but that season is also going to have to be high-quality to maintain those ratings.
You can lose ratings quickly, for a variety of reasons, but you can only gain ratings slowly. You can pop a rating quickly, but it's just going to go back to what the usual rating is. With so many viewing options out there, it can be hard for viewers to feel compelled to watch a show like TUF. It can be old reruns of UFC Unleashed, it can be re-airs of previous MMA events, it can even be Strikeforce or Bellator shows. The fact is that there's a lot more options out there for people to get their MMA fix. Couple that with the changing of networks and you've got trouble. Add the changing of moving to Fridays and you've got major trouble.
The UFC should be happy that TUF got the ratings it did last season. I would expect the ratings for this new season to be the same as last season, maybe a touch higher depending on any good buzz about the show. To expect more would be misguided.
Chris Weidman made a big statement when he smashed Mark Munoz last week. Weidman then called out Anderson Silva, saying that he thinks he'd do pretty good against Silva. It seems ridiculous to think that Weidman could beat Silva, but eventually somebody has to come along and beat Silva down. What Anderson Silva has done isn't supposed to be possible. One of my favorite phrases about this sport is "This is MMA, everyone loses eventually." However, Silva has managed to invalidate that with his amazing streak. To be fair, Georges St-Pierre also has a long winning streak, but the lack of finishes hurts him in this regard.
History tells us that someone will come along and beat Silva convincingly. It's one of those things that just has to happen, or else the world doesn't make sense. I'm not saying that Weidman is the guy to beat Silva, though it's definitely possible. All I know for sure is that someone will beat Silva eventually, but it might have to be Father Time.
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