LAS VEGAS – For the first time in almost three years, new winners of “The Ultimate Fighter” were crowned Saturday in Las Vegas.
Middleweight Bryan Battle and bantamweight Ricky Turcios won their respective “TUF 29” brackets and walked away with six-figure UFC deals. According to UFC president Dana White, the season not only marked a winner for these two fighters – but the UFC and broadcast partner ESPN, too.
“It did really well for us,” White told MMA Junkie at a UFC on ESPN 30 post-fight news conference. “It killed it as far as viewership goes. (ESPN is) really happy. We’re really happy. Yeah, I love the show. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The show will probably never go away – while I’m here anyway. It works.”
With the show “probably never” coming to an end, White revealed the short-term plans and when fans can expect to see “The Ultimate Fighter,” Season 30.
“We’re doing one a year,” White said. “Now that this one is over, we’ll start figuring out what’s next. We never really figure out the coaches until literally two weeks before the show is getting ready to get started. We’ll see what the landscape looks like at the time we starting doing it again and what the weight classes are and we’ll start figuring it out.”
“The Ultimate Fighter” launched in 2005 and is thought by many as being the shot in the arm the UFC needed in order to turn its business around. Since then, the reality series has produced a handful of UFC notables and even champions like Rashad Evans, Kamaru Usman, and Robert Whittaker.
UFC on ESPN 30 took place Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. The event aired on ESPN and streamed on ESPN+.
To see the full interview with White, check out the video below.
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