A new reality competition show debuted earlier this week, and if its name sounds familiar, there’s probably good reason.

“The Ultimate Surfer” paddled out Monday and Tuesday on ABC for a two-night series premiere. Here’s ABC’s official description of the show:

“‘The Ultimate Surfer’ will gather some of the world’s greatest up-and-coming surfers to train and live together as they battle it out at the World Surf League’s (WSL) state-of-the-art Surf Ranch in Lemoore, California, powered by Kelly Slater’s human-made wave technology, in the hope of competing amongst the best athletes in the world’s fastest-growing sport. … Alliances and rivalries will be front and center in ‘The Ultimate Surfer’ as men and women compete in individual and team challenges focused on specific surfing disciplines. Weekly eliminations will leave two men and two women as finalists who will vie for the male and female titles of the The Ultimate Surfer and the opportunity to compete on the elite WSL Championship Tour, the pinnacle of professional surfing.”

It sounds a little bit like the UFC’s “Ultimate Fighter,” doesn’t it, right down to the show’s title? It makes sense. One of the show’s executive producers is UFC president Dana White, and the show airs on ABC – the parent network of UFC broadcast partner ESPN.

The fact White is involved is a bit of a no-brainer, too. He and Slater, arguably the greatest surfer of all time, have been pals for years, and he’s even taught White’s sons how to surf. UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya recently hit the waves with Slater, too.

Hopefully White’s involvement with the show doesn’t mean we’re going to suddenly see these elite-level surfers at the UFC Apex in Dana White’s Contender Series fights.

But in all seriousness, check out the trailer for “The Ultimate Surfer” above. Even though White’s financial backing and Slater’s fandom are the only real tie-ins to MMA, we have to give major props to the Surf Ranch and that utterly amazing 700-foot man-made wave pool that simulates real surfing conditions.

“The Ultimate Surfer” airs Mondays and Tuesdays on ABC at 10 p.m. ET.

The Blue Corner is MMA Junkie’s blog space. We don’t take it overly serious, and neither should you. If you come complaining to us that something you read here is not hard-hitting news, expect to have the previous sentence repeated in ALL CAPS.


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