First airing in 2005, The Ultimate Fighter is the longest running sports reality show airing today. Praised by many for being the catalyst for the rise of the popularity of MMA in the eyes of the masses, the show continues to draw new fans to the UFC with its constantly changing show themes, such as in the case in the ninth season which employed a country vs. country theme, with the United States competing against the United Kingdom, or that time they highly marketed a certain cast member on the tenth season, Kimbo Slice. After twenty three seasons of The Ultimate Fighter, the show has produced a number of champions, top contenders who have stayed in the top ten rankings of their divisions for multiple years, and sadly its fair share of fighters who only fought a few fights in the UFC.
With so many seasons of The Ultimate Fighter, many of the winners of the show are forgotten, or, in some cases, their time on the show was forgotten. Amongst these forgotten fighters are some of the best fighters in the UFC today, while others sadly were dropped from the UFC so quickly, no one saw them fight past their Ultimate Fighter Finale Bout. With the 23rd season of the show, The Ultimate Fighter: Team Joanna vs. Team Cláudia, recently coming to an end, it's the perfect time to take a look back at these forgotten Ultimate Fighter winners and shine a light on where they are now.
15 Mac Danzig
14 Ryan Bader
13 Matt Serra
12 Rashad Evans
11 Michael Bisping
The Ultimate Fighter 3 was the second time the television series featured light heavyweight fighters. The UK native Michael Bisping, a light heavy champion in another organization, was selected as one of the fighters to compete on the show. During his time on the show, Bisping displayed his superior skills, defeating all of his opponents by TKO on route to becoming The Ultimate Fighter 3 winner. After the show, Bisping went on to have a few more fights in the light heavyweight division, eventually deciding to move down to the Middleweight Division. For the next several years Bisping would go through periods of wins and losses. Beginning in 2015 Bisping ignited his career, going on a three fight win streak, defeating the likes of C.B. Dollaway and Anderson Silva, earning him a shot at the middleweight title against Luke Rockhold on a 17-day notice after an injury forced Rockhold’s original opponent, Chris Weidman, to drop out of the bout. Going into the fight, Bisping was given little chance to win due to the limited amount of time he had to prepare for the bout and the fact that he had previously been defeated by Luke Rockhold. However, this did not discourage Michael Bisping who surprised the world, landing a devastating combination on Luke Rockhold in the very first minute of the first round becoming the first British fighter to win a UFC championship belt.
10 Nate Diaz
9 Travis Lutter
8 Diego Sanchez
In one of the most competitive seasons of The Ultimate Fighter Diego Sanchez defeated the likes of Josh Koscheck and Kenny Florian, two fighters who would go on to fight in multiple UFC champion fights on route to winning The Ultimate Fighter 1 middleweight tournament. The king of Fight of the Night bonus with six in total Diego has amassed a 289 record fighting in the featherweight, lightweight, welterweight, and middleweight at some point in his UFC career. A career highlighted by a Lightweight championship fight against Bj Penn and an epic back and forth fight against Gilbert Melendez. Even though he lost both bouts fans respected the all-out style Sanchez brought to the fights. In his last four bouts, Sanchez has amassed a record of 2-2. Sanchez is currently training at Jackson’s MMA, the training center for fighters of the likes of Jon Jones, Holly Holm, and Alistair Overeem preparing for his next bout.
7 Forrest Griffin
6 James Wilks
5 Roy Nelson
“Big Country” has been a crowd favorite since appearing on the scene on the tenth season of The Ultimate Fighter, The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights. His allure has been his truck driver appearance and allout fighting style. In Nelson’s first fight in the Ultimate Fighter he fought and defeated popular former streetfighter Kimbo Slice with over six million television viewers tuning into the bout making the episode the highestrated in MMA history. Nelson went on to win the season of The Ultimate Fighter knocking out Brendan Schaub in the first round of the finale bout. Since that time Nelson has had fights in the UFC against some of the best fighters in the heavyweight division including the last UFC heavyweight champions Stripe Miroc, Fabricio Werdum, Cain Velasquez, and Junior Dos Santos. With a 22 13 record Nelson is currently ranked number 12th in the heavyweight division. He recently fought on UFC Fight Night losing the bout to Derrick Lewis by decision.
4 Tony Ferguson
3 John Dodson
2 Kelvin Gastelum
The last pick of Chael Sonnen on The Ultimate Fighter: Team Jones vs. Team Sonnen Kevin Gastelum defeated all three of his opponents on route The Ultimate Fighter final. Odds were against Gastelum in the eyes of the public going into the final of the Ultimate fighter. He was set to fight Uriah Hall a man at the time garnering MMA press because of his domination in his fights in the show with his highlight reel knockouts. However, this did not affect Gastelum’s performance in the bout winning the match in a decision. After The Ultimate Fighter Gastelum went on to win his first five fights in the UFC. Although Gastelum’s career has been successful it has been at times overshadowed by weight issues which led to a temporary move to middleweight a decision made by the UFC execs. Since moving back to Welterweight Gastelum has gone 1-1 and is currently ranked 6th in the division.
1 Diego Brandao
Diego Brandao competed on the fourteenth season of The Ultimate Fighter: Team Bisping vs. Team Miller. The number one featherweight pick of team Bisping was a controversial character of the show involved in a couple out of fight altercations with Marcus Brimage and Steven Siler two other contestants of the show. Despite his out of fight actions Brandao went on to win The Ultimate Fighter with an armbar against Dennis Bermudez in the season finale. After his victory Brandao was thought by many to have a successful career in the UFC, however this unfortunately would not come to be. After winning his first four fights Brandao missed weight by an astonishing seven pounds in his fifth bout against Dustin Poirier. In preparation for his next bout Brandao suffered an injury forcing him to step down. Brandao was recently was released from the UFC as a result of a recent fail drug test and a felony arrest.
Leave A Comment
Looking for an AD FREE EXPERIENCE on TheSportster?Get Your Free Access Now!