For instance a year ago the Ultimate Fighter was still on Spike TV and under the old format where competitors moved into the house and battled for six weeks, and then months later the show would debut to the masses.
Now the Ultimate Fighter has transitioned to a live format where fighters live and train in the house, uninterrupted for 13 weeks as they train and compete all the way up to the finale show.
John ‘Prince’ Albert was a part of the 14th and final season of the Ultimate Fighter on Spike TV under the old format of doing things. When he went onto the show, he had never had the opportunity to train full time, so it was a welcome change to do that for six weeks.
But even Albert admits that 13 weeks would have been a little rough.
“It was almost like a small vacation for me. I had a great time cause I was working construction full time and that was the first opportunity I had to train full time. Do nothing but train to fight, so I was looking forward to the opportunities. Six weeks is nothing, I think the guys having to do 13 weeks, doing a 13 week show, that’s crazy,” Albert told MMAWeekly Radio.
One aspect of the show that hasn’t changed since the first season debuted nearly 8 years ago is the part where all of the fighters live under one roof and are sequestered from the rest of the world. No phones, no internet, no leaving the house.
While UFC and FX executives have all said publicly that they are happy with the direction of the reality show, the lowest ratings in the 15 season history of the Ultimate Fighter can’t make anyone too excited.
Albert believes that one way they could spice things up is to increase the reality of the reality show by letting the fighters loose in Las Vegas.
“I think it’s definitely a good idea. It could really help you mentally. It’s like a prison inside that place, there’s no outside contact, you can only focus on so many things. You focus on training, you focus on not knowing who you’re going to fight, or who you could possibly fight. I think it would help,” said Albert.
“It takes the reality away. When you look at it on our show it’s not really reality. We would have to sit in the bus and wait and they would cue us when to do things, it’s reality but it’s not reality.”
Reality is seeing how the fighters would react to being allowed to have cars or phones or access to bars, alcohol or even dating. Because these are all things that affect them in their everyday lives, so why not see how they react to it when they have the biggest opportunity hanging in the balance?
“I think it would be better to let people go, then people could make their mistakes and show what’s truly going on. If they’re stuck in the house, it’s almost scripted, it’s too scripted I think,” Albert stated.
For his own part, Albert has no regrets about doing the reality show and now comes full circle as he fights this weekend at the Ultimate Fighter Live finale show in Las Vegas. It’s a chance to come home again, and show some of the new crop of TUF fighters how it’s done.