UFC president Dana White has been amped up for some time for the prospect of the first international version of The Ultimate Fighter. Now, after years of talking about TUF coming to Canada, the U.K., the Philippines, Australia, China, and more, the first internationally flavored production of the reality series is underway… in Brazil.
White may have originally though it would happen elsewhere, but when Brazilians went bonkers for UFC 134, the overwhelming response hit White and UFC officials over their collective heads, making Brazil a no-brainer.
“I think the amount of talent that is going to be cultivated in Brazil from The Ultimate Fighter alone is going to be phenomenal,” said White. “I think you’re gonna see a lot of young people in Brazil get into mixed martial arts and training.”
White isn’t the only one who thinks that same way. Alex Davis, one of the premier managers and a longtime veteran of MMA in Brazil, agrees. He thinks that TUF Brasil will be a hotbed for UFC talent and be one of the most successful versions of the series from an entertainment standpoint as well.
“When you see the TUF format in the States, you see kids that have four or five or six fights, right? Out of the 32 odd fighters you have in each division, I have a kid that has 10 fights and one loss. I have another kid that has 15 fights and two losses,” Davis told MMAWeekly Radio.
“These kids’ records are way above what you usually see in TUF. So I think the fighting aspect on that besides the entertaining aspect, I think the fight aspect on the show is going to be awesome.”
And for the uninitiated, having a ton of experience in the fight game isn’t the only thing that courses the Brazilian blood, so does machismo.
That may or may not mean much in the Octagon, but on a reality show, attitude can be everything. Is it death-defying stunts that lead to reality success? Is it successfully attaining goals? Is it coming to sometimes all-too brutal realizations?
Nope. Nope. And nope.
Attitude and personality are what sell reality TV. Why did fighters with only two or three fights make it onto past seasons of The Ultimate Fighter in the United States? Why did Kimbo Slice make it? Because reality TV isn’t so much about reality, as it is about characters that entertain… whatever form that entertainment may take.
“What I think is gonna happen in TUF… Brazilians are very flamboyant people. They got a lot of humor. For you to live in Brazil, you’ve got to have a lot of flexibility,” said Davis.
“It’s not like in the States. People will cross the street; they don’t even look at the cars coming. The cars will stop. Here in Brazil, if you put your foot off the sidewalk, the car that’s coming will try to hit it,” he continued with a laugh, only half-joking.
“I think that that attitude is going to come into the show. I think this is probably going to be one of the most entertaining shows that the UFC has done.”
Only time will tell, but White and UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta are in the same boat, believing that TUF Brasil will go gangbusters for the promotion, the same as their events in the country are doing.