When it launched in January 2005, few could have foreseen its lasting impact. Zuffa LLC had dug a deep investment hole, and “The Ultimate Fighter” -- a reality series which brought together prospective mixed martial artists to compete for an Ultimate Fighting Championship contract -- was a last-ditch effort to save the wilting MMA promotion.
In the 11-plus years since, the UFC has risen to unimaginable heights, and its groundbreaking reality show has gone along for the ride. About to put its 24th season in the bank, “The Ultimate Fighter” has spawned multiple champions and title challengers, all while supplying the company with a steady stream of marketable talent. The series left the beaten path for Season 24. Sixteen flyweights, all of them regional titleholders, were gathered together from across the globe -- Tim Elliott and Hiromasa Ogikubo were the last two standing -- to find the latest challenger for 125-pound champion Demetrious Johnson.
Ahead of “The Ultimate Fighter 24” Finale on Saturday in Las Vegas, the next installment in the Sherdog Top 10 series features the top 10 fighters (excluding Season 4) ever to appear on the reality show:
HONORABLE MENTIONS: John Dodson, Gray Maynard, Matt Brown, Dennis Bermudez, Stephan Bonnar, Roy Nelson, Neil Magny, Mac Danzig, Julianna Pena, Michael Chiesa
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