For the first time in the history of the UFC and Spike TV’s hit reality television show, The Ultimate Fighter, producers for the show are planning an International theme that will pit a team of United States-based fighters taking on a team of fighters hailing from the United Kingdom.
The U.S. vs. UK concept for the series’ ninth installment has already drawn a major critic in UFC President Dana White.
“It’s dumb, I don’t like it — it’s not USA v the UK, we’re looking for the best fighter in the world,” White is quoted as saying in the British tabloid, The Sun.
“We put on a card one time, the USA v Canada, it was f***ing retarded,” White continued. “I don’t care if you’re from the UK, Croatia or Brazil because at the end of the day, when Michael Bisping comes to America — Americans don’t boo him.
“When GSP comes down and fights in the US more people cheer for him than the guy who’s from America! When Tim Sylvia from the United States fought Antonio Nogueira from Brazil, everybody booed Sylvia on the way in and cheered for Nogueira. The reason is because in this sport it’s not country versus country.
“You either like the guy’s fighting style or personality — nationality has nothing to do with it. That’s the way it used to be with boxing, with the exception of Ricky Hatton because everybody hates Floyd Mayweather! But with the exception of that, you never saw guys from one country cheering a guy from a different country. That’s what’s changing in what we’re doing.
“We’re looking for the best fighters in the world — this country versus that country is irrelevant.”