Confirming what we’ve all known for weeks, the Spike TV sent out a press release stating that the Ultimate Fighter 7 will feature a 32 fighters competing for 16 spots in the house. Each fighter will have to fight another fighter to gain entry to the house and compete for the UFC contract that’s up for grabs. The 16 fights will be shown over the first two episodes with the winners entering the house and the losers going home. Below is the official press release provided courtesy of Spike TV
New York , NY , March 7, 2008 — For the first time in show history, Spike TV’s “The Ultimate Fighter” will begin the season with 32 middleweight fighters (185 lbs), with the caveat that each fighter must fight his way into the Ultimate Fighter House. Season seven of “The Ultimate Fighter,” premiering Wednesday, April 2 (10:00-11:00pm ET/PT), will feature current UFC light-heavyweight champion, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and “The Ultimate Fighter” season one victor and light-heavyweight contender, Forrest Griffin, as coaches.
The first two episodes (airing April 2 and April 9) will include a total of 16 fights, either airing in their entirety or featuring extensive highlights. The 16 fighters who win will advance to the Ultimate Fighter House and the 16 fighters who lose will go home. The winning fighters of these preliminary bouts will have the opportunity to win a six-figure contract with the preeminent mixed martial arts organization in the world, The Ultimate Fighting Championship.®
“The new format will give us two incredibly intense episodes to launch the season and will weed out some of the guys who might not have the heart and desire that it takes to become a UFC fighter,” notes Dana White, president of the UFC and host of “The Ultimate Fighter.”
During the six-week taping of “The Ultimate Fighter: Team Rampage vs. Team Forrest,” the 16 men endure a grueling regimen of jiu-jitsu, judo, muay thai, karate, boxing and wrestling. The intense competition between the fighters continues after they leave the gym ?” at The Ultimate Fighter House. These warriors must live together, knowing that any day they might be forced to fight each other in the famed UFC Octagon™. The two finalists will square off in a live finale Saturday, June 21 on Spike TV, when the winner will be declared The Ultimate Fighter® and net the aforementioned contract and a cash prize.
Spike.com will have 3-5 minutes of exclusive footage from each episode of “The Ultimate Fighter” and an exclusive video sneak peek of the upcoming episode.
The first six seasons of “The Ultimate Fighter” on Spike TV were seen by 101.1 million viewers (36% of the U.S. population).*
Craig Piligian of Pilgrim Films and Television, Frank Fertitta III, Lorenzo Fertitta, Dana White of Zuffa, LLC, and Kevin Kay of Spike TV are the show’s executive producers. Brian J. Diamond, senior vice president, Sports & Specials, Spike TV is co-executive producer and Christopher Martello is executive in charge of production for Spike TV.
Spike TV is available in 96.1 million homes and is a division of MTV Networks. A unit of Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), MTV Networks is one of the world’s leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms. Spike TV’s Internet address is www.spike.com.