FUEL TV Misses Mark on ‘The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil’

Written by Tom Ngo
June 7th, 2012

UFC Wanderlei Silva Vitor Belfort

“The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil” makes its official television premiere this Sunday on FUEL TV at 10PM ET (7PM PT satellite). The 12 subsequent episodes will air on successive Sundays during the same time slot.

What that means for those who haven’t been streaming the reality show every Sunday since March 25th on UFC.tv, which would be the majority of the MMA world, you won’t know who any of the contestants are, or more importantly, who the tournament finalists are when they make their big league debuts at UFC 147.

The June 23rd pay-per-view broadcast will showcase the featherweight and middleweight tourney finals, while the prelims will comprise strictly of ‘TUF: Brazil’ cast members.

In essence, UFC 147 and ‘TUF: Brazil’ will be like watching the NCAA Tournament in reverse order on your DVR – the championship game first, then the Final Four, then the Elite Eight, and so on. It’s just not quite the same because there’s no need to understand the plot if you already know the ending.

Here’s the kicker. It would have worked out perfectly if FUEL broadcasted one show per day leading up to UFC 147. The season consists of 13 episodes and there are exactly 13 days from June 10th to June 23rd.

What’s even more mindboggling, FUEL TV general manager George Greenberg revealed this past Saturday’s sneak peak of the ‘TUF: Brazil’ premiere helped push the channel to its “third most-watched day ever.” Well, imagine challenging the third most-watched day in network history every single day for 13 consecutive days – all the while getting UFC fans up to speed on the Octagon’s return to jiu jitsu country.

A FUEL representative told 5thRound.com that, while our idea of 13 straight days of ‘TUF: Brazil’ was a fantastic concept, they thought it would make for a good summer series by having it play out weekly like it did in Brazil and over the Internet. In addition, English voiceovers are required and they don’t have time to make those editing and format changes to have the whole series ready to go this week.

Furthermore, we were informed that the reality show isn’t necessarily intended to be a lead-in to UFC 147.

Mental Note: Don’t order UFC 147 on PPV because it will have ‘TUF: Brazil’ spoilers.

(Pictured: ‘TUF: Brazil’ coaches Vitor Belfort and Wanderlei Silva)

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