The Ultimate Fighter is one of the best opportunities that an up-and-coming mixed martial artist has at making it into the UFC. It has given us some of the biggest names in the sport and multiple champions have come about because of the show. TUF has also given us some of the sports biggest rivalries and best fights.
One of the more understated aspects of the show is the coaches for the season. Often, the show pits two fighters with a past history against each other and the tension of the season only makes the bad blood continue to boil. While many coaches are close to fighting at some point in any given season, some get the opportunity to square off in a coaches' fight following the show's end. Here are the greatest feuds from TUF. Only coaches who fought after the show will be considered.
5. Dan Henderson vs. Michael Bisping
This was the classic fight between an American and a Brit. These two could not get along throughout much of the season and were constantly verbally jabbing each other. While Henderson is usually a soft-spoken man, something about Bisping was able to rile him up. This feud culminated at UFC 100 in one of the most memorable knockouts in UFC history. Hendo relied on his famous H-Bomb and knocked Bisping to the canvas hard. With Bisping on the ground, Henderson followed up with a flying elbow and the fight was over. In the post fight interview, when asked if Henderson knew Bisping was out prior to the elbow, he owned up to the hit.
"Normally I'm not that way in fights. I know if the guy is out. I tend to stop; I knew I hit him out. I think that one was just to shut him up a little bit."
This fight did nothing to help the bad blood between the two and they will now be fighting once again seven years later at UFC 204. Maybe then the rivalry can finally be put to rest.
4. Rashad Evans vs. Rampage Jackson
This feud sparked one of the most memorable moments in TUF history. The two competed in one of the most lopsided seasons in the shows history. Evans won seven of the eight preliminary rounds and eventually had two of his fighters in the final. Frustrated that his team was not performing up to his expectations, Rampage went on a rampage on set. This eventually led to him ripping a door off its hinges and absolutely demolishing it in the process. Things weren't helped by the fact that the fight between these two were delayed because of Rampage's possible retirement and his filming of The A-Team.
The two did eventually meet up in the Octagon where once again Rashad had the better of Rampage, winning by unanimous decision. This marked the second time that Jackson lost in a coaches' fight following a TUF season.
3. Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Claudia Gadelha
This rivalry was brewing long before these two ever stepped foot on the TUF set. The pair first fought in 2014 with the winner likely getting the next title shot against Carla Esparza. Jedrzejczyk won via split decision and Gadelha, along with some UFC fans, did not agree with the decision. Once on the show, Gadelha steamrolled through JJ's team, winning seven of the eight preliminary rounds, including all of the strawweight fights. At the finale both of Gadelha's fighters were able to win the show, making her one of the more successful coaches ever to Jedrzejczyk's expense. Jedrzejczyk was also not happy with how she was portrayed on the show. She felt it made her look meaner and worse than she actually is.
However, JJ was able to get her revenge inside the Octagon. While Gadelha came out quickly and easily won the first couple rounds, Jedrzejczyk looked strong in the later rounds and just blew through her opponent. This time around, when JJ won via unanimous decision, there was no controversy whatsoever. Though there may be a trilogy fight at some point, for now this rivalry has been squashed.
2. Tito Ortiz vs. Ken Shamrock
An old school matchup, these men were never going to be friends after this show. They first fought at UFC 40 where Ortiz defended his Light Heavyweight Championship after a corner stoppage following the third round. They then went on to be coaches for TUF 3 and nothing was going to shut these men up. Ortiz won 6 of the eight preliminary round fights and had both winners come from his team, including Bisping. He clearly got the best of Shamrock during the shows run.
At the coaches' fight, things did not get any better for Shamrock as he was finished in the first round of the fight. However, due to a possible early stoppage, Shamrock was screaming for a rematch with Ortiz, who was more than happy to oblige. The pair fought three months later, where Ortiz once again finished Shamrock and won Knockout of the Year for his efforts. One of the more dominant trilogies in UFC history, Ortiz will forever get to hold both TUF and his fighting career over Shamrock.
1. Ronda Rousey vs. Miesha Tate
Another pair of fighters that came in with some history, Rousey and Tate were going at it from the very beginning of the show. The two had previously met in Strikeforce where Rousey defeated Tate for the Bantamweight Championship. This eventually led to Rousey being named the first UFC Bantamweight Champion and her reign as the queen of MMA. While on the season, these two had to be separated on multiple occasions and the tension between them was at an all-time high. While Rousey dominated the men's bracket, Tate was a strong coach on the women's bracket. In the end, both TUF 18 winners came from Tate's team, giving her some bragging rights over Rousey.
The two faced off for the first time in the UFC at UFC 168 as the co-main event. While Tate became the first women ever to see a second and third round against Rousey, she could only withstand the pressure for so long before losing via armbar. The two still throw digs at each other every now and then and a trilogy fight is definitely a possibility if Rousey ever comes back to the UFC.