Instead of filming a strictly Canadian edition of the popular mixed martial arts reality show The Ultimate Fighter, the UFC will reportedly go with TUF: Team Canada vs. Team Australia later this year.
Not many details were outlined on the FUEL TV show UFC Tonight, which first reported the news, but tryouts for the show will likely take place in the next few months.
On several occasions, UFC president Dana White has told sportsnet.ca that TUF Canada was something the UFC had been looking at and planning for a long time.
At first glance, setting up a Canada vs. Australia version of TUF may seem odd, but when you consider that Tom Wright is the UFC’s director of operations in Canada, Australia and New Zealand it starts to make more sense.
Canada and Australia will be closely linked in the UFC, as the UFC Canada team helps run operations in fellow Commonwealth nations Australia and New Zealand.
Like White, Wright has told sportsnet.ca on multiple occasions that the UFC was working on developing TUF Canada.
In Late February, Wright told UFC Central Radio: “We’re absolutely going to do a TUF Canada, but it’s looking more like it’s going to be in the first part of 2014.”
It’s unclear at this time whether TUF: Canada vs. Australia will take the place of a TUF Canada series, or if one is still in the cards.
The Ultimate Fighter has been around for 17 seasons since 2005, filmed in the United States and airing worldwide. TUF has helped start the careers of nearly 200 UFC fighters over the last eight years.
There have been two international editions of the series – TUF Brazil and TUF Smashes: Team U.K. vs. Team Australia – with the third (TUF Brazil 2) currently airing in Brazil and online.