Rousey: ‘I don’t support’ The Ultimate Fighter

Ronda Rousey said she was turned off "by the blatant disrespect the production had for the athletes.'' (Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Getty)

A recent impromptu brawl between rival coaches Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei (The Axe Murderer) Silva on the TV set of “The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil” had MMA fans rushing to find the video.

Not (Rowdy) Ronda Rousey.

The UFC women’s bantamweight champion, who was a coach on Season 18, has no time for the reality TV show these days.

“I don’t watch ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ now that I know how much bull is in it,” said Rousey, adding an extra syllable to bull. “I don’t support it.”

“I used to watch it all the time. Now I won’t watch it,” she added.

Rousey said she was turned off “by the blatant disrespect the production had for the athletes.”

The series which debuted in 2005, is produced by Pilgrim Studios which specializes in reality TV.

“They don’t know the first thing about fighting,” said Rousey. “They only know about reality TV and they treated us like we were ‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’ and not elite athletes that should be respected.

“And I don’t support people like that so I don’t watch the show anymore.”

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The UFC acknowledged its women’s champion had not enjoyed her experience on the program.

“It’s no secret that Ronda didn’t have a good time on ‘The Ultimate Fighter,”‘ UFC president Dana White said in a statement provided when The Canadian Press asked for a response from the show producers to Rousey’s comments.

“When you’re on a reality show and you’re caught up in the moment, and you do things and you say things without thinking, sometimes when it airs, you’re not 100 per cent thrilled with the way you acted or the way you looked. It’s happened to me too. It’s part of reality television.

“Not everyone is crazy with reality TV and it’s no secret that Ronda butted heads with people in production and on the show. You can’t change her mind, that’s the way she feels.”

White also defended the reality TV show, which has spawned spinoffs in Canada, Australia, Brazil, China, Mexico and the United Kingdom.

Filming for the latest season takes place this month.

“This is the 20th season of ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ and for many fighters it was an amazing experience, it changed their lives,” White said.” Not just for the fighters competing on ‘The Ultimate Fighter,’ but for the coaches too.

“The show took Chuck Liddell to the next level, Matt Hughes to the next level, B.J. Penn to the next level. A large number of the superstars of the UFC blew up after being on ‘The Ultimate Fighter.’ It’s not going to be an amazing experience for everybody. Every season fighters have different experiences on the show, and they’re not always good. That’s part of reality television.”

The UFC conceived the show as a way to get its product on TV. Aspiring UFC fighters spend six weeks in a house together, denied access to the outside world other than to train and fight.

With established UFC fighters serving as coaches, the cast members compete against each other with the last man or woman standing earning a UFC contract.

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