For those that watched it, Fight Master was more or less what it promised to be, an interesting and new MMA reality show that would bring fresh talent to the ranks of Bellator. Well, all except that last part. In general, however, reviews of the show were largely positive with fans who tuned in coming away having gotten a healthy dose of MMA entertainment. It is perhaps, a bit surprising then, that MMA Fighting reports that the first season of Fight Master may be the last. Bjorn Rebney spoke about the show's future:
"We've had a few different discussions about what would happen," Rebney said. "If it's going to come back, what it looks like if it comes back, what changes would be made, what wouldn't be made."
"Reality fight TV is having its difficulties right now," said Rebney. "You can see it in the UFC's ratings, they're having the lowest-rated TUF they've had in the history of the show. Reality TV on the fight front is not an easy nut to crack to draw huge viewership right now. But we're getting good numbers on the live events. So we'll see. I don't know."
That's right, in case you did a double take at that second paragraph, the UFC is in a bit of a bind with it's own MMA reality show as TUF 18 numbers plumeted over the last two weeks. CagePotato has the breakdown, but to make a long story short: after an expectedly abysmal drawing of 476,000 for the mid-season clip show (a 24% drop from the previous lowest rated episode of TUF) last week's episode did even worse. Episode 9 was out drawn by a clip show, bringing in only 452,000 viewers.
I believe there are already 4 seasons of TUF in the works (most of them international), so there's basically no chance that the UFC doesn't slap a new set of bolts on their monster and send it lurching back toward the village. But Bjorn may have the right of it in pulling the plug on their own offering right now, before they get too invested in a product with little long term payoff.
More from Bloody Elbow:
- Renan Barao looking forward to determining the real UFC bantamweight champion at UFC 169
- Knuckle Up #445: Bellator 106, the sorrow of King Mo + the IBJJF No Gi Championship Champion Show
- UFC Fight Night 31: Facebook preliminary card preview and prognostications
- UFC Fight Night 31: Pre-Fight coverage, previews, prognostications, weigh-ins, and and analysis
- Report: Tatsuya Kawajiri vs. Hacran Dias set for UFC Fight Night card in Singapore