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The Talent Level on Season 6 of The Ultimate Fighter

It's low. Very low.

Actually, that's not fair. The talent level among the fighters is high, but the experience level is very, very low. Adam Morgan elaborates:

Mac Danzig takes exception to this back at the house when he's talking to Billy Miles. Mac thinks Hughes should take it easy on the rookies because it's a tough sport and all things come with experience. He makes the point that Dan fought his ass off, which he did, and that Hughes should be happy that he didn't freeze out there like some of his other fighters have. Billy and Mac come to a realization that the level of talent on the show this years is, to put it mildly, fucking weak. Almost everyone is a rookie.

Mac, who has a shitload of fights, then asks himself: "Why am I here?"

Billy says: "To win."

Yeah, you got that right. The only way Danzig doesn't walk away with this thing is if he injures himself. He is far and away the best and most experienced fighter on the show.

Because of the inexperience factor, many of this season's fighters are succumbing to the pressure that comes from being in the cauldron that is the TUF house as well as the massive national television exposure. Many of this season's fighters should be on the undercard at a King of the Cage show, not SpikeTV. Again, I'm not suggesting the talent level isn't where it needs to be. Those selected for the show show enormous promise. But promise is the reward of tomorrow, not today. That trick may have worked once with Corey Hill, but you can't go back to the well or create a cast around it.

The perfect marriage is the exposure of television and reality drama with legitimate, A-level talent. That's the intersection of success. When guys like George Sitropolous and Mac Danzig put on good fights, it becomes apparent that serious, A-level professional fighters can shine in this forum.

By contrast, fighters still learning about themselves and developing their promising skill sets aren't accustomed to handling pressure well and tend to perform poorly. There is no substitute for experience, not even talent. That is one of the fatal flaws of this season. If the drama were as boring as ever (and it is) and the fights spectacular (they are not), you'd hear far less grumbling. The UFC is banking on the hope that if they recruit the fighters with the most talent (and the most television potential), they'll get what they need. Not quite.

I don't know that the answer is to recruit mediocre veterans, but asking young men unaccustomed to high-intensity pressure performance to perform up to a UFC-caliber level is a risky proposition.