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The Utimate Fighter - Season 4: The Comeback - Randy Couture and George St. Pierre

By Cliff Montgomery, ExtremeProSports.com
On March 23, 2006, UFC and Spike TV announced their plan to produce four more seasons of The Ultimate Fighter after The Ultimate Fighter 3. The Ultimate Fighter 4 will air late 2006, The Ultimate Fighter 5 & 6 will air in 2007, and The Ultimate Fighter 7 will air in 2008. The fourth season of The Ultimate Fighter will premiere Thursday, August 17th on Spike TV.

I believe I have stated this before, but it really is something to see how this television series has helped a relatively new and controversial sport gain added acceptance over the past few years.

The Ultimate Fighter is of course a 'reality' television series and Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) competition, originating from the United States, and is a co-production of Spike TV and the UFC.

In The Ultimate Fighter the fighters are first placed into respective weight classes, then divided into two teams, normally with each team coached by a contemporary UFC star. These teams usually vie against each other in a series of various contests--after which the winning team matches one of their own fighters against a comparable opponent from the other side in a MMA match. The loser is eliminated from the house.

At the end of each week, one fighter from each team must fight in the Octagon to avoid being eliminated from the competition. This continues until only two fighters remain in each weight division.

At the finale of each series, the four remaining fighters are placed in a single-elimination tournament, where these accomplished athletes--disciplined in a wide range of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) that includes wrestling, boxing, judo, Jiu-Jitsu, karate and kickboxing-- hope to win the chance to fight in an Ultimate Fighting Championship event. Only one fighter from each of the two weight classes will succeed in this attempt.

The competitors are brought to Las Vegas where the UFC has its National Training Center; there the fighters will train for the next seven weeks. During the show they are seen to take their training and abilities to a higher level.

Thanks to the wild success of the Spike TV series, the schedule has already been set for season four of this runaway hit.

The Ultimate Fighter 4: The Comeback is scheduled to begin its run on August 17th, 2006, and end in the Fall of 2006. This fourth Ultimate Fighter season promises at least one definite change from the usual format: the cast will be composed of Mixed Martial Artists who have previously fought in the UFC, but did not win a UFC title.

Season four will follow 8 welterweight and 8 middleweight UFC veterans who each hope to earn a UFC title shot in their division, plus a six-figure purse if they win their division tournaments.

Instead of coaches, these two veteran groups will have prominent trainers and UFC fighters acting as advisors. Randy Couture and Georges St. Pierre are slated to be the main advisors. Mark Dellagrotte, Kenny Florian's kickboxing trainer, will also aid in advising duties. The cast will still live in seclusion at the house in Las Vegas.

The winners of each division will earn a title shot against the UFC division champion in the first half of 2007. Principal filming for The Ultimate Fighter 4 began on May 21, 2006. Again, the 4th season is set to debut on August 17th, 2006.

WELTERWEIGHTS

Mikey Burnett
UFC Record: 2-1 (Defeated Eugenio Tadeu and Townsend Saunders / Lost to Pat Miletich)

Shonie Carter
UFC Record: 3-2 (Defeated Brad Gumm, Adrian Serrano, and Matt Serra / Lost to Pat Miletich and Nathan Quarry)

Rich Clementi
UFC Record: 0-1 (Lost to Yves Edwards)

Jeremy Jackson
UFC Record: 0-1 (Lost to Nick Diaz)

Chris Lytle
UFC Record: 2-4 (Defeated Tiki Ghosn and Ronald Jhun / Lost to Ben Earwood, Robbie Lawler, Karo Parisyan and Joe Riggs)

Matt Serra
UFC Record: 4-4 (Defeated Yves Edwards, Kelly Dullanty, Jeff Curran, and Ivan Menjivar / Lost to Karo Parisyan, Din Thomas, B.J. Penn, and Shonie Carter)

Pete Spratt
UFC Record: 2-2 (Defeated Robbie Lawler and Zach Light / Lost to Josh Koscheck and Carlos Newton)

Din Thomas
UFC Record: 2-2 (Defeated Fabiano Iha and Matt Serra / Lost to B.J. Penn and Caol Uno)

MIDDLEWEIGHTS

Patrick Cote
UFC Record: 0-3 (Lost to Tito Ortiz, Joe Doerksen, and Chris Leben)

Edwin Dewees
UFC Record: 0-2 (Lost to Rich Franklin and Chris Leben)

Travis Lutter
UFC Record: 1-2 (Defeated Marvin Eastman / Lost to Matt Lindland and Trevor Prangley)

Charles McCarthy
UFC Record: 0-1 (Lost to David Loiseau)

Gideon Ray
UFC Record: 0-2 (Lost to David Loiseau and Mike Swick)

Jorge Rivera
UFC Record: 2-3 (Defeated David Loiseau and Dennis Hallman / Lost to Lee Murray, Rich Franklin and Chris Leben)

Pete Sell
UFC Record: 1-1 (Defeated Phil Baroni / Lost to Nathan Quarry)

Scott Smith
UFC Record: 0-1 (Lost to David Terrell)

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