The Ultimate Fighter
By Lucy Maher,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Violent, but a TKO for martial arts fans.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Even though fighters have lost their previous matches, they're given the chance to redeem themselves and work hard to make the most of their second chance. That said, the show still promotes extreme wrestling/fighting, which is very violent.
Violence & Scariness
While the violence here doesn't involve weapons, sensitive viewers might be upset by the often-bloody fight scenes, which take place in a large roped- and caged-off ring.
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The strongest words ("motherf---ing" and "f---ing") are bleeped out.
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Products & Purchases
The matches are sponsored by advertisers.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this extreme sports reality show is quite violent. The competition pits fighters trained in wrestling and jujitsu against each other, which results in bloody battles, bruises, and sometimes severe cuts and scrapes.
Where to Watch
Based on 1 parent review
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What's the Story?
In THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER, 16 extreme martial arts experts battle it out to see who will come out on top -- and win a six-figure contract in the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship). Each week, viewers watch two teams of competitors (who have included fan faves like Matt Serra and Shonie Carter) work with guest trainers such as Randy Couture, Georges St. Pierre, and Mark DellaGrotte. The athletes must hone their skills before the fights that end every episode (each fight consists of two 5-minute rounds and takes place in the UFC Octagon). After the fight-ending bell rings, the winner stays, and the loser is sent packing. In the season finale, one fighter from each weight class (welterweight and middleweight) wins the contract -- and a shot at the next Ultimate Fighting Championship title.
Is It Any Good?
While mixed martial arts enthusiasts may tune in for the episode-ending match-ups, they'll come away with a greater appreciation for the sport and the competitors. That's because the show's producers do a nice job of humanizing the men involved. Viewers find out what got them into the sport, how hard they train -- and, what's more, they get to see the guys' vulnerable sides after they experience difficult workouts and defeat in the ring.
That said, the matches can get very violent -- sometimes bloody. Parents of younger or more sensitive kids might want to pre-screen episodes to see whether the footage could be upsetting.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about martial arts. What are the different kinds of disciplines? Why do some practitioners believe that martial arts help with character development and mental acuity? How have the martial arts evolved over the years? Is fighting like this a good advertisement for martial arts? Does it make them seem more violent than they typically are?
- Premiere date: January 6, 1963
- Cast: Matt Serra, Randy Couture, Shonie Carter
- Network: Spike
- Genre: Reality TV
- TV rating: TV-14
- Last updated: March 1, 2022
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