The Ultimate Fighter TV Poster Image

The Ultimate Fighter



Violent, but a TKO for martial arts fans.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

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.


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.

Not applicable

The strongest words ("motherf---ing" and "f---ing") are bleeped out.


The matches are sponsored by advertisers.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

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.

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.

Families can talk 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?

TV details

Premiere date:January 6, 1963
Cast:Matt Serra, Randy Couture, Shonie Carter
Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:TV-14

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Teen, 16 years old Written byInfectedGrifstur September 27, 2012

UFC Is A Sport

UFC is A type of MMA. It's defiantly A Sport. You get A work out from it. I'm not A big UFC fan. But my mother is. She loves it, also some of the UFC fighters are modest and respect their opponents greatly. There's defiantly no drug use in the UFC its Prohibited. IF they DO use drugs they are kicked out of the UFC.
Teen, 15 years old Written byCalciano355 December 2, 2008
I have watched martial arts all my life. I always viewed as a sport and it never gave me the notion that it is acceptable to go around hitting people. It is very entertaining and is acceptable for anyone who can distinguish it as sport violence.
Adult Written byclarence August 4, 2015
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing


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