The Ultimate Fighter returns May 30 on ESPN, where fight fans will get to watch an epic season coached by Michael Chandler and Conor McGregor.
Have your say on TUF's greatest moment with our poll.
1/5— Odds Shark (@OddsShark) May 30, 2023
Season 31 of The Ultimate Fighter airs tonight at 10 PM ET!
We have identified the 8 best moments from the show and slapped them into a bracket.
Vote below on which moments should advance to the next round! (a thread)
What did we miss? pic.twitter.com/c45T7TDGgg
These two UFC knuckleheads will get a chance to trade verbal barbs, pass down wisdom to their contestants and, ideally, fight each other at the end of the season (for which we have a full preview here).
But what is one lone season of TUF without a look back at all the greatest (and silliest) bits of years past? Let's check out some of the TUF greatest moments of all time.
TUF Greatest Moments
What a wild compilation, beginning with a classic from TUF 10.
Rampage Jackson Breaks Door (TUF 10)
As it turns out, fighters carry a lot of pent-up anger. And after one of his contestants lost a decision in Season 10, Rampage Jackson unleashed his fury...against a miserable, carboard-esque door.
The former light heavyweight champion threw a kick, then some elbows before tearing the darned thing off the hinges. That moment eventually became one of the most famous encounters in TUF history, but, at the time, Dana White said all it did was reveal how cheap their set was.
Chael Sonnen Fights Wanderlei Silva (TUF: Brazil)
"The American Gangster" is famously one of the best trash talkers in sports history, but he took things too far on TUF: Brazil and paid the price.
After Sonnen chirped his coaching adversary Wanderlei Silva about his home country of Brazil, "The Axe Murderer" confronted him in the gym. Dressed in jeans and thong sandals, Sonnen uttered the iconic line, "I can't let you get close," and the brawl was on.
“I can’t let you get close!” 😂— UFC_AUSNZ (@UFC_AUSNZ) April 28, 2022
An unforgettable moment on The Ultimate Fighter between Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva!
📺📱 #TUF30 premieres next Wednesday at 9.30pm AEST exclusively on ESPN 🇦🇺🇳🇿 pic.twitter.com/nYcdBPrZbf
The scuffle left Chael bleeding and led to one of Wanderlei's contestants getting booted from the show. A disgrace to MMA? Nah. Call it a legendary dose of reality TV entertainment.
GSP Brings Drunk Training Partner To Spar (TUF 12)
Georges St. Pierre brought in a variety of training partners for his contestants on TUF 12, but nobody was more famous than Jean-Charles Skarbowsky. The goofy, out-of-shape kickboxer trained in Thailand for years, and when he arrived on the set, drunk as a skunk, he beat the crap out of everyone.
Tom Lawlor Knocks Out Drunk David Kaplan (TUF 8)
In one of the strangest (and most hilarious) TUF moments, the fellas got liquored up at the fighters' house and shenanigans ensued. David Kaplan, a 135-pound fighter, pleaded for his buddy Tom Lawlor, a 205-pounder, to punch him on the chin for the purpose of proving he could never be knocked out.
Can you guess what happened next? Yep. Lawlor snapped off a glorious right overhand, sending Kaplan crashing to the bathroom floor unconscious. The bantamweight swore he never went out cold, but, uh, he did.
Conor McGregor Drives Everyone Nuts (TUF 22)
McGregor has a myriad of great moments in and out of the cage, but his knack for verbal abuse tossed everyone into a tizzy.
ON TUF 22, McGregor, coaching opposite Urijah Faber, called TJ Dillashaw a "snake in the grass" and got in the grill of Cody Garbrandt.
Forrest Griffin vs Stephan Bonnar Finale Fight (TUF 1)
We can't make any TUF list without mentioning the Griffin vs Bonnar fight that concluded TUF Season 1. White called it the "most important fight in UFC history," and he's not wrong.
This bout, which Griffin won by unanimous decision, helped introduce the sport of MMA to a more general TV audience. This event humanized an activity that was once considered a blood sport, saved the UFC from bankruptcy and opened the public's eyes to the joy martial arts can create.
Dana White's Speech (TUF 1)
There were plenty of issues before Griffin and Bonnar slugged it out at the end of Season 1. When some of the fighters, who understood the show as simply a reality TV exercise, acted shocked at the idea of fighting one another, White snapped.
"I have a feeling some guys here don't want to fight. We picked who we believe are the best guys in this country right now. We did. And you guys are it. F---ing act like it, man. Do you want to be a f---ing fighter?"
That woke everyone up. And the rest was history.
Uriah Hall's Spinning Kick Knockout (TUF 17)
Uriah Hall's UFC career never truly blossomed into anything amazing, but he'll always be remembered for delivering one of the wildest KOs in MMA history.
In episode 3 of Season 17, Hall challenged Adam Cella and dismantled him with a spontaneous spinning kick. What a strike.