Over the years, The Ultimate Fighter has offered an opportunity for new and up and coming talent to fight their way on to the sports biggest stage, the UFC. Some have seized the opportunity and gone on to find fame and fortune as a result, with their careers playing out in front of millions of MMA fans around the world.
They are not the focus of this article, however. Instead, we will look to find out what happened to some of the memorable characters from past seasons who didn’t obtain the same level of success in the octagon, and found themselves cut from the roster as a result. Did they continue to pursue their dreams, did they find success elsewhere, or did they just fade into obscurity? Read on to find out…
1. BOBBY SOUTHWORTH
Bobby Southworth gained infamy in the TUF season 1 house as part of the duo (along with Josh Koscheck) who sent Chris Leben into a drunken rage, smashing a window and breaking down a bedroom door along the way. Southworth failed to make a major impact in the competition though, losing out to eventual finalist Stephan Bonner by split decision in his second fight. He returned for the season finale, but came out on the wrong side of a decision to Sam Hoger.
Afterwards Southworth found a new home – Strikeforce. He was then involved in one of the most bizarre fights in MMA history when he and his opponent James Irvin fell out of the unlocked cage door just moments into the fight. Better days were ahead though as he claimed the vacant Strikeforce light-heavyweight title against Vernon White in his next fight. He would notch up a further three wins, including one successful title defense, in the next two years before losing his belt to Renato Sobral in December of 2008. He hasn’t fought since.
10 seasons after first appearing on The Ultimate Fighter, Southworth turned up at the tryouts for the 11th season of the show in October of 2009. It’s since been confirmed the show will only feature middleweights, ruling out the chance of him returning. Now 40, Southworth (9-6) remains without a fight deal, but is still hoping to return to the cage in the future. Meanwhile he teaches BJJ at the American Kickboxing Academy gym in California.