The third season of Dana White's Contender Series comes to a close Tuesday night after 10 episodes. Five fighters signed from the show this summer already have UFC fights booked.
Contender Series has been well received for its no-frills format: five fights, a small audience at UFC Apex in Las Vegas and no walkout music. White himself once said he could host a Contender Series episode every week for the rest of his life.
But the show isn't White's first foray into episodic television in which the objective is to award UFC contracts to worthy fighters. "The Ultimate Fighter" was the original, the pioneer of the medium, beginning in 2005 on Spike TV. The reality show, which played out not unlike "Survivor," was credited with getting the UFC on cable television and sparking the growth of mixed martial arts. TUF is currently on hiatus, but White has promised a return.
"Lookin' for a Fight," which airs on UFC Fight Pass, follows White and retired UFC veterans Matt Serra and Din Thomas around various cities, where they experience local culture and cuisine. The climax of each episode is the trio watching a regional MMA card and determining who should be in the UFC.
Contender Series, TUF and Lookin' for a Fight all have their pros and cons. And while the end game is always signing new fighters, the shows have different approaches. Here, we pit the three shows against each other in five categories and determine a winner.