Dana White Says Nate Diaz Feels That ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ Is the Hardest Thing He’s Ever Had to Do

Published 06/09/2021, 7:50 AM EDT


The UFC’s flagship reality TV show ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ is well into its 29th season at the moment. Currently, the promotional machinery is all behind the show to promote the contestants and the coaches of this season. The Ultimate Fighter is UFC’s President’s brainchild. He believes the experience that the show imparts to a young cage fighter is invaluable.

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“TUF is a very unique experience because number 1 it’s the hardest thing that you’ll ever do in the sport. If you can make it through The Ultimate Fighter, you can make it through anything,” he said.

Forged in Iron: The arduous journey of The Ultimate Fighter

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White, in a recent interview, said that competing in the show is not for the faint of heart. He also said that the grit needed to get through a season has been acknowledged by seasoned veterans of the sport as well. TUF 5 finalist Nate Diaz is one such veteran.

“Even Nate Diaz, who said he and his brother used to make fun of the Ultimate Fighter until he did it, said ‘I’ll never make fun of anybody ever again who does this show. This is the hardest thing I’ve ever done’,” White mentioned during the interview.

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Nate Diaz was cast in the fifth season of the show. He became a fan favorite because of the unique style and charisma that he possessed even as a 21-year-old. Diaz made it to the final of the competition. He ran through the rest of the guys in the competition and submitted Manny Gamburyan to take home the six-figure UFC contract.

What makes TUF so tough?

The UFC markets TUF as one of the most grueling tests for any MMA fighter in their career. Yet, as White said, once a fighter comes on top of the show, he’s definitely on the correct path to make something of his career as a fighter.

Graduating from the TUF mansion entails stardom in the fight world. The primary reason behind this is that through TUF, fighters get to work on their skills under supreme coaching and showcase their talent to the world simultaneously. The show covers the training that the fighters do daily to compete in a fight at the end of the week for each episode. These constant tests and improved coaching add significantly to the arsenal of the fighter.

The young fighters also have time to pick on the brains of seasoned UFC athletes throughout the runtime of the show. Some even maintain contact after the show concludes. The relationship between Tony Ferguson and Brock Lesnar is a perfect example of this.

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Dana White believes if you fail to properly utilize the golden opportunity that is TUF, there is not much that can be done with your fight career.
If you come off the Ultimate fighter and you haven’t done anything with your career after that, I don’t think there is a need for a comeback show,” White said.

Just one look at the glorious history of TUF can easily show you where White is coming from. Multiple UFC fighters like Kamaru Usman, Tony Ferguson, Robert Whittaker, Matt Brown, etc., have competed in The Ultimate Fighter.

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Who do you think is the greatest fighter to come off TUF? Let us know.

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Akshit Pushkarna

68 articles

Akshit Pushkarna, who has a Post Graduate Degree in Journalism from Xavier's Institute of Communication, is an MMA writer for EssentiallySports. Before his current role, Akshit worked on the Urban Development beat at the Urban Update magazine. However, combat sports always called out to Akshit, who pursued both boxing and wrestling at a regional level before shifting his focus to MMA journalism.

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