The Ultimate Fighter Season 17 Premiere Recap

TUF17_TONIGHTThe seventeenth season of The Ultimate Fighter began tonight on FX with a special two-hour episode. The revamped show looked notably different than the previous seasons, with clear production value increases and many format changes. MMAFrenzy will have full coverage of The Ultimate Fighter 17 as UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen coach fourteen middleweights vying for the title of “The Ultimate Fighter.”

Tonight’s episode did not look or feel much like the shows previous iterations. Tonight’s episode often felt more like a fighter documentary, with much better editing and focus that mostly remained on the fighters. With many of the fighters families watching in attendance, one of the many changes, an explosive opening round took place that featured finishes in eight of the fourteen opening round fights.

Fight Results:

  • Adam Cella def. Jake Heun via submission (armbar) Round 1
  • Zak Cummings def. Nik Fekete via TKO (punches) Round 1
  • Kevin Casey def. Eldon Sproat via submission (rear-naked choke) Round 1
  • Tor Troeng def. Scott Rosa via submission (rear-naked choke)
  • Clint Hester def. Fraser Opie via decision
  • Robert “Bubba” McDaniel def. Ryan Bigler via TKO (punches) Round 2
  • Josh Samman def. Lou Bercier via TKO (punches) Round 1
  • Jimmy Quinlan def. Mike Persons via TKO (punches) Round 1
  • Uriah Hall def. Andy Enz via decision
  • Luke Barnatt def. Nicholas Kohring via decision
  • Dylan Andrews def. Tim Williams via decision
  • Collin Hart def. Mike Jasper via submission (rear-naked choke) Round 1

After the bouts wrapped, it was time to decide who would pick the first fighter and the first fight. Coach Chael Sonnen secured the right to pick after winning the coin toss and chose to pick the first fighter. UFC president Dana White told the fighters that they would be receiving $5,000 for each finish, with $25,000 going to the season’s best knockout, submission and fight. White also announced that the wildcard would be brought back into the mix, meaning that two fighters who lose in the next round would get a second shot at the tournament.

TUF 17 Teams:

Team Sonnen
Luke Barnatt
Uriah Hall
Zak Cummings
Tor Troeng
Jimmy Quinlan
Kevin Casey
Kelvin Gastelum

Team Jones
Clint Hester
Josh Samman
Robert “Bubba” McDaniel
Gilbert Smith
Collin Hart
Adam Cella
Dylan Andrews

Fight Selection

After the picks were settled, Team Jones was shown laying out who they felt they matched up best with. Fighter Josh Samman seemed to be taking charge of the team, and stated that he wanted to fight first. Coach Jones decided that while he liked the idea, that he wanted to knock off Team Sonnen’s first pick, Englishman Luke Barnatt, with the smaller but powerful Gilbert Smith. With that, the first fight was set and will air next week on The Ultimate Fighter 17.