"The Ultimate Fighter," the reality show that brought fighters together in a home, is on ESPN and ESPN+.
The reality series launched the mixed martial arts explosion around the world in 2005. Over the course of 12 weeks, 16 up-and-coming mixed martial artists fought to stay in the house while receiving world-class coaching from the UFC's elite fighters. The winner was declared the Ultimate Fighter and earned a six-figure UFC contract.
The iconic reality series has launched the careers of numerous fighters who went on to become UFC champions, contenders and stars, including Kamaru Usman, Tony Ferguson, TJ Dillashaw, Rose Namajunas, Michael Bisping, Nate Diaz, Michael Chiesa, Al Iaquinta, Kelvin Gastelum, Forrest Griffin, Rashad Evans and Uriah Hall. Among the many greats to coach on the show is Conor McGregor, who led a team on TUF 22 in 2015.
And on Feb. 4, 2023, Dana White announced that McGregor will coach Season 31 against Michael Chandler. The two will fight later in 2023. This season will be broadcast on ESPN and ESPN+, beginning on May 30.
The previous 30 seasons are available on ESPN+. An outline of each is provided below.
Season 1: Team Liddell vs. Team Couture (Watch here)
Storyline: The UFC enters the reality television show realm with "The Ultimate Fighter," which features up-and-coming fighters looking to gain a six-figure contract with the UFC.
Memorable anecdote: UFC president Dana White and musician Willa Ford serve as co-hosts of the show. This is Ford's only season as host. White gives his "So you want to be a fighter?" speech.
Must-see fight of the season: Forrest Griffin vs. Stephan Bonnar, TUF 1 finale
More on Season 1: How the Ultimate Fighter saved the UFC 15 years ago
Season 2: Team Hughes vs. Team Franklin (Watch here)
Storyline: Randy Couture joined Dana White as the host for the second season. Matt Hughes and Rich Franklin lead their teams in a season that featured heavyweights and welterweights.
Season 3: Team Ortiz vs. Team Shamrock (Watch here)
Storyline: Longtime rivals Tito Ortiz and Ken Shamrock coached teams of middleweights and light heavyweights. Dana White was the sole host of the show for the first time, a trend that continues today.
Coaches: Tito Ortiz, Ken Shamrock
Cool anecdote: After an injury to Hamill, middleweight Ross Pointon replaced Hamill in a semifinal matchup at light heavyweight against Bisping. Bisping and Hamill would later fight at UFC 75.
Must-see fight: Ed Herman vs Rory Singer, TUF 3 semifinal
Season 4: The Comeback (Watch here)
Storyline: Season 4 took a different approach with casting. Instead of fighters who were trying to get their foot in the door, the competition on this show included only former UFC fighters looking for one last shot at glory in a return to the Octagon.
Cool anecdote: The winners of this season would receive championship opportunities against the welterweight and middleweight champions.
Season 5: Team Pulver vs. Team Penn (Watch here)
Storyline: This was the first season to feature just one weight class, as 16 lightweight competitors took their shot at a UFC contract.
Cool anecdote: Before team selections are made, Penn asks the fighters to raise their hands if they want to be on his team. 10 of the 16 fighters raise their hands.
Must-see fight: Nate Diaz vs Rob Emerson, TUF 5 elimination round
Season 6: Team Hughes vs. Team Serra (Watch here)
Coaches: Matt Hughes, Matt Serra
Cool anecdote: This was the first season in which the teams picked fights regardless of results in the opening round, with the quarterfinal matchups being decided by the team that won the most preliminary matchups.
Must-see fight: Tom Speer vs Jon Koppenhaver (aka War Machine), TUF 6 elimination round
More on Season 6: Serra set to settle differences with Hughes
Season 7: Team Rampage vs. Team Forrest (Watch here)
Storyline: For the first time, fighters would have to earn their way into the house as 32 middleweights came to the UFC Training Center looking to win the season.
Cool anecdote: After one of the fights in the season doesn't go to a third round, Jackson bets Griffin that their UFC 86 title fight wouldn't go to decision. In anger, Griffin destroys a door.
Must-see fight: Matt Brown vs Jeremy May, TUF 7 preliminary round
More on Season 7: Fighters hoping 'Ultimate Fighter' show catapults them into MMA stardom
Season 8: Team Nogueira vs. Team Mir (Watch here)
Storyline: Ahead of their UFC 92 fight for the interim heavyweight title, coaches Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Frank Mir coach light heavyweights and lightweights. This was the first season with multiple divisions since Season 4.
Coaches: Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Frank Mir
Cool anecdote: A bet was made between the coaches that if any of Nogueira's fighters made it to the final, Mir would shave his head.
Must-see fight: Efrain Escudero vs Junie Browning, TUF 8 semifinal
More on Season 8: Five things we learned from TUF Season 8
Season 9: United States vs. United Kingdom (Watch here)
Coaches: Dan Henderson, Michael Bisping
Cool anecdote: Before the UK fighters could advance to the house, they had to win their elimination bouts in the UK at the Wolfslair MMA Academy. Those fights took place before Dan Henderson and Rich Franklin fought at UFC 93 to see who would coach the U.S. team.
Must-see fight: DaMarques Johnson vs Nick Osipczak, TUF 9 semifinal
More on Season 9: Dan Henderson will lead by example as TUF coach
Season 10: Heavyweights (Watch here)
Storyline: Quinton Jackson returns as a coach against Rashad Evans ahead of their fight at UFC 114. 15 fighters line up for the initial meeting with Dana White before he introduces Kimbo Slice as the 16th fighter.
Coaches: Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, Rashad Evans
Cool anecdote: After Jackson's team lost a fight, Rampage literally went on a rampage, throwing a water bottle and then destroying a door.
Must-see fight: Roy Nelson vs. Kimbo Slice, TUF 10 preliminary round
Season 11: Team Liddell vs. Team Ortiz (Watch here)
Storyline: Former friends turned rivals Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz coach middleweights. In another twist to the show structure, 2 fighters who lost their first round fight would be selected back into the house as "wild cards."
Coaches: Chuck Liddell, Tito Ortiz, Rich Franklin
Cool anecdote: In what remains an Ultimate Fighter record, Kris McCray fought five times, which according to Dana White was "literally every Tuesday."
Must-see fight: Court McGee vs. Brad Tavares, TUF 11 semifinal
More on Season 11: UFC's greatest rivalries: Chuck Liddell vs. Tito Ortiz had it all
Season 12: Team GSP vs. Team Koschek (Watch here)
Storyline: Welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre and number-one contender Josh Koscheck coach teams of lightweights, with the "wild card" quarterfinals spots returning. Koscheck joins Forrest Griffin as the only fighters from Season 1 to coach later seasons.
Coaches: Georges St-Pierre, Josh Koscheck
Cool anecdote: Koscheck fought Paul Daley at UFC 113 to determine who would be the next challenger for St-Pierre's welterweight title and ultimately who would coach season 12. The fight resulted in a Koscheck win and Daley being banned from the UFC by Dana White for punching Koscheck after the final horn.
Must-see fight: Michael Johnson vs. Nam Phan, TUF 12 semifinal
Season 13: Team Lesnar vs. Team Dos Santos (Watch here)
Storyline: Heavyweights Brock Lesnar and Junior dos Santos coach a group of 14 lightweights, removing the elimination round fights but keeping the "wild card" spots.
Cool anecdote: The coaches' challenge for the season involved football drills, with dos Santos beating Lesnar, who tried out for the Vikings in 2004. Dos Santos gave his share of the cash prize to members of Lesnar's team.
More on Season 13: Lesnar committed to UFC and Ultimate Fighter 13
Season 14: Team Bisping vs. Team Miller (Watch here)
Storyline: Two divisions return for Season 14 as featherweights and bantamweights are coached by former TUF winner Michael Bisping and Jason "Mayhem" Miller, who returned to the UFC after a 6-year hiatus.
Cool anecdote: The season's pranks involved cars and car tires, including a memorable moment when Bisping's assistant coach Tiki Ghosn had his truck surrounded by concrete highway barricades in the parking lot so he couldn't get out.
Must-see fight: John Dodson vs. Johnny Bedford, TUF 14 semifinal
More on Season 14: Reacting to the TUF 14 finale
Season 15: Team Cruz vs. Team Faber (Watch here)
Storyline: Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber coach lightweights on the first season to air on FX after the UFC signed a multi-year contract with FOX. This was also the first and only season in series history to feature live fights while the other moments around the house and training were taped.
Coaches: Dominick Cruz, Urijah Faber
Cool anecdote: Along with winning the season, bonus awards were added for the first time, including $25k for best fight, best submission and best knockout.
Must-see fight: Al Iaquinta vs. Myles Jury, TUF 15 preliminary round
More on Season 15: Reacting to the TUF 15 finale
Season 16: Team Carwin vs. Team Nelson (Watch here)
Coaches: Shane Carwin, Roy Nelson
Cool anecdote: In Episode 4, the fighters and coaches went to an advanced screening of the Kevin James MMA movie, "Here Comes The Boom" which featured a number of UFC fighters and coaches.
Must-see fight: Mike Ricci vs. Neil Magny, TUF 16 semifinal
Season 17: Team Jones vs. Team Sonnen (Watch here)
Coaches: Lambert, Jon Jones, Chael Sonnen
Cool anecdotes: For the first time in series history, fighters were allowed to bring family and friends to watch their preliminary fights which were held to see who got into the house
Must-see fight: Uriah Hall vs Adam Cella, TUF 17 elimination round
Season 18: Team Rousey vs. Team Tate (Watch here)
Storyline: Cat Zingano defeated Miesha Tate at the TUF 17 Finale in order to be number-one contender for Ronda Rousey's title and to coach alongside her for season 18, which would be the first to feature women's fighters. Zingano gets injured and is replaced as coach by Tate, which infuriates Rousey.
Coaches: Ronda Rousey, Miesha Tate
Cool anecdotes: For the entire season, Rousey flips off Tate with the middle finger, so in the season finale Tate tries to give Rousey socks with the middle finger on them. Rousey slaps them out of Tate's hand and continues her staredown.
Must-see fight: Jessamyn Duke vs. Raquel Pennington, TUF 18 elimination round
Season 19: Team Edgar vs. Team Penn (Watch here)
Storyline: Light heavyweights return to the show for the first time in 6 years, along with middleweights coached by Frankie Edgar and BJ Penn, who would go on to meet for a third time after the season.
Coaches: Frankie Edgar, BJ Penn
Cool anecdotes: In one of the quarterfinal matchups, Dana White gets so mad at referee Steve Mazzagatti that he actually leaves the fight while it's happening and goes back to his office. The fight was also originally scored a majority draw, but later changed so one fighter could advance.
Must-see fight: Matt Van Buren vs Daniel Spohn, TUF 19 semifinal
More on Season 19: Frankie Edgar gets third win over BJ Penn
Season 20: A champion will be crowned (Watch here)
Storyline: For the first time in series history, a new champion is crowned at the end of season when the UFC creates a women's strawweight division and invites 16 of the top fighters to the Ultimate Fighter.
Cool anecdotes: Because of the format of this season, the women were seeded 1-16 to set up the matchups. However, the coaches did not know where each fighter was seeded when they were selected. The final three picks were actually the lowest seeds in the competition.
Must-see fight: Rose Namajunas vs Joanne Calderwood, TUF 20 quarterfinal
Season 21: American Top Team vs. Blackzilians (Watch here)
Storyline: This is the first season to feature a gym versus gym format. American Top Team and The Blackzilians were both situated in South Florida and a major rivalry had developed after a group of fighters left Dan Lambert's ATT to join Glenn Robinson at his gym in 2011.
Cool anecdotes: Episode 11 features one of the most epic cold shoulders in TUF history. Blackzilians coach Glenn Robinson was irate at the decision to not stop the Jason Jackson-Michael Graves fight in that episode and berated the officials cage-side before calming down. He later waits outside for the referee to discuss further, but the ref leaves without saying anything to Robinson. All fights took place at the two gyms in Florida instead of a Vegas-housed effort.
Must-see fight: Jason Jackson vs Michael Graves
Season 22: Team McGregor vs. Team Faber (Watch here)
Storyline: Season 22 has an international feel with Conor McGregor's team coaching international fighters while Urijah Faber and Team Alpha Male coach the American fighters.
Memorable anecdote: In Episode 6, McGregor sounds prescient, telling Faber that guest coach TJ Dillashaw is a "snake" and only in things for himself, which starts a skirmish between the teams after Cody Garbrandt shoves McGregor. Soon after the show was done taping, Dillashaw and Team Alpha Male would have a very public breakup, leading to a rivalry that continues to this day.
More on Season 22: Behind the scenes with Frankie Edgar ahead of the TUF 22 finale
Season 23: Team Joanna vs. Team Claudia (Watch here)
Storyline: SUFC women's strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk and No. 1 contender Cláudia Gadelha coach their teams before the two would clash in a highly-anticipated title fight between the two at the show's finale.
Coaches: Joanna Jedrzejczyk, Claudia Gadelha
Memorable anecdote: Team Cláudia wins one of the more unique coach's challenges in the show's history. Gadelha and Jedrzejczyk are suspended over dunk tanks filled with ice cold water and the two coaches take turns using an air rifle to shoot tennis balls at a bullseye. Gadelha wins extra money for her team by dunking Dana White as an added challenge.
Must-see fight of the season: Josh Stansbury vs Khalil Rountree, TUF 23 semifinal
More on Season 23: Joanna-Claudia rehash the origin of their feud
Season 24: Tournament of Champions (Watch here)
Storyline: 16 flyweights, all champions in various organizations around the world, fight in a tournament-style format with the winner getting a shot at UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson.
Memorable anecdote: In episode 4, both Benavidez and Cejudo break down film of their title fight losses to Johnson with their respective teams to not only prepare them for a potential fight with the champ, but to show that you need to learn from your mistakes in the Octagon.
Must-see fight of the season: Eric Shelton vs Yoni Sherbatov, TUF 24 round of 16
Season 25: Redemption (Watch here)
Storyline: For the 25th season, all the participants are welterweights from earlier seasons of the show, including one season winner and one current UFC fighter.
Memorable anecdote: Cool anecdote: In episode 11, "Embrace the Snake", T.J. Dillashaw embraces Team Garbrandt's nickname for him by placing live snakes in their locker room.
Must-see fight of the season: Ramsey Nijem vs Julian Lane, TUF 25 preliminary round
Season 26: A new world champion (Watch here)
Storyline: The UFC uses Season 26 of The Ultimate Fighter to debut a new division to its fans: women's flyweight. At the end of the season, the two finalists will fight to determine the inaugural UFC women's flyweight champion.
Memorable anecdote: In episode 11, the two coaches take turns pranking each other by way of messing with their cars. Alvarez takes Gaethje's keys and parks his car on a curb as far away from the UFC Performance Institute as possible. In response, Gaethje and his team write slogans over Alvarez's car before it's lifted 15 feet in the air by a crane.
Must-see fight of the season: Sijara Eubanks vs DeAnna Bennett, TUF 26 quarterfinal
Season 27: Undefeated (Watch here)
Storyline: Season 27 of "The Ultimate Fighter" features eight undefeated lightweights and eight undefeated featherweights battling it out in separate tournaments for a UFC contract.
Memorable anecdote: In this season's coach's challenge Cormier and Miocic face off in a hockey shootout competition with the help of the Vegas Golden Knights. Despite barely being able to skate, Cormier wins the competition.
Must-see fight of the season: Brad Katona vs Bryce Mitchell, TUF 27 semifinal
Season 28: Heavy Hitters (Watch here)
Storyline: This season features fighters in the UFC's heaviest weight classes for each gender: women's featherweight and heavyweight. Robert Whittaker and Kelvin Gastelum, the show's coaches, are former TUF winners themselves and were expected to face each other for the UFC middleweight championship at UFC 234, but Whittaker had to pull out due to an emergency surgery.
Coaches: Robert Whittaker, Kelvin Gastelum
Memorable anecdote: In episode 4, Gastelum brings in Brian Beaumont as a guest coach to help his team with their jiu-jitsu. During one of their demonstrations, Beaumont surprises Gastelum with his jiu-jitsu black belt.
Must-see fight of the season: Juan Espino vs Maurice Greene, TUF 28 semifinal
More on Season 28: Gastelum says he "should be champ" after Whittaker withdraws
Season 29: The Return of The Ultimate Fighter (Watch here)
Storyline: After an extended layoff, "The Ultimate Fighter" comes back filled with some strong talent at bantamweight and middleweights. With champion Alexander Volkanovski and Brian Ortega as coaches, the house and gym gets heated and some of the top picks face some unique challenges.
Coaches: Alexander Volkanovski, Brian Ortega
Memorable anecdote: Ortega decides to prank Volkanovski and his team by bringing gigantic stakes into the gym.
Season 30: Team Pena vs. Team Nunes (Watch here)
Storyline: After Julianna Pena shocked the world with her upset victory over Amanda Nunes, the two square off in "The Ultimate Fighter," coaching heavyweights and women's flyweights.
Memorable anecdote: Forrest Griffin returns and talks to the cast of this year's season.
More on Season 31: Everything you need to know about TUF 31