The Australia Vs UK Season Of The Ultimate Fighter Was An Absolute Classic
There have been some iconic seasons of The Ultimate Fighter down the years.
The bar was set high from the get go with when the legendary Randy Couture and Chuck Liddell were installed as coaches for the first ever season.
What followed after that was some of the most heated coaching rivalries of all-time - and they made for brilliant television.
Arguably the most entertaining came between Tito Ortiz and Ken Shamrock in season three, with Shamrock coming across on the show as a very strange individual.
Elsewhere, the battle between Dan Henderson and Michael Bisping put TUF on the international stage as the United States team took on the United Kingdom.
But it was perhaps Quinton "Rampage" Jackson and Rashad Evans who took the show to new heights in 2009 with their relentless trash-talk and fiery exchanges during Season 10.
I mean, who could forget that iconic scene where the conveniently-named "Rampage" tore down a door in the gym?
While there have been memorable seasons of TUF, there's one that often doesn't get the credit it truly deserves.
The Ultimate Fighter "The Smashes" between Team Australia and Team UK back in 2012 was box office entertainment.
Team Australia, coached by George Sotiropoulos, boasted welterweights such as Benny Alloway, Xavier Lucas, Manny Rodriguez, James Vainikolo and, of course, Robert Whittaker.
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Grant Blackler, Patrick Iodice, Ben Wall and Richie Vaculik made up the Aussie lightweights.
As for Team UK, their welterweights consisted of Luke Newman, Bola Omoyele, Valentino Petrescu, and Brad Scott while their lightweights were Colin Fletcher, Norman Parke, Michael Pastou, Brendan Loughnane and Mike Wilkinson.
Season 9 winner and UFC veteran Ross Pearson was the UK's head coach.
The series itself produced some incredible action-packed fights, with Parke and Whittaker walking away as victors which earned them both six-figure contracts with the UFC.
But besides the bouts themselves, the banter and rivalry between the two teams outside of the octagon was absolutely relentless.
Whether it be brutal pranks or simply the non-stop trash-talk, it's safe to say the two team's were getting more and more agitated with each other as the season progressed.
Overall, the season made for great television and should be in the conversation as one of the best in TUF history - no bias here, of course.
Even the season's name "The Smashes" is a nod to Australia and England's age-old cricketing rivalry "The Ashes".
How good is that.
Featured Image Credit: Zuffa/UFC
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