A little over 4 years ago the UFC stumbled upon a goldmine when they created the Ultimate Fighter. The show would be done in reality format and involve a tournament featuring upcoming fighters. The Ultimate Fighter has been a huge success with fighters such as Forrest Griffin, Keith Jardine, Diego Sanchez, Kenny Florian and Rashad Evans being just a few of the fighters that have success due to TUF. But here recently the show has had a shadow cast of it by the behavior of several cast members.
In 2005 during the very first season the antics of Chris Leben caused some debate among fans as to whether or not that image was good for the sport. For years leaders in the world of mma had been pushing to gain respect for a sport that many have seen as too violent or barbaric. When you see a UFC reality show with fighters getting drunk and destroying a house it does little to sway that mindset. For the most part a good majority of the men on the show have scaled back the drama and focused on their goal of becoming a UFC fighter. However that changed last season when Junie Browning came to the house and looks to change this season when Robert Browning comes to the house.
The Junie Browning saga is well documented as he is the most infamous character in the history of the Ultimate Fighter and perhaps the UFC. Over the course of the show he done the following: talked trash to just about everyone in the show, was unwanted by his team, picked fights with countless other fighters in the house, got drunk seemingly every other episode and injured a couple fighters by throwing glasses as them in a drunken rage. Even though he done each of these things he was allowed to stay on the show. There have been multiple people kicked off the show in the past for doing just one or two of these things and yet for one reason Junie Browning was allowed to stay. Can you say ratings?
So here we stand a season later after the whole Junie Browning saga set to kick off the Ultimate Fighter 9 which pits Team USA vs Team UK. Through the first two episodes we see some good fights and for the most part the fighters seem pretty level headed. Then a couple of the guys are unable to fight due to injuries so replacements must be brought in for the show. There seemed to be a good mix of shock and stress when Robert Browning entered the room as one of the replacements. Apparently after all the problems that Junie Browning caused they decided it was a good idea to invite Robert Browning onto the show.
Immediately the comment is made about how he is the brother of Junie. I struggled to keep from falling out of my chair when UFC president Dana White tried to act like he had just found out that Robert was the younger brother of Junie. This is a stunt for ratings and the UFC should be bashed unmercifully for this Robert and Junie Browning garbage. Dana White tries to spoon feed everyone that we can’t blame Robert Browning for “the sins of Junie”. And yet right before the show goes off we see Robert Browning throwing things at people off the balcony and pushing people around in the house.
The bottom line is that the show has drastically gone down hill which is very evident when comparing past Ultimate Fighter winners to Ultimate Fighter current winners. The winners of Ultimate Fighter seasons 1, 3 and 4 all have won championships. The winner of Ultimate Fighter season 6 is struggling to stay in the UFC and the winner of Ultimate Fighter season 7 has yet to even fight. Upcoming talent and good fights used to draw in the viewers now the UFC uses circus acts like Junie and Robert Browning to gain attention. Let’s just hope that we see Jason Dent put a beatdown on Robert Browning and end this mess before it develops into another circus like Ultimate Fighter season 8.
Source(s) – http://mmajunkie.com/news/14517/here-comes-trouble-robert-browning-joins-tuf-9-cast-next-week.mma , http://blog.mmaratings.net/2009/02/rob-browning-to-join-tuf-9-fighter-cast.html , http://www.watchkalibrun.com/2009/4/9/828324/no-surprise-rob-browning-is , http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Junie_Browning