The Ultimate Fighter 1

Last updated
The Ultimate Fighter 1: Team Liddell vs. Team Couture
Genre Reality, Sports
Created by Craig Piligian, Frank Fertitta III, Lorenzo Fertitta, Dana White
StarringDana White, Chuck Liddell, and Randy Couture
Country of originFlag of the United States.svg  United States
Running time60 minutes
Original network Spike TV
Original releaseJanuary 17 – April 9, 2005. [1]
Preceded byPremiere
Followed by The Ultimate Fighter 2

The debut season of The Ultimate Fighter (later designated The Ultimate Fighter 1) premiered on January 17, 2005. Sixteen mixed martial arts fighters (eight Light Heavyweights weighing from 186 to 205 lbs and eight Middleweights weighing from 171 to 185 lbs) were invited to participate in the show where they would reside together and train in two separate teams coached by UFC Light Heavyweight fighters Chuck Liddell and Randy Couture. The teams would compete in physical challenges, segments hosted by singer Willa Ford, to determine which team would have the right to pair one of their own fighters against an opponent of their choice in the same weight class, with the loser being eliminated.

<i>The Ultimate Fighter</i> American reality series and MMA competition

The Ultimate Fighter is an American reality television series and mixed martial arts (MMA) competition produced by Fox Sports 1 and the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). It previously aired for fourteen seasons on Spike TV. The show features professional MMA fighters living together in Las Vegas, Nevada, and follows them as they train and compete against each other for a prized contract with the UFC. The series debuted on January 17, 2005, with its first episode, "The Quest Begins". To date, there have been twenty seven seasons of the show, two per calendar year. Each season features either one or two weight classes in the tournament.

Mixed martial arts full contact combat sport

Mixed martial arts (MMA) is a full-contact combat sport that allows striking and grappling, both standing and on the ground, using techniques from various combat sports and martial arts. The first documented use of the term mixed martial arts was in a review of UFC 1 by television critic Howard Rosenberg in 1993. The term gained popularity when, then one of the largest websites covering the sport, hosted and republished the article. The question of who actually coined the term is subject to debate.

Middleweight is a weight class in combat sports.


The finale was broadcast live on April 9, 2005, where the two finalists in each weight class faced off for a contract with the UFC. It was the first ever live UFC broadcast on non-pay-per-view television, and it drew a very impressive 1.9 overall rating. The series was also broadcast in the UK in the spring of 2005 on Bravo. A 5-disc DVD set of "The Ultimate Fighter" was released on November 1, 2005.

Ultimate Fighting Championship mixed martial arts promotion

The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is an American mixed martial arts promotion company based in Las Vegas, Nevada, that is owned and operated by parent company William Morris Endeavor. It is the largest MMA promotion company in the world and features the highest-level fighters on the roster. The UFC produces events worldwide that showcase twelve weight divisions and abide by the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts. As of 2018, the UFC has held over 400 events. Dana White serves as the president of the UFC. White has held that position since 2001; while under his stewardship, the UFC has grown into a globally popular multi-billion-dollar enterprise.

United Kingdom Country in Europe

The United Kingdom, officially the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland but more commonly known as the UK or Britain, is a sovereign country lying off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state‍—‌the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi), the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world. It is also the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.




Listed as originally assigned.

Bobby Southworth is an American mixed martial artist fighting in the Light-Heavyweight division.

Samuel Earl Hoger is an American mixed martial artist, Poker player, and an actor, most notable for appearing on the first season of The Ultimate Fighter, a reality television series produced by the Ultimate Fighting Championship and broadcast on Spike TV Hoger has trained with Miletich Fighting Systems in Bettendorf, Iowa and is belted in the Miletich Fighting Systems. Hoger is currently teaching and training out of Hoger Mixed Martial Arts in Houston, TX.

Forrest Griffin American UFC Hall of Famer, the first The Ultimate Fighter winner and mixed martial arts fighter and

Forrest Griffin is an American retired mixed martial artist and a UFC Hall of Famer. Since 2005, he has been signed to the Ultimate Fighting Championship where he is a former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion. Griffin, a former Georgia police officer, first rose to prominence after winning the first season of The Ultimate Fighter. In the tournament finals, he fought and defeated Stephan Bonnar in Forrest Griffin vs. Stephan Bonnar, which is widely credited as sparking the current success of the UFC. He went on to serve as a coach on The Ultimate Fighter 7 opposite Quinton Jackson.



Episode 1: "The Quest Begins" (original airdate: 17 January 2005)

Willa Ford American actor, model, singer, composer, dancer and musician

Amanda Lee Williford, known by her stage name Willa Ford, is an American singer, songwriter, dancer, model, television personality and film actress. She released her debut album, Willa Was Here, in 2001. Ford also has appeared in movies such as Friday the 13th (2009), hosted several reality television shows, posed for Playboy and competed on ABC's Dancing with the Stars.

Episode 2: "Team Challenges" (original airdate: 24 January 2005)

Episode 3: "Making Weight" (original airdate: 31 January 2005)

Episode 4: "On The Ropes" (original airdate: 7 February 2005)

Episode 5: "Un-Caged" (original airdate: 14 February 2005)

Episode 6: "The Fight Is On" (original airdate: 21 February 2005)

Episode 7: "Ground And Pound" (original airdate: 28 February 2005)

Episode 8: "Sprawl N Brawl" (original airdate: 7 March 2005)

Episode 9: "Low Blow" (original airdate: 14 March 2005)

Episode 10: "Middleweight Semi-Final #1" (original airdate: 21 March 2005)

Episode 11: "Middleweight Semi-Final #2" (original airdate: 28 March 2005)

Episode 12: "Light Heavyweight Semi-Finals" (original airdate: 4 April 2005)

Light Heavyweight Bracket

     Sam Hoger2
    Forrest GriffinTKO
    Forrest GriffinUD
     Stephan Bonnar3
    Stephan BonnarSUB
     Mike Swick1

Middleweight Bracket

     Josh Koscheck3
    Diego SanchezSD
    Diego SanchezTKO
     Kenny Florian1
    Kenny FlorianTKO
     Chris Leben*2

* Nate Quarry was slated to fight Florian but an injury forced him to be replaced by Leben.


 Team Liddell
 Team Couture
 Unanimous Decision
 Split Decision
 Technical Knockout

The Ultimate Fighter 1 Finale

The Ultimate Fighter: Team Couture vs. Team Liddell Finale
TUF 1 Finale Poster - Fitness Philippines.jpg
The poster for The Ultimate Fighter: Team Couture vs. Team Liddell Finale.
Promotion Ultimate Fighting Championship
DateApril 9, 2005
Venue Cox Pavilion
City Las Vegas, Nevada
Event chronology
UFC 51: Super Saturday The Ultimate Fighter: Team Couture vs. Team Liddell Finale UFC 52: Couture vs Liddell 2

The Ultimate Fighter: Team Couture vs. Team Liddell Finale (also known as The Ultimate Fighter 1 Finale) was a mixed martial arts event held by the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) on April 9, 2005. [2] Featured were the finals from The Ultimate Fighter 1 in both the Middleweight and Light Heavyweight divisions.

Even though the main attraction of the event was Rich Franklin vs the UFC Hall of Famer Ken Shamrock, the spotlight was stolen by the light heavyweight finale between Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar. Hailed as one of the greatest fights in MMA history by many, Forrest and Stephan produced a 3-round stand-up war that went the distance. Although Forrest Griffin would take the decision, both fighters were given UFC contracts for their amazing performance.

Originally, Tito Ortiz was offered to fight Ken Shamrock in a rematch at this event. However, Ortiz left the UFC shortly after UFC 51 due to contract disputes.

Forrest Griffin vs. Stephan Bonnar fight

Even though both Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar had good records at the time (Griffin 9–2, Bonnar 7–1), many were expecting this fight to be nothing more than filler before the main event between UFC legend Ken Shamrock and rising superstar Rich Franklin.

Both fighters had rough, controversial, and impressive wins to make it to the finale. In their first fights, Forrest defeated Alex Schoenauer by TKO but suffered what appeared to be a serious cut above his eye; Stephan earned a controversial decision win over seasonal favorite Bobby Southworth. In the semi-finals, both fighters finished their opponents with Forrest defeating teammate Sam Hoger by TKO and Stephan defeating teammate Mike Swick by Submission.

Many fans expected a standard fight between 2 contrasting fighting styles—Forrest using his striking against Stephan's jiu-jitsu. Instead, many in attendance were surprised that Stephan chose to stand and strike with Forrest. For three rounds, they brought the crowd to their feet in raucous applause as they battled in a non-stop, knock-down, legendary battle. To many critics and fans, this fight showed the true heart of not only UFC fighters but of all who participate and appreciate MMA.

UFC President Dana White credits this fight as being the driving force behind the future success of the UFC, often stating that it was due to the fight that Spike TV offered them a second season of the show. In reality the second season had already been confirmed (and was in the casting stages) prior to the fight. In 2013 both Griffin and Bonnar were inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame, and whilst Griffin went on to win the UFC Light Heavyweight title, this fight is still considered the highlight of both fighters' careers.


Main Card
Weight classMethodRoundTimeNotes
Light Heavyweight Rich Franklin def. Ken Shamrock TKO (punches)12:42
Light Heavyweight Forrest Griffin def. Stephan Bonnar Decision (unanimous)35:00 [lower-alpha 1]
Middleweight Diego Sanchez def. Kenny Florian TKO (punches)12:49 [lower-alpha 2]
Preliminary card
Light Heavyweight Sam Hoger def. Bobby Southworth Decision (unanimous)35:00
Middleweight Chris Leben def.Jason ThackerTKO (punches)11:35
Middleweight Josh Koscheck def. Chris Sanford KO (punch)14:21
Middleweight Nate Quarry def. Lodune Sincaid TKO (punches)13:17
Middleweight Mike Swick def.Alex SchoenauerKO (punch)10:20
Welterweight Alex Karalexis def.Josh RaffertyTKO (punches)11:40
  1. Griffin wins by unanimous decision (29–28, 29–28, 29–28) in what is described as one of the best fights in the history of the UFC. He wins the first Ultimate Fighter Championship in the Light Heavyweight division, but Dana White grants Bonnar a UFC contract as well after his performance (see Forrest Griffin vs. Stephan Bonnar).
  2. Sanchez becomes the first Middleweight winner of The Ultimate Fighter.

Coaches' Fight

UFC 52: Couture vs. Liddell 2 was held on April 16, 2005 in Paradise, Nevada.

Main Card
Weight classMethodRoundTimeNotes
Light Heavyweight Chuck Liddell def. Randy Couture (c)KO (punches)12:06 [lower-alpha 1]

See also

pay outs ken shamrock 75,000

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  1. List of episodes with original air dates for The Ultimate fighter
  2. "Ultimate Fighter I Finale". Retrieved 2009-03-05.