The Ultimate Fighter: Australia vs. UK marks the first local commissioning by new channel FX.
To be dubbed “The Smashes” as a play on “The Ashes,” the series will be produced by activeTV (The Amazing Race Australia)
The series will feature mixed martial artists from Australia and the UK competing to secure a contract with mixed martial arts (MMA) organisation.
Karin Simoncini, Managing Director of FIC, said: “Filmed in Australia, The Smashes is the first series produced by FX since launching earlier this year and viewers can expect a knockout show as the nation’s best MMA talent fight their way to the top, facing tension and drama at every turn.
“Given FX is the UFC’s broadcast partner of the show in the US, it was a natural step for us to align The Ultimate Fighter brand with the local FX programming line-up.
“We’re very pleased to be working with the UFC to deliver a series that will allow audiences to join the world’s next professional MMA athlete on their journey to becoming a household name.”
Athletes from around the nation are currently being whittled down to the final line-up who will compete on behalf of Australia against a contingent from the United Kingdom. Each team will be coached by a star UFC fighter from their country of origin. The winner of the series will secure a prized contract with the UFC.
The Smashes marks the second international edition of The Ultimate Fighter franchise. The first, currently airing in Brazil, brought in record viewership numbers, recording 12 million viewers for the premiere episode and attesting to the successful global expansion of the series. It is also the second time in TUF’s seven-year history that teams will represent their country of origin, the first taking place in 2009, during the ninth series, as Team USA took on Team UK.
Marshall Zelaznik, Managing Director of International Development for the UFC, said: “We’re excited to be part of the FX family in Australia. When the first series of The Ultimate Fighter debuted in the United States seven years ago, it brought in millions of new fans who tuned in each and every week to watch their favourite fighters. I have no doubt that The Smashes will do the same in Australia. We’re looking forward to working with FX to take the UFC to new heights and new audiences in this country.”
The series, The Ultimate Fighter, which debuted in 2005, is the longest running and most successful sports reality shows in the United States, and has been a springboard for some of the UFC’s most renowned fighters. Two of Australia’s best UFC talents, George Sotiropoulos and Kyle Noke, broke into the UFC via The Ultimate Fighter. Geelong’s George Sotiropoulos was featured in Season 6, eventually making the semifinals, while Dubbo’s Kyle Noke made it through to the quarterfinals in Season 11.