During Season 8 of The Ultimate Fighter
, both the UFC and Spike TV were criticized in some quarters for showing the men who lived in the house getting drunk, assaulting each other and doing disgusting things with bodily fluids. But Season 9, which concludes Saturday night with the Ultimate Fighter Finale, was not like that at all.
On a call today to promote the Finale, all four finalists -- Ross Pearson, Andre Winner, DeMarques Johnson and James Wilks -- agreed that everything was just fine in the house. And Pearson, Winner and Wilks, all of whom are British, added that the show accurately reflected the camaraderie of the fighters on Team UK.
"We all jelled really well," said Pearson, who will fight Winner in Saturday's lightweight final. "We all got along really well. I think the show represents me pretty well. We all got along, we trained really hard, we were there to fight. We weren't there to be TV stars, we were there to win a contract with the UFC."
Winner and Wilks reflected those comments, saying they all genuinely liked each other and wanted their actions on the show to reflect well on themselves and on mixed martial arts.
And even Johnson, who was portrayed at times as a brash, angry fighter, said he thinks there were only a couple of moments in his weeks of living in the Ultimate Fighter house when he really had a problem with anyone.
"I think a little of that was editing," Johnson said of the times when the cameras showed him seeming to denigrate his opponents in the Octagon. "Most of it was just the spirit of the competition. The person I am in the middle of a competition is not an indicator of who I am as a regular person. Everything that was said was said, but I'm definitely not that angry, nor that brash."
Winner said this year's season didn't have any Junie Browning
"I thought the show represented us well," Winner said. "For me, personally, I got along with everybody."