MMAjunkie.com Reveals the UFC’s Big Change for “The Ultimate Fighter 7″ Posted by MMA Junkie on January 30, 2008 at 10:35 am ET UFC President Dana White has promised a big surprise for the upcoming seventh season of “The Ultimate Fighter” — a major format change for the groundbreaking reality show — and MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has learned what it likely is. Although we will not release any fight results from the show (we never post fight spoilers), we will reveal a fairly significant change in the way this season works. According to a source close to the show, “The Ultimate Fighter 7” will start with 32 cast members — not the usual 16 — and every one of them will have to fight as soon as the show begins. The 16 winners earn a spot in the house, and the 16 losers are sent packing for home. Those fights will likely be televised at a breakneck speed, meaning the season’s first couple episodes should include 16 fights in total. That’s a far cry from past seasons of the reality series, when the first fight of the season sometimes didn’t take place until a second or even third episode. “The Ultimate Fighter 7” features UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton Jackson and season-one winner Forrest Griffin as coaches. The season features only middleweight (185-lb.) fighters and debuts April 2 on Spike TV. A stacked UFC Fight Night 13 event precedes the season premier of the show. The likely format change should be warmly received by critics of the show who complain that the series focuses more on the drama and in-house antics than it does training and the actual fights. Additionally, many of the show’s weaker cast members will likely be eliminated before they’re even technically a part of the cast, assuring that only the cream of the crop are in the house for the duration of the show. Unfortunately, we have no information on how the initial match-ups might be determined. To date, MMAjunkie.com has already revealed more than a dozen cast members. However, there will be more than a dozen more to come because of the show’s new format. For the latest news about “The Ultimate Fighter 7,” including a list of all the latest cast members confirmed by MMAjunkie.com, check out the UFC Rumors (www.mmajunkie.com/ufc-rumors) section of the site.