We do our best to try and deny it, but the worlds of professional fighting and professional wrestling (or sports entertainment as they like to call it), have more in common than MMA fans would like to admit.

While the smaller shows have some minor similarities, (low wages, preparation for a future in the big leagues, etc.) the comparison grows as the promotions get bigger, and the UFC and WWE are close enough in nature that some feel that they are in direct competition with one another for viewers and PPV buys.

Vince McMahon and Dana White have maintained a mutual respect for one another throughout the UFC’s growth into a pseudo competitor for McMahon’s WWE, but with worldwide interest in MMA hitting new levels over the last few years, it seems like McMahon is starting to feel a bit threatened by the world’s premier MMA organization.

WWE has been making some serious moves to try and push its product over the top, (most notably its attempts to get a WWE Network off the ground), but its first real breakthrough in quite a while is the recent deal with Hulu.

The promotion had been giving its flagship shows RAW and Smackdown to Hulu viewers under the streaming service’s free programming for a while, with shows like Superstars and NXT being featured on the channel as well, but under the new deal all shows are added the day after their original air date and will be added to the Hulu Plus section for subscribers only.

This is a brilliant move by McMahon and the WWE, as it keeps their product on a well-known website for fans to view online and also allows the WWE to cut down on fans without cable that elect to watch the shows online a few days late.

While this is designed to help the WWE get its product in the spotlight and hopefully attract new fans, the UFC could use a similar approach to try to breathe some new life into the quickly fading Ultimate Fighter series before Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen come on board early next year.

No matter how well it’s placing in terms of ratings on Friday nights, the UFC and FX have finally decided to pull the plug on their unsuccessful attempt to create MMA’s own Friday Night Fights, promising to move the show to a new night when it comes back for season 17 in 2013.

However, there is still over half of the current season left to air, and unless something dramatically changes the course of ratings, this is going to be the worst season of TUF by a pretty sizable number.

This is where Hulu should come in.

The UFC could use another outlet to show The Ultimate Fighter, and with its target audience (young males) electing to go out on Friday nights instead of staying in and watching the show, the online option makes a ton of sense.

The show currently does have a website, but episodes don’t make it online for at least a week after they originally air.

If Zuffa was able to get the latest episode of TUF on Hulu by the following Monday, it could give some of the viewers that decided to pass on last week’s episode a chance to catch up.

It’s a bit of a long shot, but at this point the show needs all the help it can get, and at the very least, the UFC will get more eyes on its product.

It may not do much to save this season of the show, which is now basically serving as a holdover until the real entertainment comes next year, but it could remind fans that the show still exists before it switches to a new night.

Photo: the UFC Octagon (Paul Thatcher/Fight! Magazine)

About The Author

Vince Carey
Staff Writer

Vince Carey has been writing about the sport of mixed martial arts since 2010. Although he is just 21 years old, the Omaha-based writer is looking to provide readers with interesting content on all things related to MMA.