The first time The Ultimate Fighter devoted a season to giving fighters a second chance, we ended up with Matt Serra winning the show and eventually TKO’d Georges St. Pierre to become the welterweight champ. Such a story was unlikely for TUF 25, which brought a bunch of TUFers back for another run without the promise of a title shot at the end. But man, the redemption angle… that played out in the biggest way possible.
Back at TUF 7, Jesse Taylor made it all the way to the finals, and was on the cusp of winning the whole shebang, but infamously got too drunk and out of control in celebration (note: don’t kick windows out of limos, it’s bad form). As a result, Dana White gave him the boot.
Fast-forward to TUF 25, where fighters like Tom Gallicchio made the most of their second chance (Gallicchio submitted past TUF winner Eddie Gordon, and won some more). However, no one’s journey compares to that of Taylor, who beat everyone – including James Krause, who entered the TUF House already on the UFC roster. Now Taylor gets to fight for top TUF honors, and finally live down that black mark that’s been hanging over his career since his ill-fated night of partying at TUF 7.
That’s a hell of a story right there, folks. Tune in to the TUF Finale on Friday to see Taylor and Dhiego Lima determine how it plays out.