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Preview Image for UFC: The Ultimate Fighter - Season 5 (5 Discs) (UK)
UFC: The Ultimate Fighter - Season 5 (5 Discs) (UK) (DVD Details)

Unique ID Code: 0000102411
Added by: Brian Elliott
Added on: 13/4/2008 00:23
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    UFC: The Ultimate Fighter - Season Five

    8 / 10

    The fifth season of The Ultimate Fighter reality TV show saw coaches BJ Penn and Jens Pulver - bitter rivals following Pulver's defeat of Penn in 2002 - take the centre stage moreso than their trainees. For the live Ultimate Fighter Finale event, to be held after the airing of the last episode, would not only see an Ultimate Fighter crowned, but it would also see a rematch between the two coaches.

    The main difference between this and the previous seasons, was that instead of two weight classes entering the competition, on this occasion there would be just one, the Lightweights (155lbs). That division, by far, has produced the most exciting fights in recent UFC times, with competitors such as Tyson Griffin, Clay Guida, Roger Huerta, and Kenny Florian (the latter being an Ultimate Fighter veteran) leading the way in the match quality stakes.

    But as has occurred previously on The Ultimate Fighter, the competitors here split into two teams, with Penn and Pulver picking the match-ups that would eventually lead to one competitor being crowned the competition winner.

    Filming for this season began in January 2007, and the show aired in the US (on Spike TV) and the UK (on Bravo) between April and June of the same year.

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    Video is presented in 4:3 fullscreen PAL, and is very good for a DVD of this genre. The cameras capture all of events, in and out of the house, very well indeed. The editing of the show is smooth, but not sickeningly so, meaning that unlike so many other taped "reality" shows, this does not feel contrived.

    The transfer to DVD is excellent, and looks exactly as you would expect from a television show in 2008.

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    Audio is presented in Dolby Digital 2.0, and is also very good for a DVD of this genre. Dialogue is usually very clear indeed, and when it is not, subtitles are provided.

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    There are some very nice extras available here, in particular the profiles of three of the season's most notable fighters, as well as coaches BJ Penn and Jens Pulver. There is some cutting-room floor footage used for the profiles, along with narration by Dana White. Each does an excellent job of making the viewer interested in seeing the fighter compete.

    White is also on narration duty for the deleted scenes package, which features some poignant moments from the show that didn't make the cut, as well as some genuinely hilarious moments, too. That could also be said of the audition interviews that are available here, with several fighters going out of their way to stand out, hoping to be picked to star on the show.

    There is also some behind the scenes footage from prior to the Ultimate Fighter finale, showing the fighters as they prepare for the live show. This is very much like akin to the UFC event documentaries, that are available on their regular releases. We get lots of interview comments from the fighters, and we see them preparing for the weigh-ins (cutting weight) and the bouts themselves. Post-match, there's also a look back into the dressing room, with some clearly more pleased than others.

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    The fifth season of The Ultimate Fighter was another great one. If you've been following the program for some time, you know what you're getting. If you haven't, on offer are big personality clashes, competitive spirits running wild, and young guys with perhaps too much testosterone. And some great fights to let all of that hang out.

    There were several intriguing stories that came up through this series of the show, and that's not to count the rivalry between the coaches. There was Gabe Ruediger, who entered the house overweight, and seemed intent on playing "mind games" with several of the other participants, before ultimately having his strategy backfire on him. There was Penn's strong dislike of Andy Wang, caused by Wang's tactics in his first bout, which led to Penn refusing to work with him. Perhaps the biggest story was that of the unsanctioned fight that takes place during Episode 8, which has serious consequences for those involved.

    After twelve episodes of what was an often-enthralling series, the Ultimate Fighter finale is naturally included here. There are some very entertaining bouts on hand, even if the top two bouts (the Ultimate Fighter final and Penn vs Pulver) didn't quite, for various reasons, live up to expectation.

    Overall, The Ultimate Fighter 5 is essential viewing for UFC fans, and also for reality TV enthusiasts. That said, it is not typical of reality shows, in that there is a sporting competition taking place, so it's appeal should stretch to sports fans, too.

    Although purists don't always like to admit it, there is always an element of pure entertainment involved, when UFC comes to town. The Ultimate Fighter 5 is a perfect reminder of just how entertaining the company can be.

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