The Ultimate Fighter 4 was the fourth season of the mixed martial arts reality television series The Ultimate Fighter. It premiered on August 17, 2006, immediately after the conclusion of UFC Fight Night 6. The finale was aired on November 11, 2006.
This series featured a change from the usual Ultimate Fighter format. Instead of UFC hopefuls, the cast was composed of fighters that had fought in the UFC but had yet to win a UFC title. The winners in the middleweight and welterweight divisions earned a UFC title shot in their division and a $100,000 purse, along with a $100,000 sponsorship deal with Xyience. Instead of coaches, prominent trainers and UFC fighters acted as advisors. Randy Couture, Georges St. Pierre, Marc Laimon, the grappling instructor from seasons 1 and 2, and Mark DellaGrotte, Kenny Florian’s kickboxing trainer, were the advisors. The cast still lived in seclusion in the Las Vegas house.
The rules were the same as in The Ultimate Fighter 3, where preliminary round matches were two rounds with a sudden victory round in case of a tie, and all fighters had to win a preliminary match before advancing to the semi-final round. The team that had won the last match decided the next match, with a coin toss deciding which team set the first matchup.
The winners of each division were scheduled to have their title shot during the first half of 2007. Matt Serra defeated Georges St. Pierre for the UFC Welterweight Championship, while Lutter lost to Anderson Silva in a non-title bout. The bout was originally to be for Silva’s UFC Middleweight Championship; however, the bout was changed to a non-title fight when Lutter failed to make weight.
Principal filming began on May 21, 2006.
Coaches and Trainers:
Randy Couture, UFC Hall of Famer
Georges St. Pierre, UFC Welterweight Champion, guest trainer
Mark DellaGrotte, Muay Thai/kickboxing coach
Marc Laimon, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu coach
Rich Franklin, UFC Middleweight Champion, guest trainer
Chuck Liddell, UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, Hall of Famer, guest trainer
Matt Hughes, UFC Welterweight Champion, guest trainer
Team No Love
A. Middleweight: Travis Lutter, Charles McCarthy, Gideon Ray, Jorge Rivera
B. Welterweights: Rich Clementi, Mikey Burnett, Jeremy Jackson, Pete Spratt
A. Middleweights: Pete Sell, Scott Smith, Patrick Cote, Edwin Dewees
B. Welterweights: Shonie Carter, Chris Lytle, Matt Serra, Din Thomas
Dana White (Host)
Mike Rowe (Narrator)
Episode 1: The Comeback Begins
- The fighters are introduced and each fighter picks a colored jersey from a bin to decide teams. The teams also name themselves, Team Mojo in gray jerseys and Team No Love in blue.
- Matt Serra begins to emerge as Team Mojo’s unofficial captain.
- Team No Love wins the coin toss and decides the first matchup. They pick Rich Clementi to fight against Shonie Carter.
- With assistance from Serra as cornerman, Carter defeats Clementi at the end of two rounds, via a unanimous decision. Team Mojo gains control of matchups.
Episode 2: Blood Bath
- Dana White announces that eliminated fighters will not leave the show, thus Clementi will continue to live and train with the cast and be available as a replacement should someone drop out of the competition.
- Team Mojo plans a matchup strategy at a secret firepit meeting outside the house. Notes on the plan, jotted by Shonie Carter, were left on the kitchen counter and discovered by members of Team Mojo. It is not known if Team No Love ever discovered the notes.
- Team Mojo selects Edwin Dewees to fight Gideon Ray for the first Middleweight matchup. In an extremely bloody match, Ray opens up a gash in Dewees’ forehead with an elbow in the second round. The match was ruled a draw after the second round, prompting a third “sudden victory” round. Dewees, with blood dripping profusely from the cut, wins a unanimous decision after winning the third round. Team Mojo retains matchup control.
Episode 3: Passing Guard
- The fighters watch UFC 60: Hughes vs. Gracie with Georges St. Pierre. Serra, who trained with the Gracies, is surprised with the ease of which Matt Hughes was able to defeat Royce Gracie, and says he will always regard Gracie as a legend in the sport. Serra becomes perturbed when grappling coach Marc Laimon questions Gracie’s significance to the sport.
- Thinking that he will be picked to fight, Jeremy Jackson begins training in preparation for a fight that he believes will happen between himself and Chris Lytle after an apparent admission by Din Thomas at a dinner table conversation.
- For the Welterweight bout selection, Team Mojo instead selects Pete Spratt from Team No Love to fight Chris Lytle. In the fight, Lytle defeats Spratt by submission (guillotine choke) at 2:03 of the first round. Team Mojo retains matchup control.
Episode 4: The Funk
- Pete Sell and Scott Smith come down with a rash that was diagnosed later as a staph infection, which White insists was something one of the fighters brought with them and was not at the facility already. The infection soon spreads to about half of the residents at the house.
- Jeremy Jackson is expelled from the house after leaving the house without permission. He met a female lifeguard when his team took a day to work out at the local YMCA, and asked her to meet with him. He tried to sneak out of the house, but the cameras were able to film him jumping the fence. White comes to the house the next day and personally announces his expulsion.
- Due to their other Middleweights still suffering from staph, Team Mojo picks Smith to fight, and have matched him with Travis Lutter. Lutter defeats Smith at 1:13 of the first round by submission (rear naked choke), and Team No Love wins their first match and regains control of matchups.
Episode 5: Flip-A-Coin
- To replace the newly-evicted Jeremy Jackson, Team No Love decides to flip a coin to decide which eliminated Welterweight, Spratt or Clementi, should replace Jackson. Jorge Rivera’s coin toss allows Spratt to take Jackson’s place, although Spratt initially felt Clementi may have been more deserving of the spot. Spratt takes the spot eventually after some deliberation.
- Shonie Carter is starting to grate on the nerves of the members of the house, especially members of Team No Love, with his late-night antics and “art projects”. Carter does not deny he is being deliberately annoying.
- With control over the match selection process, Team No Love chooses Mikey Burnett to fight Team Mojo’s Din Thomas, who was still suffering with staph. Thomas, who confides his staph is under control through medication, defeats Burnett by a submission (triangle choke) at 2:30 of the first round; Thomas clinches a spot in the semi-finals and matchup control returns to Team Mojo.
Episode 6: Captain Miserable
- Charles McCarthy’s generally depressive attitude earns the ire of his housemates, who nicknamed him “Captain Miserable.”
- Jorge Rivera’s girlfriend gives birth to a baby girl, and Randy Couture personally visits the house to show videos of the birth to Rivera.
- Rich Franklin, former (then current) UFC Middleweight Champion, visits Las Vegas and is a guest trainer for a week. There is a bit of discomfort that one of the Middleweights in the cast could conceivably challenge him for the title, but the cast is very complementary toward him and his recent victory over David Loiseau.
- Team Mojo picks Pete Sell to fight Charles McCarthy; with the remaining Middleweight matchup will be Jorge Rivera against Patrick Cote. In a three-round match, Sell won the match by a unanimous decision; the sudden victory round was scored 10-9 by all judges.
Episode 7: Drop to a Knee
- Rich Franklin’s welcome is worn, as he criticizes the fighters for their languid approach to cardio training and mistrust between him and the Middleweights keeps them from training with him. The general consensus is that Franklin is here to spy on the Middleweights, while Franklin believes he was brought in to stir some conflict among the Middleweights. Franklin also gives some questionable advice to Matt Serra, that to avoid the stand-up game he should drop to one knee at the beginning of the round, which would prohibit kicks as he would technically be a downed opponent. Everyone thinks of it as a joke while Franklin seems to be sincere with his suggestion.
- Matt Serra defeats Pete Spratt via submission due to strikes at 3:26 of the first round. Serra advances to the semi-finals.
Episode 8: True Colors
- Shonie Carter trains with Team No Love for a day, which he decided to do unilaterally. In the process he angers both teams.
- Chuck Liddell, at the time the UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, visits the cast as a guest trainer for a week.
- Patrick Cote defeats Jorge Rivera via a unanimous decision after two rounds in the final elimination round match.
Episode 9: Semi-Final Match-Ups
- Matt Hughes, concurrent UFC Welterweight Champion, arrives unannounced as a guest trainer. Georges St. Pierre decides to leave practice for a time while Hughes is here since he is scheduled for a title fight with him in the future, which Hughes ribs St. Pierre about later. Hughes also rubs some of the fighters the wrong way.
- The remaining fighters are interviewed by Dana White and the trainers to determine semi-final matchups. After the interviews, they decide that for the Welterweights they will pair Din Thomas vs. Chris Lytle and Shonie Carter vs. Matt Serra, and for the Middleweights they will pair Edwin Dewees vs. Patrick Cote and Travis Lutter vs. Pete Sell.
- In the first Welterweight semi-final, Chris Lytle defeats Din Thomas by a unanimous decision. Incidentally, both fighters were main training partners for each other, yet accepted the fight and continued to train together after matchups were made. The timekeeper committed an error in the first round, adding an extra minute to what ordinarily is a five-minute round.
Episode 10: Carter vs. Serra
- Tensions come to head between Matt Serra and Marc Laimon when they have an open shouting match during training, with Serra chastising Laimon for his disrespectful attitude in general and especially toward the Gracies. He objected to Laimon’s remarks about Royce Gracie, and how he lost to Matt Hughes at UFC 60.
- Jorge Rivera dons a clown’s wig and nose, and a pair of speedos, and dubs himself “Phony Carter”. No reaction from Shonie, as Rivera intends for Shonie to learn of his parody when the show airs.
- In the last Welterweight semi-final, Matt Serra defeats Shonie Carter by a unanimous decision. Ironically, Carter asked Clementi to be his corner. Serra advances to the finals and faces Chris Lytle.
Episode 11: Lutter vs. Sell
- Pete Sell trains with Chuck Liddell for his upcoming fight with Travis Lutter. Lutter, the only fighter from Team No Love in the semi-finals, finds himself deprived of training partners, and approaches coach Mark DellaGrotte for training and preparation.
- Boredom overcomes the house as the fighters now eliminated starts a food fight in the house. Mikey Burnett also tries to ram through a wall with a running start, which he only succeeded in denting the wall.
- Sell and Lutter meet in the first Middleweight semi-final match. Lutter dominates most of the fight, achieving takedowns in all three rounds and using elbows and submission attempts to stifle Sell’s offense. Lutter wins a unanimous decision, and advances to the finals.
Episode 12: Cote vs. Dewees
- Boredom continues and a few of the cast begin to play practical jokes on one another, especially on Charles McCarthy, who has drawn ire for eating other people’s food.
- Mikey Burnett is informed that he will need neck surgery in order to continue fighting. He is indecisive about whether he wants to continue fighting or pursue something else. He eventually decides to opt for surgery, and will not be able to fight for a year or so.
- Patrick Cote fights Edwin Dewees in the final Middleweight fight of the season. Cote dominates the entire fight, landing some hard punches and scoring points with takedowns. Cote wins 30-27 on all three judges’ score cards for the unanimous decision.
- The fighters each talk about what they want to do after the show. All say that they gained some good experience from the time in the house, except for Charles McCarthy, who said that it was difficult for anyone with “depth to their character” to enjoy such a situation.
- Middleweight bout: Travis Lutter vs. Patrick Cote. Lutter wins by submission (armbar) at 2:18 of the first round. Lutter wins TUF 4 in the Middleweight Division and a title shot against Anderson Silva at UFC 67.
- Welterweight bout: Matt Serra vs. Chris Lytle. Serra wins by split decision. Serra wins TUF 4 in the Welterweight Division and a title shot against Georges St. Pierre at UFC 69.
Disclaimer: All season recaps of The Ultimate Fighter are re-formatted copies of content from Wikipedia.