|The Ultimate Fighter 1: Team Liddell vs. Team Couture|
|Created by||Craig Piligian, Frank Fertitta III, Lorenzo Fertitta, Dana White|
|Starring||Dana White, Chuck Liddell and Randy Couture|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Running time||60 minutes|
|Original channel||Spike TV|
|Original run||January 17, 2005 – April 9, 2005 .|
|Followed by||The Ultimate Fighter 2|
The debut season of The Ultimate Fighter (later designated The Ultimate Fighter 1) premiered on January 17, 2005. Sixteen mixed martial arts fighters (eight Light Heavyweights weighing from 186 to 205 lbs and eight Middleweights weighing from 171 to 185 lbs) were invited to participate in the show where they would reside together and train in two separate teams coached by UFC Light Heavyweight fighters Chuck Liddell and Randy Couture. The teams would compete in physical challenges, segments hosted by singer Willa Ford, to determine which team would have the right to pair one of their own fighters against an opponent of their choice in the same weight class, with the loser being eliminated.
The finale was broadcast live on April 9, 2005, where the two finalists in each weight class faced off for a contract with the UFC. It was the first ever live UFC broadcast on non-pay-per-view television, and it drew a very impressive 1.9 overall rating. The series was also broadcast in the UK in the spring of 2005 on Bravo. A 5-disc DVD set of "The Ultimate Fighter" was released on November 1, 2005.
- Randy Couture, Team Couture coach
- Chuck Liddell, Team Liddell coach
- Marc Laimon, Grappling coach
- Ganyao Fairtex, Muay Thai coach
- Peter Welch, Boxing coach
- Listed as originally assigned.
- Light Heavyweights
Episode 1: "The Quest Begins" (original airdate: 17 January 2005)
- The 16 fighters are driven to the UFC Training Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, where they meet Willa Ford, Dana White, and the coaches, Randy Couture and Chuck Liddell.
- At the house, Chris Leben keeps on drinking and drinking, and starts to make fun of Jason Thacker, and give people nicknames.
- At 2:00 am, while Thacker is in the shower, Leben decides to urinate on his teammate's pillow, without him noticing.
- The fighters are woken up at 5:00 am by Couture and Liddell, and the first day of training proves too much for almost half of the fighters.
- During the Ju-Jitsu training, Nate Quarry cuts himself on his chin after landing a takedown.
- After the second day of training, Thacker talks to Couture and says that the training is too much for him, but Couture talks him into staying and trying to get the training done.
- On the 4th day, everyone is ready to spar, except for Thacker, because of the training, so Bobby Southworth and Lodune Sincaid decide to talk him into going with them, saying they need him and he is part of the team.
- While Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar are sparring, Griffin accidentally headbutts Bonnar, causing a need for stitches.
- Light Heavyweight and Middleweight teams are chosen by coaches Liddell and Couture. The first pick for Team Liddell is Southworth. The first pick for Team Couture is Quarry.
Episode 2: "Team Challenges" (original airdate: 24 January 2005)
- Diego Sanchez and Stephen Bonnar argue over asparagus, because Sanchez ate the asparagus heads and left the stalks in the fridge.
- Team Liddell wins the first Light Heavyweight Challenge.
- Later that night, Lodune Sincaid is making jokes about being homosexual, like dressing in dresses.
- Jason Thacker is sent home by Couture.
- Chris Leben and Sincaid continue to drink and starts to offend people. Later, a drunk Leben decides to hop the wall and find a pay phone to call someone, not mentioned.
- The next morning at practice, Couture finds out about the incident, and Leben and Sincaid apologize for their actions.
- Team Liddell wins the first Middleweight Challenge.
- Chris Sanford is sent home by Couture.
Episode 3: "Making Weight" (original airdate: 31 January 2005)
- Alex Schoenauer wins the Light Heavyweight challenge. Bobby Southworth comes in last and will be forced to fight in the elimination bout.
- Team Liddell chooses Southworth to fight Lodune Sincaid.
- Southworth has to cut 20 lb. in 24 hours, with the help of Josh Koscheck and Liddell, but he comes in at 208 lb, so the Nevada Athletic Commission gives Southworth 2 hours to cut 2 pounds, and he successfully makes it to 206 lb.
- Bobby Southworth defeats Lodune Sincaid by knockout at 0:12 of the second round.
Episode 4: "On The Ropes" (original airdate: 7 February 2005)
- Schoenauer is traded to Team Couture as part of a team re-balance.
- Team Liddell wins the Middleweight challenge and the opportunity to schedule the next fight.
- The blue team chooses Diego Sanchez to fight Alex Karalexis.
- Diego Sanchez defeats Alex Karalexis with a rear naked choke submission at 1:47 of the first round.
Episode 5: "Un-Caged" (original airdate: 14 February 2005)
- Nate Quarry injures his ankle after Couture lands on his ankle during a takedown in practice.
- White decides to allow the fighters to have a night out at the Hard Rock Cafe, and had a few drinks, and some of them get drunk.
- At 2:00 am, the fighters are drunk and continuing to drink, and Josh Rafferty says that there is no more alcohol in the house.
- By the pool, Chris Leben says something that makes Bobby Southworth mad, and then Southworth calls Leben a "fatherless bastard," which hurts Leben's feelings. Five minutes later, Southworth apologizes to Leben, but seems insincere.
- Leben decides to sleep outside to stay away from the other fighters.
- At 3:30 am, Josh Koscheck and Southworth continue to drink and then decide to pull a prank on Leben, by spraying water on the Team Couture member while he is sleeping. This wakes Leben, and causes him to go on a rampage by punching the front door window with his left hand, which cuts his knuckle skin off. Leben then punches Forrest Griffin's door in half, and Griffin later comments that there are pieces of the bedroom door in his bed.
- The next day, White tells Couture and Liddell what happened the previous night between Southworth, Koscheck, and Leben. The fighters are then brought in to explain what happened.
- White says that the only fair way to resolve the situation is for Koscheck and Leben to fight.
Episode 6: "The Fight Is On" (original airdate: 21 February 2005)
- As fallout from the previous episode, there is no challenge and White schedules the Middleweight fight between Leben and Koscheck.
- Josh Koscheck defeats Chris Leben by unanimous decision after two rounds.
Episode 7: "Ground And Pound" (original airdate: 28 February 2005)
- Josh Rafferty is traded to Team Couture in another team reshuffle.
- Team Couture wins the Light Heavyweight challenge.
- Stephan Bonnar defeats Bobby Southworth in a close split decision after 2 rounds.
Episode 8: "Sprawl N Brawl" (original airdate: 7 March 2005)
- After his fight with Stephen Bonnar, Bobby Southworth and White have a shouting match about Southworth's attitude and disrespectfulness.
- Nate Quarry is eliminated from the show due to his ankle injury. White asks Quarry to stay on as an assistant coach, and he agrees.
- Quarry gets to choose his replacement from the loser's lounge, and he chooses Chris Leben.
- Team Couture wins the middleweight challenge.
- Diego Sanchez defeats Josh Rafferty at 1:48 of the first round by rear naked choke.
Episode 9: "Low Blow" (original airdate: 14 March 2005)
- Kenny Florian is traded to Team Couture in another team reshuffle.
- Team Liddell wins the light heavyweight challenge.
- Sam Hoger is accused of stealing from the other competitors.
- Forrest Griffin defeats Alex Schoenauer by tap out due to strikes on the ground at 1:20 of the first round.
- During his fight with Schoenauer, Griffin receives a cut above his left eye that doctors think is possibly severe enough to prevent him from fighting again.
Episode 10: "Middleweight Semi-Final #1" (original airdate: 21 March 2005)
- Forrest Griffin has to choose a light-heavyweight fighter to come back into the house in the case he gets sent home. He chooses Bobby Southworth who is not given the chance to fight as Griffin is cleared.
- In the first middleweight semifinal match, Kenny Florian defeats Chris Leben at 3:11 of the second round after doctor stoppage due to opening up a cut above Leben's eye.
Episode 11: "Middleweight Semi-Final #2" (original airdate: 28 March 2005)
- In the second middleweight semifinal match, Diego Sanchez wins a split decision over Josh Koscheck after three rounds.
Episode 12: "Light Heavyweight Semi-Finals" (original airdate: 4 April 2005)
- Forrest Griffin defeats Sam Hoger by technical knock out at 1:05 of the second round.
- Stephan Bonnar defeats Mike Swick by triangle armbar at 4:58 of the first round.
Episode 13: The Ultimate Fighter 1 Finale (Original Air Date: 9 April 2005)
- Middleweight bout: Diego Sanchez vs Kenny Florian
Sanchez wins by technical knock out at 2:49 of the first round, winning the TUF championship in the middleweight division.
- Light Heavyweight bout: Forrest Griffin vs Stephan Bonnar
Griffin wins by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) in what is described as one of the best fights in the history of the UFC. He wins the TUF championship in the light heavyweight division, but White grants Bonnar a UFC contract as well after his performance (see Forrest Griffin vs. Stephan Bonnar).
Light Heavyweight Bracket