While The Ultimate Fighter is an American reality television series and mixed martial arts (MMA) competition produced by Fox Sports 1 and the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), the culture around MMA was already there but has grown exponentially because of it. Fans can't get enough as evidence of major television networks airing season after season of MMA themed shows and their variants ...sometimes creating and airing two action-packed season per year. The viewer's insatiable appetite for competitive, trash-talking, and bone-crunching action is not slowing down any time soon.
As superbly showcased in Wikipedia's page: "The historic Forrest Griffin vs. Stephan Bonnar fight in the first season drew millions of viewers to the The Ultimate Fighter show and launched the sport into the mainstream. Because of this success, The Ultimate Fighter was regarded as instrumental to the survival and expansion of the UFC and mixed martial arts into the mainstream."
For the unaware, Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighting styles can be a mixture of any combative discipline, but some of the prominent types of MMA fighting styles that have helped make it what it is today include:
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. The guard position and many of the various submission holds, including joint locks, chokes, and compression locks, come from Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Collegiate wrestling. Clinches and takedowns entered the MMA repertoire thanks to collegiate wrestling.
Judo. The hip toss and other throws are judo’s gift to MMA.
Muay Thai. Kicks, as well as knee-and-elbow moves, in MMA are attributed to Muay Thai. Muay Thai is referred to as “The Art of Eight Limbs,” as the hands, shins, elbows and knees are all used extensively.
Submission wrestling. Position flows and submission combinations, such as the head and arm hold and various mounts, come from submission wrestling.
Western boxing. The strikes used in MMA (jab, uppercut, cross, and hook) may look familiar if you’ve ever watched a traditional western boxing match.
...excellent crash-course definitions by Mixed Marshal Arts for Dummies :)
It's also very important to note that mixed martial arts is the sport NOT the UFC. Mixed Martial Arts is the name of the sport. The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is the name of the most recognizable and arguably top doggy organization. Akin to football being the sport, but the NFL being the name most people associate with it.
So there you have it, a quick shareable smack down, giving you, Ultimate Fighter/MMA fans, and the silent inquisitive types, something to be proud of!