TUF will return to a taped format for its next season, UFC President Dana White told Yahoo! Sports on Tuesday.
The show will remain on Friday at 10 p.m. ET on FX, though White said if "this next season isn't up to the standards I expect, they promised me we can move it to Tuesday or Wednesday... But this season was a smash hit home run for them."
He said casting for Season 16 would begin in three weeks and will debut in September. Season 2 on FX will feature welterweight fighters. White said he still had not determined who the coaches will be.
When Fox struck a deal last August with the UFC, it wanted to put "The Ultimate Fighter" on FX. The only open slot, though, was on Friday night, which is generally regarded as the worst ratings night.
According to FX spokesman Dominic Pagone, TUF was the second-most watched series on basic cable on Friday nights among men 18-34 and 18-49, trailing only ESPN. Pagone said among men 18-49, FX's ratings with "The Ultimate Fighter" improved 141 percent year-over-year.
White said that the perception that TUF was drawing poorly on FX was because Spike executives were leaking ratings to MMA web sites and presenting them in a misleading way.
He said Spike also tried to create confusion in the marketplace by running reruns of TUF programming against the live show on FX.
"At that point, a lot of the big promotional platforms that are within the company are on hiatus," said Chuck Saftler, the executive vice president of FX. "The NFL wasn't there. MLB wasn't there. "Sons of Anarchy," "American Horror Story," "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia," which are all big promotional horses within the Fox and FX world, were all being rested."
"Considering that we launched when we launched without those promotional platforms, I'm really happy with where we are."