Iron Ring (BET) - Episode #1

The show is "Iron Ring." It debuts Tuesday on BET at 11 p.m. ET/PT and is sort of an IFL meets "The Ultimate Fighter," as the MMA team concept is pushed through with a reality TV angle of vying for roster spots.

The premise is fairly simple: Just bring in plenty of young and marginally experienced MMA fighters and let them compete for a spot on a team. Once on a team, they'll be coached by MMA veterans and, in a twist, their teams are "owned" by some of today's biggest rappers.

"Iron Ring" is the brainchild of former UFC players Campbell McLaren and David Isaacs, the same guys who marketed the early UFCs as a "two men enter, one man leaves" sort of affair. Now they are getting back in the mix by marrying MMA with the bravado and hype that comes naturally with being at the top of the rap game.

The show doesn't skimp on star power. Big-time artists like Nelly, T.I., Lil Jon, Ludacris, Jim Jones and Juelz Santana have added their names along with boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. as team "owners." The line between owner and fighter gets a little blurry in the first episode when much time is spent on hearing the fight philosophies of the artists. To be clear, none of the rappers will be fighting on the show. Besides, it's not hard to figure out which coach would win that battle.


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