MMA Nick Names, How did I received the nick name "The Serial Killer"? I was filming for the Ultimate Fighter 4. Which means they lock you in a house with the other fighters for 6 weeks.
Six weeks may not sound like a long time. Until you realize you have no Email, no phone, no magazines, NO TV or Movies. Probably the worst part was no Motorcycles! Basically, they try to create a feeling of you being in Hell. So you will misbehave on TV and they will get better ratings.
I understood this going in, but time moves very slow. After a few days of training twice a day I was over it. Keep in mind, it took about a half hour to get to the gym so you would be gone from the house for about 6 hours a day. Minus sleeping 8 hours a day leaving you with about 10 hours a day to kill chatting with the guys from your team. You could shoot pool, play chess, go swimming or stare at the walls.
After about two weeks I managed to convince the producer of the show that I needed extra time to run each day. So I would go for a hour or two run each day to get out of the house. This started as they would let me run our block with a car following me so I wouldn't run off. After a week of this I convinced them I was losing my mind and needed to be allowed to run a different course. So I could run wherever I wanted to with the car with two guys following me to make sure I didn't go do anything fun.
I wasn't allowed to tell the other guys on the team where I would go. But every afternoon I would go run thru the suburbs of Vegas with a car following me. One of the days I ran into Dana and he stopped and chatted with me. But other then that I was alone with my thoughts, and most importantly, I was out of the house. Most days the guys would ask me where I was and I would mumble something and proceed to go take a shower or grab a bite to eat. But someone almost always noticed whenever anybody disappeared from the house for very long.
One of the days I had returned from my run and had taken a shower and was probably in a bad mood. When I walked into the bedroom bitching about this was like prison. Talking to nobody in general just venting out loud. Patrick Cote heard me and asked what I said and I repeated that this is like prison. That was the end of the conversation.
A day or two later one of the guys, asked me " What I went to prison for?". I said I hadn't been to prison and that was the end of the conversation. The next day the same guy asked in a very timid and cautious voice, " so um what did you go to prison for?'. I repeated that I hadn't been to prison. He said Patrick said you had been to prison and that I told him I hadn't been.
We eventually figured out that Patrick, with his limited English. had not understood that I meant it was LIKE A Prison. But what he heard was this is Like When I was in Prison! We laughed I explained to Patrick what I had meant. But the story didn't end there I guess the guys had been discussing what I went to Prison for. They had decided that more then likely I was Serial Killer. I kept to myself, would disappear everyday for a few hours. The first night my bed was in a room with 6 other fighters. So when it came time to go to sleep I grabbed my mattress off the bed and took it in the upstairs living room. Shut out the lights and that became my room. So the natural conclusion was that I was a Serial Killer and had managed to make my way on to the Ultimate Fighter.
Around this time the other Team had started drawing pictures of various members of the Blue Team (my team). And posting them on the refrigerator in the middle of the night. It was usually a funny cartoon of one of the guys from the opposite team. Nobody told me that they had decided that I was Serial Killer but the next morning Patrick. (The one drawing the pics it turned out, nobody would tell me until the end of the show who drew the pic). Had drawn a pic of me as a Serial Killer and posted it to the refrigerator. When we woke up it was a big joke I was Travis "The Serial Killer" Lutter after that.
Conclusion: I never loved the nick name the Serial Killer. (My mom hated it). I don't know why but I guess at my roots I didn't want to be called a Serial Killer. "The Iceman" or the "Spider" sounded cooler. But the story that goes with me getting my nickname is cooler then most others.
Being on the show away from your family, friends, and freedom was hard. I definitely wouldn't want to do it again. But thinking back on that time not that long ago. Ok ,it has been 9 years now so I guess it is a long time ago, I wouldn't be where I was without going thru that experience. I also came away with some of the guys becoming friends who I still keep in touch with today. So thank you Patrick for not understanding what I said and starting "The Serial Killer" nickname!
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Update: It has now been 13 years since I was on the set of the Ultimate Fighter and I still don't like the nick name. But I am making friends with the idea of it more now then ever.