Pretty much everyone knew the UFC had signed a major broadcasting deal with FOX when the sun came up today, but hardly anyone expected to see a UFC event on the network so soon. That’s right, in a few short months on Nov. 12, the UFC will make it’s debut on network television.
There is a catch however.
The broadcast is only going to run an hour (9-10pm ET) and feature two fights, similar to how the Spike prelim specials have been set up. Lorenzo Fertitta confirmed the news to the Las Vegas Sun.
“We’ll be out of there before Pacquiao even walks to the ring,” Fertitta said. “This is going to be a perfect night for any fight fan. Get together with your friends, watch two big fights in the UFC and then change the channel to ride into the Pacquiao pay-per-view.”
“It’s going to be a little different with the first one,” Fertitta said. “It’s going to literally be back-to-back action. We aren’t going to mess around with a lot of pre-fight commentary, post-fight commentary. We are going to roll right in, set up the fights and let the action go.”
Fertitta clarified that fans who attend the event in Anaheim will still see a full show and if history is any indication, the UFC will probably find a way for fans to see the other fights as well whether it’s through Facebook or some other outlet. The report also states that future shows will likely run longer, so this is probably just a one-time thing considering the short time frame they have to work with.
It’s still anyone’s guess who will fight on the broadcast, but one fighter who has already been ruled out is Brock Lesnar. Dana White says he won’t be ready to go in time despite what Brock’s comeback video insinuated today.
“It’s impossible,” White said of Lesnar, who is coming off surgery for diverticulitis, where they removed 12 inches of his colon at the end of May. “There’s been all this of that he’s fighting, but he’s not even getting back in the gym for another three weeks. He won’t be back until early next year.”
Title fights have also been ruled out since all seven championship fights have already been scheduled in and around that time.
The UFC did announce the first fight for the card earlier this evening — Dustin Poirier vs. Pablo Garza — but it’s definitely a preliminary fight.
On another interesting note, guess who FOX would “love” to have working the broadcast in some capacity? Gus Johnson! The same commentator Dana White blasted after Gus made his infamous “Sometimes these things happen in MMA” comment during the Strikeforce on CBS post-fight brawl. Between Johnson and his interaction with Josh Gross and Loretta Hunt at the press conference today, it seems Dana is going to be working with some old friends thanks to this deal.