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Posted on September 2, 2011 by John Petit
The UFC finally announced the fight that will be featured on their first broadcast with new partner FOX. Heavyweight Champion Cain Velasquez and challenger Junior Dos Santos will be the only fight featured in the one hour time slot FOX is airing. The fight was supposed to take place at UFC 139 in San Jose, California but now its being moved to November 12 at the Sears Center in Anaheim, California. UFC President Dana White made the announcement and said that a replacement main event for UFC 139 was not yet finalized but will be soon.
White also said that there will be a full card for the show, but only the main event will be on TV in a one hour special designed to educate the all the new fans the sport will attract. Fox executives seem to be excited about the event as well, and plan on giving the first UFC on FOX card the “super bowl Red carpet treatment it deserves” says Fox representative. When asked what the UFC will air if the fight only last a few minutes, and that’s a strong possibility with Velasquez and Junior in the same cage, White said that most likely an under card fight will be played or a high lights package from the nights results. White also said he is trying to get the whole card aired, and all the fights will be shown somewhere-maybe even facebook.
FOX is very excited for the event, and Executive David Hill even said “This is like we are getting ‘Ali Vs. Foreman, we didn’t know until last night that we would be getting a title fight, and we will start advertising tomorrow on football and baseball programing.” Hill also said that new fans will need to be educated, and that will have to happen from the booth of commentators. He said “We don’t want to muck it up with illustrations.” He also confirmed that commentators Joe Rogan and Mike Goldberg will be in the booth as normal, but no other staff changes have taken place for the live shows.
Despite the success Dana White says this doesn’t automatically make the UFC mainstream. White said “We’re not mainstream. Mainstream is walking down any street and them knowing what basketball is. This is opportunity be mainstream.” White has also been known to be controlling over the production of his shows, but with a partner like FOX he said he is open to their recommendations. He said “We like style and feel of our show, but we want Fox’s input. They’re the number 1 network in country for a reason. We want their input.”
White also seemed happy about the date they agreed on for the event. The FOX fight is one week before UFC 139, the night Velasquez and Dos Santos were supposed to fight, and obviously Dana is excited about the chance to promote the pay-per-view on network television a week before the card. He said of the circumstances “Millions of people that never saw MMA before will be watching. We will need to educate, which is why only one five-round fight, and a free fight on FOX leading into a pay-per-view the next week sure doesn’t suck.”