Mike Thomas Brown thinks the UFC-Fox agreement will open doors. | Photo: Dave Mandel


The Ultimate Fighting Championship and Fox Broadcasting Company on Aug. 18 announced a seven-year partnership. The agreement places UFC programming on Fox’s flagship network four times a year, and the promotion will also be featured heavily on Fox-owned subsidiary FX.

While the deal may not profoundly affect the men eating at the top of the company’s proverbial food chain, other fighters expect to reap the benefits of the increased exposure inherent in the landmark agreement. Sherdog.com spoke to three such fighters following the announcement and gathered their respective reactions to the news.

UFC welterweight contender Charlie Brenneman, who has fought the entirety of his Octagon career on pay-per-view undercards and free events on Spike TV and the Versu network, expressed excitement and optimism about what the deal means for both the sport and the fighters.

“Let’s just say I hope I can get on a main card Fox event,” Brenneman told Sherdog.com. “This is just one more giant step in the evolution of the sport. I really hope this helps to legitimize our place as professional athletes.”

Fellow welterweight up-and-comer Johny Hendricks agrees with his former opponent, predicting that the promotion’s new relationship with Fox will pay dividends for fighters battling for limited spots on the UFC’s pay-per-view offerings.

“The UFC has so many fighters now who are trying to do everything they can to get on pay-per-view. Me and Mike Brown were both on the [UFC 133] undercard -- on Facebook,” Hendricks said, “but now, instead of having up-and-comers always being on undercard, [the UFC] can throw them on Friday night fights [on FX].”

Hendricks believes the UFC’s switch from longtime broadcast partner Spike TV represents an upgrade for the promotion due to the strength of Fox’s programming and its expanded audience.

“There are a lot of great shows on Fox already, so now the UFC has tapped into that mainstream,” said Hendricks. “What is on Fox all time? Football and baseball. The only [sport] on Spike TV was the UFC. Now, [the UFC] can broaden who they’re reaching out to. It’s pretty sweet. I’m super ecstatic about it. I might be fighting on free TV, but, now, it [will mean] huge exposure.”

As Hendricks mentioned, Brown is another fighter looking for more widespread recognition. The former World Extreme Cagefighting featherweight champion, he fought for the organization for more than two years while being featured on Versus. The former champion netted his biggest audience in his 2009 rematch with Urijah Faber, which earned an average of 1.3 million viewers.

According to Brown, however, the live broadcasts of his fights only made up a part of the publicity puzzle. The American Top Team representative believes the replays of his Versus bouts contributed greatly to the increased fan awareness of the WEC, and he thinks the same will be true in the coming years with the UFC on Fox.

“On Versus, after a fight, a bunch of people might recognize you. But with the replay [schedule] on Versus, they would replay the event like five times, and so many more people pay attention [during replays],” Brown said. “Maybe [fans] didn’t see the fight the first or second time around, but they might catch it the third time and really become [hooked].”

The hope for many promoters, fans and fighters is that the deal will solidify the UFC as a major sports league, à la the NFL or Major League Baseball. Looking toward the future, Hendricks believes the time will come when that hope becomes a reality.

“I know the UFC has everything to compete [with the other major sports leagues],” he said. “If the UFC can tap into couple more fans, they might steal some from watching football or baseball. If that happens, the next thing you know, [MMA] is going to explode.”

view original article >>

Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Anthony Johnson and Glover Teixeira Moved to UFC 202, Cowboy Cerrone vs. Rick Story Added to Fight Card

  • 29 days ago
  • 31 views

The UFC announced on Monday that the light heavyweight bout between contenders Anthony Johnson and Glover Teixeira, originally scheduled for July 23, will now be the UFC 202 co-main event. read news >>

Unbeaten Prospect Phil Hawes Makes Quick Turnaround, Faces Louis Taylor at WSOF 32

  • 28 days ago
  • 40 views

World Series of Fighting announced today that undefeated prospect Phil Hawes will make a quick turnaround and step back in the decagon cage just six weeks after his promotional debut. read news >>

Daniel Cormier vs Anderson Silva Announced for UFC 200: Latest Details, Reaction

  • 19 days ago
  • 2704 views

Anderson Silva will replace Jon Jones at UFC 200 on Saturday and fight Daniel Cormier in a non-title bout. Brazil's Globo reported the news Thursday (via FloSports' Jeremy Botter). TMZ confirmed the read news >>

UFC Fight Night 90 Fighter Bonuses: Eddie Alvarez Earns More Than Just the Belt

  • 19 days ago
  • 22 views

The Ultimate Fighting Championship announced the winners of the $50,000 fighter bonuses stemming from UFC Fight Night 90 during the event's post-fight press conference. read news >>

Michael Bisping to Face Dan Henderson in First Title Defense

  • 17 days ago
  • 19 views

UFC president Dana White announced on Saturday that middleweight champion Michael Bisping would face Dan Henderson in his first title defense. read news >>

Michael Bisping vs. Dan Henderson 2 Announced Following UFC 200

  • 17 days ago
  • 10 views

New UFC Middleweight champion Michael Bisping is a very busy man, and his schedule just got even more crowded. Speaking to Fox Sports 1 on the UFC 200 post-fight show, UFC President Dana White announ read news >>

After Weeks of Denials, UFC Sale Announced by New Owners WME-IMG

  • 16 days ago
  • 89 views

Following reports on Sunday night of the UFC being sold to WME-IMG for $4 billion, the Ultimate Fighting Championship's new ownership made its own announcement Monday morning confirming the sale: WME read news >>

Mizuki Inoue Steps in as Late Replacement at Invicta FC 18

  • 13 days ago
  • 8 views

Invicta Fighting Championships has announced that Mizuki Inoue as the replacement for undefeated Indian fighter Manjit Kolekar at Invicta FC 18: Grasso vs. Esquibel. read news >>

WSOF Signs UFC and Bellator Veteran Paul Bradley

  • 13 days ago
  • 6 views

World Series of Fighting announced on Thursday that it has signed UFC and Bellator veteran Paul Bradley. read news >>

Maia-Condit clash set to headline Vancouver

  • 8 days ago
  • 0 views

UFC announced No.3 ranked welterweight contender Demian Maia will battle No.5 ranked Carlos Condit in the main event of UFC FIGHT NIGHT MAIA vs. CONDIT at Vancouver’s Rogers Arena on Saturday, August read news >>