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

Bellator Signs Heavyweight KO Artists Ewerton Teixeira and Lorenzo Hood

  • 22 days ago
  • 1 views

Bellator MMA on Monday announced that it has inked two hard-hitting heavyweights in Brazilian K-1 champion Ewerton Teixeira and Blackzilians bomber Lorenzo Hood. read news >>

Bellator MMA signs heavyweights Ewerton Teixeira, Lorenzo Hood

  • 23 days ago
  • 1 views

After a high-profile lightweight signing on Monday, Bellator MMA announced the addition of a pair of heavyweights to its roster.Filed under: Bellator, MMA Rumors, News read news >>

Bellator MMA Inks UFC Vet Melvin Guillard to Multi-Fight Contract

  • 23 days ago
  • 2 views

Bellator MMA officials announced on Monday that they have signed Melvin “The Young Assassin” Guillard (32-14-2) to a multi-year, multi-fight contract. read news >>

UFC Champ Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Jessica Penne Announced for Fight Night 69

  • 27 days ago
  • 11 views

The UFC has chosen Joanna Jedrzejczyk's first title challenger: former Invicta FC atomweight champion Jessica Penne. The news was announced Friday morning by the UFC on Twitter. The fight is booked a read news >>

UFC 190: Rousey vs. Correia Event Page and Fight Card Rumors

  • 28 days ago
  • 2 views

Announced bouts, fight card rumors and start times for UFC 190: Rousey vs. Correia at the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on August 1. read news >>

Reebok terminates Jon Jones' contract in light of recent arrest

  • 29 days ago
  • 6 views

Jon Jones' Reebok sponsorship is no more. The apparel company announced on Wednesday that it had terminated Jones' contract effective immediately. "In light of recent events, we have made the decisio read news >>

Jon Jones Stripped of UFC Title, Suspended Indefinitely

  • 29 days ago
  • 257 views

Jon Jones has been stripped of the UFC light heavyweight title and suspended indefinitely by the organization, UFC President Dana White announced on Tuesday. read news >>

Anthony Johnson vs Daniel Cormier UFC 187 fight announced for vacant light heavyweight title with Jon Jones stripped

  • 29 days ago
  • 36 views

What a wild turn of events ... As a result of the shocking announcement on FOX Sports Live tonight that Jon Jones was stripped of his Light Heavyweight title and suspended indefinitely, a new UFC 187 read news >>

Daniel Cormier comments on UFC stripping Jones of title: ‘This is a sad day for our sport’

  • 29 days ago
  • 18 views

Newly announced UFC 187 main eventer Daniel Cormier commented on the UFC’s decision to strip Jon Jones of his title. On Tuesday night, the UFC announced that they would strip Jon Jones of his light-h read news >>