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

UFC and Wrestling Canada Lutte Announce Partnership

  • 28 days ago
  • 0 views

UFC® today announced a new partnership agreement with Wrestling Canada Lutte to actively promote amateur and Olympic wrestling throughout Canada. read news >>

Ulka Sasaki Replaces Retired Paddy Holohan at UFC Fight Night 87

  • 26 days ago
  • 18 views

Friday evening, the UFC announced that Japan's Ulka Sasaki will step in as Paddy Holohan's replacement against Willie Gates at UFC Fight Night 87. read news >>

UFC Renews Partnership with the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation

  • 23 days ago
  • 8 views

UFC today announced the renewal of its partnership with the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF). read news >>

UFC to Induct 2016 Hall of Fame Class Following UFC 200

  • 23 days ago
  • 26 views

UFC on Tuesday announced that it will induct its 2016 Hall of Fame class at the UFC Fan Expo following UFC 200. read news >>

Holly Holm Possible UFC on FOX 20 Headliner; Gilbert Melendez vs. Edson Barboza Announced

  • 21 days ago
  • 32 views

UFC on FOX 20 received a bout pitting Gilbert Melendez vs. Edson Barboza, and could also include Holly Holm and Anthony Johnson's next fights. read news >>

UFC to Return to Germany, Announces Hamburg Event Set for September 3

  • 19 days ago
  • 6 views

The Ultimate Fighting Championship announced today that it will host an event in Hamburg, Germany on Sept. 3. read news >>

Sioux Falls and Chicago Headliners Announced

  • 18 days ago
  • 1 views

The summer of UFC continues to heat up, with two July shows getting intriguing main events that were announced Sunday. Just four days after UFC 200, the Octagon will set down in Sioux Falls, South read news >>

World Series of Fighting 32 Gets New Main Event and Second Title Fight

  • 16 days ago
  • 2 views

World Series of Fighting has announced a new main event and second championship rematch between for WSOF 32: Moraes vs. Hill on July 30. read news >>

EA Sports UFC 2 introduces all new competitive gaming experience

  • 14 days ago
  • 1 views

Electronic Arts Inc. announced the launch of Live Event Competitions, a brand new competitive experience in EA SPORTS™ UFC® 2 Live Events mode. read news >>

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira First Announced 2016 UFC Hall of Fame Inductee

  • 11 days ago
  • 1 views

Retired UFC and Pride heavyweight champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira was announced on Saturday night as the first 2016 inductee into the UFC Hall of Fame. read news >>