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.
From Around the Web

Related News

UFC hires BALCO investigator Jeff Novitzky for 'clean initiative education program'

  • 20 days ago
  • 0 views

The UFC today announced the hiring of a prominent anti-doping figure as part of its ongoing efforts to ensure clean competition within the promotion’s octagon.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

Anti-Doping Expert Joins UFC As Vice President of Athlete Health and Performance

  • 20 days ago
  • 0 views

The UFC announced on Monday the hiring of Jeff Novitzky as Vice President of Athlete Health and Performance to spearhead the development of the organization’s clean initiative education program. read news >>

Nick Hein to Face Undefeated Lukasz Sajewski

  • 21 days ago
  • 0 views

UFC® today announced that German fan-favourite Nick “Sergeant” Hein has been added to UFC® FIGHT NIGHT: GUSTAFSSON vs. TEIXEIRA, as he looks to take on Polish debutant Lukasz Sajewski. read news >>

TUF Brazil 4 Coach Profile - Shogun Rua

  • 22 days ago
  • 12 views

When it was announced that Mauricio “Shogun” Rua was going to coach season four of The Ultimate Fighter Brazil, the immediate response from many centered on Rua’s upbringing in the sport at the read news >>

UFC Fight Night 63 attendance: Event earns $200K more than previous visit to venue

  • 22 days ago
  • 1 views

FAIRFAX, Va. – Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 63 event drew an announced attendance of 5,417 for a live gate of $545,604.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

Backstrom vs. Lahat Announced for UFC Berlin Event

  • 24 days ago
  • 0 views

UFC® FIGHT NIGHT: GUSTAFSSON vs. TEIXEIRA further boosted with new matchup read news >>

Three bouts announced for Bellator 137, including Mike Richman vs. Eduardo Dantas

  • 26 days ago
  • 0 views

The main card for Bellator 137 has come together with the announcement of three more fights.Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>

Tony Ferguson vs. Josh Thomson set for UFC Fight Night card in San Diego

  • 27 days ago
  • 1 views

The UFC has announced the first bout to the upcoming Fight Night event in San Diego. Unbeaten over the past five bouts, Tony Ferguson enters the Octagon for the second time in 2015 against Josh Thoms read news >>

Sergio Moraes’ new opponent announced for UFC Fight Night 64

  • 28 days ago
  • 1 views

An injury has once again forced a change in Sergio Moraes’ next fight. Moraes, a multiple time jiu-jitsu champion, will now face UFC newcomer Mickael Lebout at UFC Fight Night 64 in Krakow, Poland, o read news >>