What more can I say beyond the headline that will add to this? Today the UFC announced the headlining fight for their first card on network television and it is for the Heavyweight Championship as current champ Cain Velasquez faces Brazilian challenger Junior Dos Santos in Anaheim, CA. It’s Velasquez’s first fight since dethroning Brock Lesnar in October 2010, also in Anaheim. He suffered a torn rotator cuff and is coming off surgery so this should be an intriguing fight.
Cain Velasquez (9-0 MMA, 7-0 UFC) and Junior Dos Santos (13-1 MMA, 7-0 UFC) will lead the UFC’s charge on to network television.
UFC president Dana White today announced that Velasquez and Dos Santos will headline UFC on FOX 1, which takes place Nov. 12 at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.
The event marks the UFC’s debut on network television and kicks-off a seven-year deal between the UFC and FOX, a partnership that also includes UFC programming on FX and FUEL TV.
Velasquez and Dos Santos were expected to meet in the main event of UFC 139, which takes place just one week later, on Nov. 19. However, the contest was never officially announced for the event.
While a new headliner will need to be secured for the card, White said UFC 139 will go on as scheduled.
Source: MMA Junkie
This will be the only live televised fight with loads of build-up over the next few months, but there will be a full preliminary card and in the event the Cain vs. JDS match doesn’t go the distance you can certainly expect some filler fights to make up the one hour broadcast.
Today’s announcement is a landmark moment for the UFC and for MMA. It’s succeeding where boxing used to succeed, by penetrating the cable and network TV market and giving fight fans the big bouts they want to see. Boxing went to a largely PPV model while the UFC is making an earnest effort to show quality fighters at no cost beyond your cable package. On October 1st on Versus the Bantamweight Championship will be on the line when Dominick Cruz battles Demetrious Johnson. Just think, there was only one other UFC title fight on free TV and that was in 2007 at UFC 75 between Quinton Jackson and Dan Henderson on Spike. That was on tape delay, but the two title fights coming up in October and November are live and free.
I’m excited, you should be excited, don’t mess this up FOX. Any sign of Ryan Seacrest and the mute button will be out in full force.
Oh, and you can certainly expect a live blog of this fight. It’s one of the most important bouts the heavyweight division has ever seen.