Well there were no robot sightings and no glowing punches (disappointing I know) but overall the first official UFC appearance on FOX was a success.
Yes, there could have been more than one fight on the hour show but the problem is that easing the people who have never seen the sport before was problematic. With many new faces watching the sport that many have known for years is explaining to them the back stories of the fighters and that they aren’t just people who fight for a living. They have families just like any other professional athlete and are normal people outside of training and want to earn a living doing what they love.
The quality of the production FOX had was tremendous and the video packages that were put together were something that many UFC fans haven’t seen before. It was amped up another notch (and for good reason) and everything went in what Dana White said “smooth and perfect”.
Now I would agree that the Ben Henderson/Clay Guida fight was the best fight on the night and could be the fight of the year. Both fighters were showing off their talents in the cage and it looked like they wanted to be on FOX. Henderson ultimately picked up the win from the judges’ scorecards and will face Frankie Edgar in Japan. I give both credit for leaving it all in the cage and even though I picked Guida to win the fight, Henderson will give Frankie Edgar major problems for the Lightweight Championship come February.
Going back to the only fight shown on FOX and a new Heavyweight Champion was crowned when Junior Dos Santos connected with a huge right hand and ended the fight early in round 1. To add to that JDS was hampered with torn meniscus and was committed to crutches in the final weeks leading up to the fight. I still have questions on Cain’s strategy and the lack of shooting for a takedown.
The book on JDS is that he possesses the early advantage in the standup and punching power and would “gas” in later rounds and it seemed that Velasquez didn’t care. It seemed like he wanted to trade with JDS and that wasn’t something that went his way. He was visibly disappointed after the fight and he is still a talented Heavyweight and could face the loser between Brock Lesnar and Allister Overeem.
Again 10 years ago nobody thought the UFC was going to be such mainstream sport this quickly. It was a struggle early trying to get TV time from any network and moving to FOX officially in January is the icing on the cake. Seeing the well-known logo surrounded by the sport of MMA was a surreal moment and this was more of a teaser to the full “reveal” in 2012.
No matter if you are a casual fan or a hardcore fan this a huge move for the sport of MMA and putting the talk that it’s just 2 guys looking for blood, to rest for good. UFC has a home on Network TV for 7 years and is introducing the sport to a whole new audience and FOX will help that objective greatly.