UFC president Dana White has been near giddy in giving description of his interaction with new business partner Fox networks, saying that Fox has gone above and beyond in showing their support for the brand and the sport.
Indeed, Fox will carry this weekend’s heavyweight title fight between Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos some two months ahead of the actual start date to their seven-year deal with the UFC. Fox Sports Media Group Chairman David Hill explains that Fox has gotten behind the UFC as they have because they believe in the product and see it ushering in a new phase of combat sports entertainment.
“We’re obviously stoked (to have this event on FOX),” Hill says. “We’re all huge boxing fans and I think with the death of Joe Frazier, it made people realize that everyone remembers what a great boxer and competitor he was, and the will to win Joe Frazier had. Everyone started talking about the golden days of boxing and what happened to it. To be coming back on primetime with a fight like this, it’s kind of like the dawn of a new era. It’s like a phoenix coming from the ashes.”
White has said repeatedly that, despite their massive success, the UFC is currently far from mainstream, but that they hope to be soon through their deal with Fox. Hill echoes that sentiment and asserts his belief that the UFC’s mainstream acceptance is not probable, but inevitable.
“What boxing was to my generation, UFC is to my son’s,” he says. “By the end of these seven years, UFC will be mainstream.”
UFC on Fox: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos goes down Saturday, November 12, from the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. FightLine will have live, ongoing coverage of the event beginning at approximately 4:45pm ET.