The UFC is doing four shows in four weeks, with next Saturday's UFC on FOX debut an event many are calling the single most important show in the promotion's history. Simultaneously there is a year-long transition from Spike to FOX, with Spike TV looking after it's own interests, which no longer parallel those of the UFC.
Something has to give, and what is giving is promotion of UFC 138.
Missing are many mainstays of the UFC mighty marketing effort, including Dana White's vlogs. Other holes catalogued by BloodyElbow include:
•Wednesday's TUF had two promos for UFC 139, two deceptive spots for the Cain Velasquez/Junior dos Santos 11/12 Spike marathon, a UFC Best of 2011 DVD ad, a promo for Ultimate Knockouts 2. and zero marketing for tonight's 138 event.
•There was a media con call for UFC on FOX on Wed, but no UFC 138 media con call this week or last.
•Dana White, Twitter and fight promotion go together like the Kardashians, paparazzi and dumb people caring, but White took most of the week off Twitter.
•UFC.com does not list Spike as a place to watch events, instead directing people to UFC.tv instead.
•A scan of UFC.com Thursday night shows a cascade of UFC on FOX ads, and three of the top six lead story slots devoted to Cain Velasquez. UFC 138 is already an afterthought before it even begins.
With the growth of the UFC, before too long this will doubtless become commonplace - with multiple shows in a single day it is mathematically impossible to give both shows maximum coverage. And there is good news on the ground. UFC managing director of international development Marshall Zelaznik announced that 138 set the live-gate record for Birmingham, England's LG Arena, a 16,000-seat venue.
"We are within a couple hundred seats of a total sellout," Zelaznik said. "I spoke with the arena executives yesterday, and they've assured me that we've already set the revenue record for the arena, so we're really proud of that and thank you for all the fan support."
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