FOX wanted to do a fight to show America what the UFC was about, before the deal between the UFC and FOX fully kicks in, in January. The UFC went all out, pulling Cain Velasquez and challenger Junior Dos Santos from a scheduled PPV the week following, and offer it for free. In all, a rumored $14,000,000 milion was spent on a free card, with no direct means to recoup the money.
The decision was made to show only one fight during the one hour broadcast, and that one fight lasted a famous 64 seconds. Was it worth it?
UFC co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta:
“You always want a fight that’s going to be decisive and we certainly had that,”
“From a ratings perspective, it will probably affect it in a negative way. People tune in to watch the fight and once it’s over, you tend to leave the channel. But overall, I think it’s going to be a success.”
Fox Sports chief executive David Hill:
“It absolutely delivered everything I hoped it would. I spoke to Dana and maybe, tactically, Dana didn’t play it the right way. But this is what you get in this sport. This is world heavyweight champion action.”
“I once bought a night of boxing from legendary promoter Don King. There were three bouts on that card and do you know how much boxing I got? Forty-seven seconds. I’ve been covering fights forever. It comes with the territory.
“If it had gone five rounds tonight, people would have gone, ‘It went so long, it was boring.’ This is genuine. This is real. It’s this generation’s boxing."
UFC Commentator Joe Rogan
"You know, if you want every show to be the perfect show, it's never really going to happen. What mixed martial arts is, is that its unpredictable and this sort of showcased that tonight.
"It wasn't the best result in terms of getting the most viewers to watch. If there was some crazy four round war where eventually one man over came the other one and he had to come through adversity to get there, then maybe that would have brought more viewers.
"But ultimately, mixed martial arts is pretty much unstoppable; it's just too exciting it's just too good and it doesn't matter if a thousand less or a hundred thousand less people tune into the next one because of tonight. Ultimately this is going to be gigantic. It's going to be much bigger than it is. The fact that now it's on broadcast television, the fact that it is now available for free for millions of people who have never watched it before, the door is open, the flood gates are open.
"It's just a matter of time now."
Future UFC events on Fox are expected to air longer than 60 minutes and feature multiple fights.
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