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UFC discovered the hard way they’re not a #1 priority on Fox against a major sporting event

By Zach Arnold | September 29, 2014

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The good news? UFC did some very solid business in Sweden and Halifax with their Saturday double-header. Over 10,000 at the Metro Centre. Over 10,000 in Sweden for a million dollar gate. Rory MacDonald tore apart Tarec Saffiedine and is ready for Johny Hendricks or Robbie Lawler. Raphael Assuncao had no trouble with Bryan Caraway but now is the odd-man out with UFC giving Conor McGregor Dominick Cruz a title shot against TJ Dillashaw.

The bad news? Rick Story exposed Gunnar Nelson. And most people didn’t see the Halifax fights on TV because UFC got pre-empted on Fox Sports 1 for the 18-inning marathon game between the Giants and Nationals. The UFC running on Saturday nights during college football season is a risky move and they will get pre-empted for a Big 12 game. Running against Major League Baseball is another no-no. Fox will always choose a NASCAR race, an MLB post-season game, or a Big 12 game as lead-in programming for Fox Sports Live any day of the week.

Rory MacDonald had exactly the type of performance needed after no one watched his PPV fight in Vancouver four months ago. UFC has to hope and pray that fans stuck through their FX impromptu telecast and watched the fight. Otherwise, another scenario where few people witnessed Rory do his thing.

The UFC can continue their global schedule but it comes with a price domestically in the United States when you are running against bigger sports fish on television. The only solace they can take is that FS1/FX didn’t get dropped from Suddenlink cable like Spike & other Viacom channels did. If you’re a Bellator fan, not a happy time right now if you’re stuck with Suddenlink.

Event: UFC Fight Night 2014 on October 4th in Stockholm, Sweden at Ericsson Globe Arena
TV: Internet

Event: UFC Fight Night on October 4th in Halifax, Nova Scotia at the Metro Centre
TV: Fox Sports 1

Event: UFC 179 on Saturday, October 25th in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil at Maracanazinho Gym
TV: Fox Sports 1/PPV

Topics: MMA, Media, UFC, Zach Arnold | 18 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

18 Responses to “UFC discovered the hard way they’re not a #1 priority on Fox against a major sporting event”

  1. 45 Huddle says:

    I know 6 of 22 from the 1st card.

    I know 8 of 24 from the 2nd card.

    I know 12 of 22 from the 3rd card.

    For a grand total of 26 of 68…. 38%….Horrible.

    I am interested in 5 fights….for the entire month.

    Dana White has completely put the blinders on and isn’t even handling the media as much anymore. Things are getting bad in Zuffaland….

    • Nepal says:

      I knew 23 of 68 and I’m a hard core fan. I’m out of touch with the Ultimate Fighter for the past many seasons so that might have lowered my knowledge base. So I’m a hard core fan and I know 33%. I would hazard a guess that casual fans would know: Gunner and Story, Rory and Saffiedine, Teixera, Davis, Aldo and Mendes as well as Maldonado, Elkins, Njokuani and Jorgansen, maybe Cruikshank. That’s 19% and I’m probably naming way more than most casuals will know, especially that last few.

      It’s not like Dana doesn’t know what the hard cores are saying, he, Lorenzo and the UFC brass must really be believing they are working towards an end game where UFC is big everywhere in the world. The fact that UFC cards of today are often like the old boxing cards, one big fight and 8 or 10 nobody fights doesn’t matter anymore, the UFC has moved on, like the previous head of the NFL said “fuck the hard cores, they’ll watch it anyway”. They want the world, they could care less about us. Time will tell.

    • Diaz's packed bowl says:

      I’ve wathced 25 of the ufc fighters and looking at the 4 bellator cards I have seen 25 of those fighters. I would imagine the casual fan would know 10 or less from either promotion.

      I watched the Magalhaes Brilz fight it was excellent. The more ufc expands the more diluted their product is until its indistinguishable in quality from any mma show on any given day.

  2. Diaz's packed bowl says:

    Glover Teixeira vs. Phil Davis
    Jose Aldo vs. Chad Mendes

    That’s about it for oct, rest of the fights are time wasters

    The swede show should sour the swede market. Since its Gustafsen;less, and Gunnar will most likely get beaten by story.

    The Nova scotia show? Isn’t as good as the undercard from ufc 129. Terrible 5 round decision main event.

    And again No HWs and only 2 LHW fights means cheaper less filling shows.

    If he eliminates any more creds, so goes his 12% credibility rating. Maybe they just need to have someone else OTHER than Dana answer (negative)questions at the scrum.

    But who cares about that stupid a-holes latest breakdown? I’ll be watching bellator every friday, because each show is better than UFC’s for Oct.
    Dante vs Warren
    Michael Page vs Nah-Shon Burrell

    and of course oneFC roar of lions on the 17th for some real fights

    • Andrej says:

      Michael Page who?

      So James Thompson vs Houston Alexander is just as shitty as all the rest. Bellator is where the real fighters are recycled.

  3. Diaz's packed bowl says:

    Poor Tim Kennedy whining again, you know it always takes more than 1 minute to start the fight again. Why after the first round bell it was 73 seconds until the start of the second, and after the second it was 88 seconds until the third. 70+ seconds is about average no matter where you go, and Tim actually slowed things down by 3 seconds when he came over and “bothered” big John.

  4. David m says:

    Gunnar is going to wreck Story. He is on a while different level in terms of grappling acumen.

  5. Chris says:

    Only plan on watching one UFC fight on Saturday and that’s Safedine-MacDonald. I will be skipping all of the Prelims (Seriously).

    But if there are any Boxing fans out there, The main event for ESPN on Wednesday (Stevens-N’Dam) should be a really good scrap.

  6. 45 Huddle says:

    I’ve been following the WWE slightly more lately, and I think the UFC would do well to emulate them in one area. And that is with young prospects.

    The WWE does not dilute their main products (PPV, RAW, & Smackdown). They try and keep that quality the same. When they did was basically create a feeder league in NXT. They even have their own champions and the matches are shown on the WWE Network.

    The UFC needs to change things up. It isn’t the number of fighters that is the problem, it is the way they are organized. Mark Hunt vs. Roy Nelson should not be on UFC Fight Pass. That fight should be on FOX or FS1.

    Maybe they should bring back the WEC name and use it. Do a few events a month on the UFC Fight Pass. This will bring the talent level back up to where it should be for PPV, FOX, & FS1. And it will still give the UFC an opportunity to cultivate talent from around the globe.

    As it stands right now, they are trying to do both in the UFC and it is turning into something really ugly.

    • 45 Huddle says:

      And the entire problem with Zuffa owned Strikeforce and WEC in the past was that no network wanted the UFC B-Team on their network. Now that they have the the UFC Fight Pass, this should not be a problem.

      Eventually they can do a weekly show on their network. 12 Invicta cards a year and 40 “WEC” Feeder shows. If they have to sweeten the pot, then stick to only 12 PPV’s a year on regular cable, and put the remaining 2 or 3 on the Fight Pass.

      The only sacrifice they will have to make is with trying to get big gates internationally. But that is a sacrifice that needs to happen in order to get the UFC back to where it needs to be. There is really no way they can have “World F’N Domination”. 2014 has shown it is a disaster to try and expand like that.

  7. Diaz's packed bowl says:

    Heh, I just noticed its another ufc double header?!!? Whats next a triple header? 18 hours of live ufc? wrong wrong wrong

  8. Diaz's packed bowl says:

    Lol at the Story split decision, delusional Nelson camps comments at the end of the fourth, and the laughable commentators “wondering” who won at the end.

    Nelson may have won the first 2 rounds but c’mon third round Story was clear winner, fourth was 10-8 for Story and fifth was again clearly story.

    Bad night for Sweden.

  9. SurlySid says:

    “Raphael Assuncao had no trouble with Bryan Caraway but now is the odd-man out with UFC giving Conor McGregor a title shot against the Jose Aldo/Chad Mendes winner.”

    Wrong weight class. Assuncao and Caraway are bantamweights, not featherweights.

    Ed. — You are correct. Thanks.

  10. King Famous says:

    Rory Mac is so technical and precise and I’m not into his fights at all. That knockout was awesome, but I’m always rooting against him. For as much as we here that this is a sport, when guys play it like it is, the show and entertainment value to me moves lower. That was all I watched out of both of these shows – about 2 rounds of the Saffadine – Rory fight.

  11. FYI-

    The last 2 fights DID air on FS1. They kept the FX broadcast going to avoid even more confusion while also joining the card in progress on FS1. It’s possible the top 2 fights had pretty big audiences.

  12. Kid Nate says:

    What Bix said. Anecdotally from talking with older family several of them watched the last 2 fights of the Halifax card after the Nationals-Giants game and all came away favorably impressed. Kind of a lucky break that the rest of that crappy card got excised and the best 2 fights got featured.


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