HOLLYWOOD, CA - SEPTEMBER 20: (L-R) UFC Fighters Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos square off for the cameras during the UFC on Fox: Velasquez v Dos Santos - Press Conference at W Hollywood on September 20, 2011 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)

UFC On Fox 1 Results: Junior Dos Santos Scores TKO Win Over Cain Velasquez To Win UFC Heavyweight Title

Bay Area MMA and the sport in general was represented in a heavyweight title fight on UFC On Fox: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos on Saturday. California native Cain Velasquez was dropped at 1:04 in the first round and lost via TKO to Junior Dos Santos, the new heavyweight champion.. For more on the card and MMA in general, go to Bloody Elbow.

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UFC On Fox 1 Ratings: Event Outdraws All College Football Games Except LSU Vs. Alabama In Key Demographic

One thing that's being glossed over when considering the ratings for UFC on Fox 1: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos is the fact that, in essence, the event did about the number the UFC probably expected, performed well in many demographics and - oh yeah - was the most watched UFC event of all time. Most (us included) have been putting the bulk of their attention on whether or not the event would/did out-perform Kimbo Slice vs. James Thompson on the CBS broadcast of EliteXC in 2008.

Well, the UFC did out-perform that event in average viewers, but there's much more to note. The most interesting tidbit is probably the fact that the UFC out-performed all but one college football game in men age 18-34. Plus, the fight was going on during the Stanford-Oregon game, and it drew better ratings in the younger demographics there, too. 

There's been people talking about not liking the event, and one reader said yesterday that we were viewing the fight from the viewpoint of a fan, but it's simply not true. Said reader claimed that the 5.7 million average viewers were all fans already and that the broadcast should have catered to them - but perhaps that reader missed the bit about this being the most-watched UFC event of all time. That's clearly indicative of a new audience, at least to some extent, and that event really did cater to said new audience.

As Dana White said, this event wasn't even part of the new multi-year deal with Fox. This was a freebie, a test run, if you will. It was a way to assimilate new viewers and it probably did that very well. In short, think about it like this: White's definition of a freebie after signing with Fox is a Heavyweight Title fight between Cain Velasquez and Junior Dos Santos. It doesn't get much more awesome that, even if it was only 64 seconds of heart-pounding action.


UFC On Fox 1 Ratings: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos New Average At 5.7 Million, More Than Slice In '08

Though the UFC On Fox 1: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos seemed to fall short of peoples' expectations at first - at least in regards to ratings - there's been some more info since the news yesterday that the show averaged 4.6 million viewers during the one-hour broadcast. Most folks were disappointed that a legitimate fight between two of MMA's best in Cain Velasquez and Junior Dos Santos couldn't out-perform a freakshow fight from 2008 when Kimbo Slice took on James Thompson on CBS.

That being said, some new numbers have given hope to the show (not that it's short on hope, as most are of the opinion that it was a great way to get started and a huge step in the right direction for the UFC) in regards to ratings, as that figure has been adjusted to an average of 5.7 million viewers. That figure was provided by Fox Sports, and would indicate the most-watched UFC event ever, and according to Fox, the most-watched professional fight of any kind on any network since 2003, when seven million watched Lewis-Kitschko on HBO.

Still, there's no word on the peak viewers for the show, and that's one of the most important bits. UFC on Fox 1 actually surpassed 2008's event with Slice in average viewers, by 16 percent with the 5.7 million against that event's 4.9 million. Also according to Fox, the UFC's event beat out the EliteXC event in household rating, with a 3.1 to 3.0. Lastly, the UFC event beat the Slice event in male demographics age 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54.

Unfortunately, we still don't know if the UFC peaked beyond the EliteXC event, which reportedly topped out at 6.51 million viewers, the MMA record. It's hard to gauge whether or not it will end up peaking higher, considering the fact that the UFC bout only lasted 64 seconds, limiting the potential numbers from channel surfers and people hoping to catch just the fight and not the actual broadcast.


UFC On Fox 1 Ratings: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos Gets 4.6 Million Viewers

We've already wrote a lot about the importance of UFC on Fox 1: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos, the UFC's debut on network TV, and we have early analysis on the production and how it was all presented. By our reckoning, the production was top notch and showed a lot of promise for future events and fights on the Fox network. But the most significant part of this was all about the ratings – how would the show do and how would it compare to previous network TV outings for the sport of MMA?

It's a mixed bag of results. Early estimates have the UFC broadcast at 4.6 million viewers. This is a bit lower than most were expecting, and much lower than the highest to date – over six million viewers for Kimbo Slice vs. James Thompson on CBS in 2008, the most-watched MMA event of all time. The reason that's another low blow is the fact that Slice was universally considered a backroom brawler and more of a freakshow than a legitimate MMA fighter. It's insulting because, at the time, the potential new viewers and casual fans saw this guy, Slice, who really was a poor representative for the sport.

And now, on Saturday, we had two of the best fighters in the sport of MMA in Cain Velasquez and Junior Dos Santos, and they didn't receive the same level of attention from a potential new audience. That being said, there's a couple saving graces. For one, we had Manny Pacquiao on boxing Saturday, which didn't directly interfere with the broadcast, but the buzz was there and clearly, that kind of fight will eclipse MMA … for the time being. For two, the fight did well in the 18-to-49-year old demographic, scoring a 2.4 rating and a 7 share. Those numbers are comparable to the Stanford-Oregon game on ABC Saturday, so that's a very good sign. That game did better overall, with a big chunk of older viewers, but it's nice that the UFC is resonating well with the demo, against boxing and college football.

The numbers are also subject to a bit of adjustment, once they pin down just how many people were watching for the 64 seconds that the two fighters were actually going at it. Dos Santos finished the fight at 1:04 into the first round by TKO, limiting the number of people who could have been channel surfing and stumbling on a fight and limiting the number of people who were just trying to bypass the analysis and catch the fight. Expect some more in-depth numbers in the coming days.


UFC on Fox 1 Results And Analysis: Dos Santos Scores Thrilling KO, But Was It Enough For New Viewers?

The main card of UFC On Fox 1: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos featured just one fight - quite obviously the Heavyweight Title fight between champion Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos. It was a great fight - or at the very least, it was an exciting 1:04, at which point dos Santos landed a vicious overhand right on the temple of Velasquez, then proceeded to swarm him and punch him out on the ground to score the TKO stoppage.

For the UFC, the event signified a lot of things, but more than anything, it served as a means to introduce new viewers to the sport. The first thirty minutes of the broadcast was spent hyping the fight. Curt Menefee was there to talk, and though he didn't leave much of an impression, he brought an air of familiarity and validation to the broadcast. The Fox Sports music and logos were plastered everywhere and this helped, as well. Dana White and Joe Rogan were both yelling as they usually do, but it was a more subdued roar at this point.

Heck, the UFC and Fox even thought to clean up the died blood in the octagon before the main event, in case new viewers would be put off by it. Every detail was thought of and carried out. The broadcast was simple, to the point, and featured backstories on both fighters, with equal hyping for both of them. It may have been a little cookie cutter, but it was a clear step above any UFC event's production in the promotion's history and, quite honestly, leaves the core fanbase wanting more.

What it all comes down to is this: the UFC, along with Brock Lesnar, who definitely got another popularity boost Saturday night, took 64 seconds of actual fight content and turned it into a broadcast that featured not a second of dead air.

That being said, was the fight itself enough to bring in some new viewers? This writer things that it was. It's very obvious that the UFC wanted the fight to go longer than the 1:04 that it did, perhaps through two rounds (the broadcast was guaranteed no commercials between the first and second round), but the spectacle itself was brilliantly portrayed. New viewers were looking at two fighters who, among other things, seemed to radiate this feeling of professionalism and had this "best in the world" aura about them.

It only makes sense that the two best in the world could collide and, yes, a knockout in the first two minutes is feasible. Even new fans could see that they were both ready to go and that one of them could certainly end the fight on one punch. What ended up happening was a thrilling TKO after about forty seconds of intense buildup. They saw an emotional dos Santos at the end of the fight with tears in his eyes and they say Bruce Buffer put on his best performance yet announcing the fighters before it.

All-in-all, the actual fight wasn't ideal, but the UFC planned the broadcast around the possibility that the fight could be ending soon, so it ended up being pretty awesome through-and-through. So far, the feedback I'm getting from fans is very, very positive - while most of the MMA media is sort of talking about how it wasn't that great. It's pretty clear that the broadcast was tailored to the new fans and casuals, though, so it's hard to really take that into consideration.

We won't know if it was enough until we get the ratings and, of course, some level of numbers to compare them to when the second UFC on Fox event happens.


UFC on Fox 1 Results: Junior Dos Santos Gets $65K Knockout Bonus; Henderson, Guida Get Fight Of The Night

There were most certainly fireworks on display for the UFC's network debut: UFC on Fox 1: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos. There was an excellent undercard (watchable on FoxSports.com and Facebook.com at the time) in which the number one contender for the lightweight belt was determined and the one-fight main card most certainly delivered as advertised. Cain Velasquez succumbed to strikes when Junior Dos Santos hit him with a big overhand right and swarmed him, getting the stoppage at 1:04 in the very first round and winning the UFC Heavyweight Championship.

As usual, the UFC held a post-event press conference and announced various bonuses, namely the fight of the night bonus, which come with a nice, fat paycheck. There were definitely some good contenders for fight of the night, as the undercard was really packed with high-paced action. The winners of SOTN and KOTN received $60K, while both fighters in the FOTN received that bonus each.

Fight of the Night: Ben Henderson vs. Clay Guida

Knockout of the Night: Junior dos Santos

Submission of the Night:  Ricardo Lamas

Attendance: 14,019

Gate: 1.1 million


UFC on Fox 1 Results: Junior Dos Santos Scores TKO On Cain Velasquez To Become UFC Heavyweight Champion

On Saturday, Bay Area MMA was on show for one of the biggest fights in the sports' history for UFC on Fox 1: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos. Can Velasquez, California native was defending his title against the Brazilian Junior dos Santos in the main event, and it was certainly explosive. Velasquez would go on to fall at 1:04 in the very first round, when dos Santos landed a huge overhand right flush on the temple and swarmed to get the stoppage, landing several shots to the floored Velasquez.

In post-fight interviews, dos Santos was extremely humble and in tears, and Velasquez was adamant that he'd be getting his belt back. It's a downer to see Velasquez, who fights out of the Bay Area, suffer the first loss of his career, but that was a huge fight for the sport and the promotion, and he should be honored to have been a part of it.

The Fox broadcast was really top shelf, with the normal music at the beginning and the familiar Cut Menefee talking with UFC President Dana White. Joe Rogan and Mike Goldberg were still loud and boisterous, but were restrained and made limited mistakes throughout. The entirety of the presentation was so concentrated and defined to the very minute details - including a clean ring. That's right, before the main event, a crew covered up the dried blood from past fights, because for some reason, seeing blood without knowing exactly where it came from is more unsettling than seeing it drip from somebody's face.

Below is the play-by-play as the fight happened.

Round 1

We are live, with Junior Dos Santos quickly taking the center of the octagon, and Velasquez slowly moving in. Celasquez throws a quick leg kick and dos Santos lands with a right hand, but it's a small one. Dos Santos goes for a risky front kick, and Velasquez catches it, but can't get a takedown. Velasquez looks for another leg kick, but Dos Santos circles away. Dos Santos swing a huge overhand right and Velasquez takes it on the temple and dos Santos swarms, landing a few shots and referee "Big" John McCarthy steps in to stop it. 

Junior dos Santos wins via TKO at 1:04 of the very first round and is the new UFC Heavyweight Champion.


UFC On Fox 1 Results: Ben Henderson Wins Decision Over Clay Guida To Earn Shot At Frankie Edgar's Title

The last fight on the undercard for UFC on Fox 1: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos was a great one, and eventually ended with a unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27) for Ben Henderson over Clay Guida. It was a very high-paced fight and almost too close to call, and definitely an exciting way to cap off the undercard (in what is a main card and even main event caliber fight, but due to the nature of this first card on Fox, was put on the undercard). 

Dana White announced on Friday that the winner of the fight would go on to take on UFC Lightweight Champion Frankie Edgar for the title, so the matchup will be Ben Henderson vs. Frankie Edgar. The champion is coming off a knockout win over Gray Maynard, and it should be a very explosive matchup. Guida will likely remain in contention after such a strong performance. 

Below is the play-by-play of the fight as it happened.

Round 1

The fighters meet in the middle of the ring, looking to find their range. It's a very pro-Guida crowd at this point, chanting early and often for "The Carpenter".Guida lands early right a right hook and Henderson stumbled, but responds by cracking the pursuing Guida. Clay is backed up into the fence and the two start windmilling punches at eachother before "Bendo" lands again and Guida shoots for a takedown, which is stuffed. Guida pushes Hendo into the cage and is looking for a single leg takedown on Henderson's left leg, and "kind of" gets a takedown, but Henderson actually does the splits to negate the takedown.

The two get back to their feet and Henderson turns Clay into the cage with one underhook in. Henderson is looking for some dirty boxing against the cage, and Guida is trying to push out. Guida pushes away, lands a good punch and almost secures a high double leg takedown, but Henderson keeps himself standing with awesome takedown defense. The two separate and Clay lands again, but no significant damage is done. Henderson goes for Superman punch off of the cage and Guida answers back with a flying knee. The two windmill again, but this time it's Guida who connects big and Henderson goes to the ground, but recovers well, and pushes Guida to the cage and eventually to the ground. Henderson tries to land some shots to the midsectio nof Clay, and finishes the round with a couple head kick attempts. Really close round, 10-10 at this point, with both fighter's controlling one part of the round.

Round 2

Both fighters immediately take the center of the octagon again, and Henderson lands a good left knee, and Guida is stumbled again, but he secures a takedown on Henderson. Henderson goes for a guillotine and Clay gets out, but Henderson quickly turns it into a takedown of his own. Henderson is held from below by Guida, and eventually the two get to their feet, with Henderson continually pressing Guida into the cage. Then Guida turns that into a takedown of his own, and presses Henderon into the cage ... very back and forth at this point. Henderson stands up again, but it's Guida pushing him against the cage for half a minute ... and then Henderson turns it around and pushes Guida up against the cage. Henderson lands a knee to separate and Guida glances off a punch. Guida tries to throw ... something, and spins in like a 540 and falls down to the ground . Henderson gets on top of Guida, and somehow, Guida is close to securing a guillotine. Henderson gets out though and eventually takes Guida's back with thirty seconds to go in the round. Henderson throws some strikes and the round comes to an end. Another really close round, with perhaps an edge to Henderson 10-9. 20-19 Henderson at this point.

Round 3

Again, the center of the octagon is occupied and the two fighters jab from a distance. Guida continues dancing and changing levels, and lands a strong right hook on Henderson, who eats it and moves forward. The two are hesitant to exchange, and then tie up ,with Henderson pushing Guida into the cage. Henderson throws a knee, which Guida catches and tried for a takedown, but Bendo backs up all the way across the cage to maintain his balance and turns, again holding Guida against the cage. The two separate and Guida goes for a high left kick, but Henderson catches him and takes him down to the ground, where Henderson lands in side control, the first truly dominant position of the match with significant time left. Henderson eventually takes Clay's back and gets a body lock. Henderson rolls him over with a minute left and is looking for a rear naked choke, but Guida  reverses it and gets to his feet. The two collide in the air, with Guida landing in side control this time, and Guida looks for a guillotine for thirty seconds, but Henderson eventually gets out. It was really, really tight, but Henderson gets out. The fight comes to an end with both parties scrambling and it's so very close. Henderson lands some shots at the end. It looks like a round for Guida ... or maybe Henderson ... so close. This could go either way, but probably a 29-29 draw on this writer's scorecard.

Official Score: 29-28, 30-27 and 30-27 all for Ben Henderson


UFC On Fox 1 Results: Darren Uyenoyama Picks Up Win, Dustin Poirier Chokes Pablo Garza On Undercard

Though the main event of UFC on Fox 1: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos features a Bay Area fighter in Cain Velasquez, the landmark event also featured multiple fighters on the night's undercard with Bay Area ties. Three fighters, to be exact: Cole Escovedo (born in Fresno, CA), Darren Uyenoyama (born in San Francisco, multiple fights in San Jose) and Cub Swanson (born and fighting out of Palm Springs, CA). The results for these guys were mixed, at best.

First, the good news: Uyenoyama (who fought three times in San Jose for the Strikeforce promotion) thoroughly dominated the highly-regarded and highly-favored Norifumi Yamamoto. Uyenoyama was dominant from the opening bell, and almost finished the fight with a rear naked choke late in the very first round, but Yamamoto survived the round until the bell. Aside from a monster left that opened up a big cut on Uyenoyama early in the second round, it was smooth sailing for the California native.

And now the bad news: Cub Swanson, who was born, lives and fights out of Palm Springs, CA was submitted by Ricardo Lamas via arm triangle choke at 2:16 of round 2. Swanson looked good to start the first and was super-aggressive in the second, and it ended up costing him, giving up the takedown and, ultimately, the submission.

Cole Escovedo, who was born in Fresno, was thoroughly outstruck on the feet and lost a unanimous decision to Alex Caceres. Nicknamed "Bruce Leroy," most figured that Caceres was destined for a loss and a boot out of the organization after this fight. It wouldn't be so, as the judges handed him three 30-27 cards to extend his UFC career.

Undercard Results

Dustin Poirier def. Pablo Garva (D'Arce choke, 1:32 of round 2)
Richardo Lamas def. Cub Swanson (arm triangle choke, 2:16 of round 2)
DaMarques Johnson def. Clay Harvison (TKO punches, 1:34 of round 1)
Darren Uyenoyama def. Norifumi Yamamoto (30-27, 30-26, 30-27)
Robert Peralta def. Mackens Semerzier (TKO punches, 1:54 of round 3)
Alex Caceres def. Cole Escovedo (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Mike Pierce def. Paul Bradley (29-28, 30-27, 28-29)
Aaron Rosa def. Mat Lucas (28-28, 30-26, 30-26)


UFC On Fox 1: Velasquez Vs. Dos Santos Ratings Projections: More Than Kimbo Slice, EliteXC?

Saturday marks the first time the UFC has ever been on network television - have you gotten sick of hearing that yet? Perhaps you've gotten sick of reading it over and over, but it really is worth noting for many reasons. The biggest reason is the fact that the sport of MMA almost took off in a huge, huge way not too long ago, when the backyard brawler Kimbo Slice took on the virtual unknown James Thompson in the main event of EliteXC: PRIMETIME On CBS in May 2008. 

That fight was mostly looked at with a good deal or scorn by MMA fans, since Slice, at the time, wasn't taking the sport seriously and was only on television due to his rise to internet stardom beating up bums and jocks in backyards, alleys and venues of equal stature. But the event drew an estimated average viewership of 4.3 million, with a peak of just over 6.5 million, easily the most watched MMA event in history. Another EliteXC show in October of the same year would draw an average of 4.5 million viewers, but marked the last time they were on air, as Slice was knocked out by late replacement Seth Petruzelli, a fighter who has flunked his way out of the UFC multiple times.

A Strikeforce event on CBS in November of 2009 drew an average of 4 million viewers, peaking at just above five million. But it all goes back to that event featuring Kimbo Slice - the peak of 6,510,000 viewers on CBS. The UFC wants to usher in a new era for not just the company, but the sport in general. And while Strikeforce's event had one of the greatest fighters in MMA history in Fedor Emelianenko, he was going up against a fighter far overmatched in Brett Rogers ... so the UFC really can claim to be doing this the "right" way.

UFC on Fox 1: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos isn't just the promotion's debut on network television, it's the first time that two legitimate fighters who are at the top of their respective divisions are squaring off against one another on free television - network television, that is. Cain Velasquez is most definitely the top heavyweight fighter in the world, and Junior dos Santos can easily make an argument for number two - they are the sport's very best at that weight class - the weight class that generally appeals the most to the general public.

It's hard to say whether or not the UFC is legitimized in the eyes of the casual viewer, but the one thing that is certain is that watching Slice beat down on cans is not the thing that would have been able to do it. This is a fight between two hard-working, passionate fighters at the top of the game in what they day. For the UFC, they have to be hoping they can beat the  EliteXC numbers. The UFC Primetime special for the fight on Fox already did more than any other Primetime before it, reaching nearly two million viewers, which is more than a half million more than the next best.

This writer is going to say the upwards of seven million viewers will be the peak.


UFC On Fox 1: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos Odds, Betting Lines

On Saturday, the UFC is set to debut on network television with it's first of (hopefully) many events on the Fox network: UFC On Fox 1: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos. The main event will feature California native Cain Velasquez defending his heavyweight title against Brazilian Junior dos Santos, a fight which will comprise the entirety of the televised portion of the card.

We've got some odds for you, courtesy of OddsShark, for the entire night of fights, though. The preliminary card is headlined by a lightweight tilt between Clay Guida and Ben Henderson, and also features an excited matchup between Dustin Poirier and Pablo Garza. Both of the latter two fights will be on Fox Deportes, and the entire preliminary card can be seen on Facebook or FoxSports.com.

That being said, the lines aren't all that attractive for this night of fights. The only sure-loser at this point, in this writer's eyes, is Alex Caceres, who is just ... just awful. Dos Santos is the underdog and since the main event is so close, that's obviously something that could be attractive. We're going to use the Bodog odds.

Main Card

Cain Velasquez (9-0) -200  vs. Junior Dos Santos (13-1) +160

Preliminary Card (Facebook/FoxSports.com)

Ben Henderson (14-2) -250  vs. Clay Guida (29-11) +195
Pablo Garza (11-1) +220 vs. Dustin Poirier (10-1) -280
Norifumi Yamamoto (18-4, 1 NC) -370 vs. Darren Uyenoyama (6-3) +280
Ricardo Lamas (10-2) -140 vs. Cub Swanson (15-4) +110
Clay Harvison (9-3) +220 vs. DaMarques Johnson (12-9) -280
Robert Peralta (15-3) +100 vs. Mackens Semerzier (6-3) -130
Paul Bradley (18-3) +265 vs. Mike Pierce (12-4) -350
Aaron Rosa (16-4) -140 vs. Matt Lucas (14-2) +110
Alex Caceres (5-4) +230 vs. Cole Escovedo (17-8) -300


UFC On Fox 1: Velasquez Vs. Dos Santos Indisputably Significant, More Than Griffin Vs. Bonnar?

As we've noted multiple times now, the Cain Velasquez vs. Junior Dos Santos fight on UFC On Fox 1: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos is one of major significance. It's significant to us because Velasquez, the champion, was born in Salinas, CA and fights out of San Jose, CA - he's been honored by the city for his accomplishments in MMA. More champions based in California will likely mean more fight cards in California - likely headlined by said champions.

But it holds so much more significance. The words "network debut" continue to appear in this pieces and it can't be stressed enough how big this card and this fight is for the UFC. It's such a big deal that Bloody Elbow recently asked the question - is this fight more important to the UFC than the fight between Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar on the Ultimate FIghter 1 Finale. They asked the question in a recent round table discussion, and it's certainly an interesting one.

That fight was so important because it signified the first season of The Ultimate Fighter, a hugely successful reality TV show that served as a gateway into a full UFC contract for a house of hopeful fighters. It occurred at a point where the UFC was really struggling and it was a huge leap of faith - despite how good the season itself was, it really all depended on that one fight on the finale and the hype behind it.

What followed was a bloody slugest in which Griffin eventually won and the UFC was propelled to new heights. Here's some excerpts, the first one being from folks who don't think it's as significant:

Leland Roling - No. Without the significance of Griffin-Bonnar, we probably aren't where we are at today in terms of opportunity.

Tim Burke - I agree with Leland. Griffin/Bonnar was the culmination of a 10 million dollar experiment that very nearly bankrupted the company. If that fight wasn't what it was, the UFC likely wouldn't be owned by the Fertittas anymore.

Though there is some sentiment that it could possibly be as important:

Matt Roth - I think this is possibly more important just because of what's at stake. The UFC has been trying to "legitimize" the sport for years. They finally have the chance to pull in an audience that doesn't know anything about the sport, who most likely still call it cage fighting. If the fight is a complete bust, this could force the UFC and Fox to reevaluate their plan. They're planning to interview the fighters much in the same way they do with the Superbowl. Even the format could negatively affect the fight.    

They're both definitely good points. The biggest thing to note here is the fact that in this fight, Velasquez and dos Santos are representing the future of not just an organization, but a sport in general. If it doesn't go well, that doesn't mean the UFC will suddenly be in debt and the sport is doomed, but if it does go well, it can mean so many huge things for the sport. 

While it's hard to argue that one fight is more significant than the other, this certainly seems like the point that Griffin-Bonnar was setting up. One fight could only push it so far, and maybe that served its purpose, to bring on the second phase of the UFC's growth - through Velasquez vs. dos Santos.


UFC On Fox 1: Velasquez Vs. Dos Santos Fight Card

On Saturday, the UFC sees its debut on network television capped off with a bang as Junior dos Santos challenges California native Cain Velasquez for the UFC Heavyweight Championship in the card's main event. The night of fights features plenty of matchups, including a high-level lightweight tilt between Clay Guida and Ben Henderson, but the one-hour broadcast on Fox will over feature the heaveyweight title matchup.

The one-fight main card is something new for the UFC, and it goes hand-in-hand with the promotions debut on network TV. It's not likely that future fights on the network will only have one fight, but as an introductory "beginner's course", if you will, the first show will serve its purpose. It's MMA's big night and it's all focused on the heavyweight fighters, which is probably how it should be, as it's what seems to appeal the most to the casual viewers.

A look at the full card for UFC on Fox 1: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos below:

Main Card

Cain Velasquez (9-0) vs. Junior Dos Santos (13-1)

Preliminary Card (Facebook/FoxSports.com)

Ben Henderson (14-2) vs. Clay Guida (29-11)
Pablo Garza (11-1) vs. Dustin Poirier (10-1)
Norifumi Yamamoto (18-4, 1 NC) vs. Darren Uyenoyama (6-3)
Ricardo Lamas (10-2) vs. Cub Swanson (15-4)
Clay Harvison (9-3) vs. DaMarques Johnson (12-9)
Robert Peralta (15-3) vs. Mackens Semerzier (6-3)
Paul Bradley (18-3) vs. Mike Pierce (12-4)
Aaron Rosa (16-4) vs. Matt Lucas (14-2)
Alex Caceres (5-4) vs. Cole Escovedo (17-8)

For more on the event, check out MMA Nation's page, and as always, head on over to Bloody Elbow.


UFC On Fox: Velasquez Vs. Dos Santos Is Big For MMA, Bay Area

Bay Area MMA and the sport in general is being represented in a heavyweight title fight on UFC On Fox: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos on Saturday. California native Cain Velasquez will be defending the heavyweight championship against Junior Dos Santos live on the Fox network. For more on the card and MMA in general, go to Bloody Elbow.

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