Velasquez vs. dos Santos to headline UFC on FOX

nullThe UFC wanted a premiere fight for its FOX television premiere and that is just what it has.

Dana White announced via conference all on Friday that Cain Velasquez will defend his UFC heavyweight championship against top contender, Junior dos Santos, on Nov. 12 to headline the show.

The fight was originally scheduled to take place on Nov. 19 as the headline of UFC 139 from San Jose, but will now take place at The Pond in Anaheim.

White also indicated that this is the only fight scheduled for the 1-hour FOX premiere and if the fight ends quickly, they will air undercard bouts that took place earlier in the night.

Velasquez hasn’t fought since winning the championship from Brock Lesnar last October. He is 9-0 in his career.

Dos Santos is 13-1 and coming off a dominant win over Shane Carwin at UFC 131 in June. He has clearly established himself as being the top contender for Velasquez.

While these two may not be the highest-profile of fighters to the outside MMA fan, this is an amazing fight to get on free television.

The UFC is hoping for fireworks for this bout to really draw in a big audience and take the UFC to a new level. Hopefully this fight does just that.

The new main event for UFC 139 has yet to be announced but White indicated that it was in the works.

UFC already looking to Silva vs. Henderson II prior to UFC 134

nullDid the UFC bite off more than it can chew with scheduling a live event on FOX in November?

The premiere MMA organization wants to put on the two best fights possible for its premiere on the broadcast network on Nov. 12, but reports from Tatame have the UFC setting up a possible rematch between Anderson Silva and Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion, Dan Henderson.

Problem is, Silva is fighting Yushin Okami this Saturday at UFC 134.

Anderson Silva will put his belt on the line this Saturday, but the organization is already thinking on his next title defense. According to sources close to the situation, the middleweight champion is in talks with the UFC to fight Dan Henderson at UFC’s first show on FOX, scheduled to November 12, in California.

Anderson, who already defeated the former Pride champion in his long UFC career, tapping him in a rear-naked choke at UFC 82, fights the highly underdog Yushin Okami this Saturday, at UFC Rio, while Henderson waits to define his future with the end of his contract with Strikeforce.

Sources also indicated that if Henderson didn’t agree to move down to middleweight months after a heavyweight showdown against Fedor Emelianenko, Chael Sonnen is the option to replace him against Silva.

Sonnen is set to fight Brian Stann at UFC 136, and if Henderson doesn’t take this fight, he’d be taken out to fight Anderson. Stann, on the other hand, would potentially fight Vitor Belfort.

While Silva is the clear favorite to win this Saturday, we have seen in the past that it is never smart to schedule a match before another one is completed.

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UFC on FOX Press Conference Highlights

In case you missed it, the UFC announced its new partnership with FOX Television.

A new 7-year TV deal will start in November with a live event on FOX and the broadcast mogul will air four live events per year.

The deal also includes six live cards on FX, as well as two seasons of The Ultimate Fighter per year, which will now include live fights each week.

Fuel TV will also receive some UFC programming, likely in the form of pay-per-view prelims.

Here are some highlights from today’s press conference:

This is a landmark deal for the premiere MMA organization and a sign of big things to come for the UFC.

Rumors have the deal at nearly $100 million a year for the UFC, which is quite a jump from the reported $35 million a year it got from Spike TV.

White won’t confirm UFC to Fox reports

nullThe UFC could be leaving Spike TV and heading to Fox, in what would be a major upgrade for the promotion.

This is according to a report from the Sports Business Journal, which announced the two struck a deal to hold four events per year on broadcast TV.

In what would represent a major push into the mainstream for the UFC, Fox has agreed to a deal that will see the broadcast channel air as many as four MMA events per year, according to several sources.

The multiyear deal would mark the first time the UFC will have consistent airtime on a broadcast network. Fox execs refused to comment on the deal, but sources with knowledge of the negotiations said bidding had gone as high as $90M per year.

The Fox deal is believed to be for seven or eight years. As part of the deal, most of the weekly programming that UFC has on Versus and Spike TV will move to FX starting in January. That includes several fight cards, plus shows like the reality series “The Ultimate Fighter.”

However, UFC President Dana White wouldn’t confirm or deny the deal during the UFC 136 pre-fight press conference in Houston today.

“Everyone is asking me to comment on the Sports Business Journal article. Well, there’s a reason I haven’t, just like I didn’t comment on the Wall Street Journal article on us buying G4.”

White wouldn’t hesitate to announce this deal if it was done, so there must be something still undecided about a possible agreement.

FOX would be a good fit for the UFC, as the network has always been a bit edgier than the likes of CBS, ABC, or NBC.