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.

  

UPDATE: UFC 136 to feature two title fights

nullIt has been a busy 24 hours for the UFC.

There have been a number of big bouts announced, most of which will take place at UFC 136. As always, MMAFighting.com was the first to report on many of the contests.

– In the biggest news, Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard will finally settle the score in a lightweight championship clash at UFC 136 on Oct. 8 from the Toyota Center in Houston. This is the second attempt for the UFC to put on this bout, as the two were originally schedule to fight at UFC 130, but both suffered injuries.

– The UFC also announced via Twitter that Jose Aldo will defend his featherweight championship against Kenny Florian at UFC 136. This will be Florian’s third attempt to win UFC gold while Aldo will be defending his UFC strap for the second time.

– Also set for the UFC 136 card in Houston is another lightweight showdown when Melvin Guillard faces Joe Lauzon. Guillard has quickly skyrocketed up the lightweight ladder with five-straight wins. However, Guillard has struggled in the past with submission fighters and Lauzon is a pitbull on the ground. Lauzon won’t back down from Guillard and the first five minutes of this fight should be very explosive.

– A third bout for UFC 136 was announced as middleweights Demian Maia and Jorge Santiago will square off. Both fighters are coming off of losses and need this win in order to remain a top-10 contender in the division.

– For UFC 137 on Oct. 29 in Las Vegas, heavyweight strikers Matt Mitrione and Cheick Kongo will battle it out. Both are coming off KO wins at UFC Live on Versus 4, with Kongo knocking out Mitrione’s friend, Pat Barry. This will be the biggest test to date for Mitrione, who is now 6-0 in his pro career.