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Tag: Fox

And Chael Sonnen’s FOX Replacement Is…


(Something tells me they won’t be using this as Lytle’s profile photo, but I want them to anyway.)

Ever since Chael Sonnen’s untimely departure from FOX, MMA fans have been waiting on baited breath to see who would be hired as the next Guy Who Awkwardly Shouts Things At Us Between Fights (I believe the official title they use is “UFC Analyst”). Would it be the recently fired Brandon Vera, who holds a wealth of UFC experience and knowledge of home invasion defense techniques? Or maybe MMA legend BJ Penn (when he finishes crying)? Dear God, could it be BAS RUTTEN?!

Well as it turns out, FOX’s newest analyst is…beloved UFC veteran, legendary bonus-hunter and one-time Indiana State Senate hopeful Chris Lytle! According to a press release sent out earlier today, “Lights Out” will join Daniel Cormier, Kenny Florian and host Karyn Bryant in the FS1 studios starting with next week’s Fight Night 45: Cerrone vs. Miller:

UFC on FOX analysts Kenny Florian, Daniel Cormier and host Karyn Bryant welcome former UFC welterweight contender Chris Lytle to the analyst desk as he makes his debut at the UFC FIGHT NIGHT WEIGH-IN on Tuesday, July 15 and works the PREFIGHT and POSTFIGHT coverage on FOX Sports 1 as well. Jon Anik and Brian Stann call the fights on FOX Sports 1 live from the Revel Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, while Victor Dávila and Fabricio Werdum call the action for FOX Deportes.

Wednesday night coverage begins with the UFC FIGHT NIGHT PREFIGHT SHOW at 6:00 PM ET, with Bryant, Cormier, Florian and Lytle previewing the evening’s action. Heidi Androl interviews fighters in Atlantic City. The two-hour UFC FIGHT NIGHT PRELIMS begin on FOX Sports 1 (7:00 PM ET) and feature four exciting bouts. FOX SPORTS LIVE offers extended postfight coverage immediately following the conclusion of UFC FIGHT NIGHT, with interviews of the fighters.

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And Now He’s Fired: Chael Sonnen Axed by FOX For Being a No Good, Steroid-Using Double Cheater


(Yep, we’re sticking to our *guns* with this photo. BA-DUM-TSH!)

How about some actual news for a change?

On the subject of Chael Sonnen‘s second straight drug test failure, I believe Old Dad summed it up best when he said that the American Gangster had a “cheater’s dream cocktail” flowing through his veins. And indeed, Sonnen tested positive for not trace amounts of HGH, EPO, WWE, TRL, HSN, and BET when retested, which made his previous failed drug test prior to UFC 175 all the harder to swallow.

It’s important to note that Sonnen’s second test was administered before the results of his first test were made public, meaning that he was still technically competing while loaded to gills with a veritable pharmacy heading into UFC 175. Following his all but forced retirement shortly thereafter, the question quickly became not where Sonnen’s fighting career was headed, but if the UFC/FOX would continue to employ a multiple time steroid cheat simply because he was charismatic in front of a camera. It would send a hell of a mixed message to the rest of their fighters in their roster, that’s for sure.

Well today brings an answer, and that answer is “Eff no.”(via a UFC-FOX press release sent out this morning):

The UFC and FOX Sports organizations announced today the termination of their respective broadcasting services agreements with analyst Chael Sonnen. This decision comes in light of Sonnen failing a second test conducted by the Nevada Athletic Commission for banned substances in June. Sonnen was previously under temporary suspension by the Nevada Athletic Commission for failing an initial test conducted in May.

I guess this means Sonnen won’t be given the opportunity to defend himself via a laughably rushed interview on America’s Pregame, then?

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The ‘FOX Boost’ Is a Myth: There’s No Formula to Create New UFC Stars


(Benson Henderson peers warily at the buyrate for UFC 164. / Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

By Matt Saccaro

Congratulations are in order for FOX and the UFC. They took a terrible draw in Benson Henderson and made him into merely a bad draw.

Henderson was partially responsible for one of the worst pay-per-view buyrates in recent UFC history — an estimated 190,000 buys for UFC 150 against fellow failure-to-move-the-needle Frankie Edgar. Henderson was so bad that the UFC kept him off PPV for an entire year after UFC 150, instead preferring to use their shows on FOX to build him up. After these shows, the UFC decided to put Henderson back in a PPV main event at UFC 164, presumably in order to see if FOX turned the ho-hum fighter into a star.

I noted the importance of UFC 164’s PPV performance in a previous article:

If UFC 164 can boast a decent buyrate, then the theory that the UFC can use FOX to create the next generation of stars will be proven true, and the UFC’s future will be a little more secure. But if UFC 164 fails as hard as UFC 150 did — if promoting a fighter TWO TIMES on one of the biggest networks on television failed to make that fighter a draw — then the UFC is in trouble. That would mean one champion who would be dead weight on a card, in addition to the champions from the lighter men’s weight classes who have all yet to establish themselves as major PPV draws.

UFC 164 didn’t perform as poorly as UFC 150. It drew an estimated 270,000 buys.

“That’s great! It’s about a 42% increase over last time,” you say? Yeah, that’s true, but let’s look at it another way.

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In Case You Missed It: Homeless Bum Dana White Helps Rob Riggle Make Week 13 NFL Picks


Skip to the 1:45 mark for Dana’s appearance. Props to reader Alan K for the video.

While the rest of you were watching football today (the American version, aka the one worth watching *chugs beer, initiates U-S-A! chant*), you may have noticed a familiar face in this week’s edition of Riggle’s Picks. No, it wasn’t one of us. It was UFC President Dana White, satirizing “Exclusive Access” sports websites alongside Rob Riggle.

Riggle hits all the standard punchlines about these types: Improbable rumors, Rex Ryan is a fat mess, that these sites are only in it for the money, Richard Simmons, the webmasters live with their mothers, Jewish guilt- you know the drill by now. But Dana White steals the show with his masterful performance as a homeless drunk, who serves as an incarnation of “Guy who can’t possibly have inside information spreading outlandish rumors that only internet trolls are dumb enough to believe.”

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Is the UFC’s Fox Deal Hurting Business?


(Video courtesy of YouTube/StudioMMA)

An interesting quote from the interview above by our friends at StudioMMA got me thinking today whether or not the landmark TV deal the UFC struck with Fox is helping or hindering Zuffa’s bottom line.

According to UFC president Dana White, every day he deals with fans who say they had no idea that the UFC is broadcasting events on Fox and it’s affiliates like FX and Fuel TV.

“Our deal with Fox is seven years. Over the next two years we’re working our asses off to get this Fox deal dialed in… Fuel, FX and big Fox — as far as the production goes, as far as the type of programming we’re going to continue to put together, fine-tuning the Ultimate Fighter that’s live and reaching out and letting not only the hardcore fans, the sometimes fans and people who aren’t yet fans know that we’re on Fox. That’s a bigger job than people could imagine. How many people that I still talk to on Twitter that have no idea we are on FOX, FX or FUEL; oh, it’s crazy man. It’s crazy. So that’s what we’re going to be doing in the next two years.”

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UFC on FOX 1 Conference Call Notes and Quick Quotes


(A twist to the story is that they are actually brothers who used to be siamese twins.)

The UFC and FOX held a conference call today with UFC Chairman and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta, UFC President Dana White, FOX Sports Media Group Chairman David Hill, FOX Sports Co-President Eric Shanks and FUELTV General Manager George Greenberg for members of the media who were unable to attend today’s UFC on Fox 1 pre-fight press conference in Los Angeles. Besides the big announcement that prelim fights will soon be moving over to FuelTV from Facebook, there were a few other interesting nuggets that came out of the call.

Check out the quick quotes after the jump.

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ESPN’s MMA Live Host Jon Anik Joins UFC Broadcast Team


(Photo courtesy of Ed Mulholland/ESPN)

In an effort to take some of the growing workload off of the backs of color analyst Joe Rogan and play-by-play man Mike Goldberg, the UFC announced today that it has added veteran sportscaster Jon Anik to its broadcast team.

Anik, who has anchored MMA Live since 2008 and hosted several ESPN pre-UFC shows, will be involved with the November 12 Fox broadcast in some capacity and will likely take the reins of commentating duties for the next season’s weekly live broadcast of The Ultimate Fighter on FX among other events.

“We’re very happy to have Jon as part of the team,” UFC president Dana White said after making the announcement at today’s UFC 137 press conference.

“It’s a dream come true. I believe the UFC’s a strong a brand as there is in professional sports, but what really drew me to this organization was the people behind it. I think as strong as this organization is, it’s the people behind it,” the 33-year-old Boston native said Thursday. “It’s a well-oiled machine, I just hope I don’t get in the way. I’m very excited to get started.

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Spike TV Playing Hardball With UFC; Dana White is Not Happy


(A woman scorned always has her revenge.)

It looks like Spike TV isn’t going to let the UFC walk away from their longtime liaison quietly.

Like a woman scorned , Spike will attempt to sabotage Zuffa’s burgeoning relationship with Fox by counter-programming the network’s first UFC event featuring a heavyweight tilt between Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos with a three-hour special “Dos Santos vs. Velasquez: Unleashed” series of shows according to MMA Junkie. The November 12 Unleashed Marathon will begin at 9:00 just as Fox’s inaugural UFC event is set to start.

According to the report,  Spike owns the broadcast rights to the UFC library through 2012, and unless Zuffa buys back the rights the network will likely continue to counter-program Fox’s events for the next year. The catch 22 of the situation is that unless the UFC buys back the rights, Spike cannot air any other promotion’s events, which explains why it is only airing Bellator’s prelims on its website. The move could be a testing ground to see if there’s enough interest to move Bellator’s weekly events to the rotation when the UFC agreement expires.

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UFC Announces Velasquez vs. dos Santos for Main Event of November 12 Debut On Fox


(“Let’s try to make this thing last at least one round, deal?”)

UFC president Dana White announced during a conference call today that a heavyweight championship bout between Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos will be the only bout on the promotion’s inaugural one-hout broadcast on Fox November 12. The heavily-anticipated bout, which was rumored to be the capper for UFC 139 a week later in San Jose, was instead moved to the Fox show and will now be the UFC’s landmark first fight on network television. The promotion is confident that it could do for them what Griffin vs. Bonnar I at the TUF 1 finale did for the sport back in 2006.

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In Spite of Our Pleas, Fox Execs Pushing for Gus Johnson Involvement in UFC Pre and Post-Fight Shows


(Video courtesy of YouTube/MMAHeat)

Somebody needs to send Eric Shanks a few links to some mixed martial arts website comment sections and message boards where the topic of Gus Johnson’s MMA commentary skills are being discussed. If they did, the FOX Sports Media Group President and Co-COO might think long and hard about having captain eyeshadow do the UFC’s pre and post-fight shows like he told MMA H.E.A.T’s Karyn Bryant he’s looking into doing.

This could call for a petition.

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