Posts Tagged ‘UFC on Fox’

UFC on Fox: Junior Dos Santos takes title from Cain Velasquez in 64 seconds

Velasquez (L) and Dos Santos (R) (Tracy Lee/See full album at CombatLifestyle.com)

Junior Dos Santos officially sent the UFC into the mainstream with a resounding boom.

Dos Santos knocked out Cain Velasquez in 64 seconds Saturday to take the heavyweight title at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., as the UFC made its debut on the Fox television network exactly 18 years after the birth of the world’s leading mixed martial arts promotion.

The champion at UFC 1 was, like Dos Santos, a Brazilian.  Royce Gracie won in much different fashion that evening, when a one-night tournament crowned a winner, and there were no weight divisions and less rules, not to mention the pay-per-view coverage.  Under the decade-long ownership of Dana White and the Fertitta brothers, the UFC has undergone epic growth that led to the recent signing of a seven-year deal with Fox, reportedly worth a total of around $700 million.

While the contract does not start until 2012, the UFC and its new partner opted to create this event, with an hour-long special on Fox’s main broadcast channel.  Only the heavyweight title fight was telecast, while the entire undercard was streamed live on Facebook and FoxSports.com.

On the Facebook headliner, Ben Henderson earned a title shot at lightweight champion Frankie Edgar with a unanimous decision victory over Clay Guida in what was one of the most exciting fights of the year, judging by early returns on social media.

Fox spent the first 30-plus minutes of the broadcast giving background about Dos Santos and Velasquez, then it was business as usual in the regular coverage of the event.

There was little action between the fighters until the final sequence, which Dos Santos began by connecting with an overhand right to the left temple of Velasquez, who was knocked to the ground.  Dos Santos tried but could not connect with a series of left hands to the downed champion, then blasted him behind the left ear with a right fist, knocking him out as referee “Big” John McCarthy stepped in.

“I have no words to say what I am feeling.  It’s my whole life.   I have great people around me,” said Dos Santos, who will defend the title against the winner of the Dec. 30 fight between Alistair Overeem and Brock Lesnar.   In the post-fight press conference, Dos Santos picked Lesnar to win.

“He messed up my equilibrium,” Velasquez said.  ”He went in and did what he supposed to do.”

“Cain was for sure my toughest opponent,” Dos Santos said.  ”I was afraid to fight with him because he was very tough.   I was not 100 percent for this fight, so I was scared.”

Velasquez was off for the previous 13 months following shoulder surgery after beating Lesnar to win the belt.  He said the injury did not have any effect on his performance.

Neither Henderson nor Guida wasted any time in their lightweight bout.  Neither lost pace, but Henderson had an answer for Guida wherever the fight went.  Guida, whose wrestling overwhelmed Anthony Pettis, could not execute the same plan against Henderson, who escaped his guillotine attempts and swept into dominant positions.

“Getting ready for Guida, super hard to deal with,” Henderson said.  ”High energy, awkward pace to deal with.”

The attention for Henderson quickly turns to Feb. 26, as he is now slated to fight Frankie Edgar for the lightweight title in the main event at UFC’s return to Japan, White said.  The event is slated for the Saitama Super Arena on Feb. 26.

“Frankie Edgar, we got a date,” Henderson said. “Let’s do it, baby.”

While Pettis beat Henderson in the final WEC match to take the lightweight belt, his unification fight was scuttled by a draw between Edgar and Gray Maynard, and then the loss to Guida.  Now Henderson, the former WEC champion, gets a crack at the UFC belt.

Henderson also grabbed a $65,000 bonus, as did Guida, for being part of the fight of the night.  Dos Santos earned the same for knockout of the night, while Ricardo Lamas scored the extra cash for his submission of Cub Swanson, via arm triangle at 2:16 of the second round.

There was a full card leading up to the broadcast.

Dustin Poirier scored a submission victory over Pablo Garza with a D’Arce choke at 1:32 of the second round, Damarques Johnson blasted Clay Harvison with a left hand and one ground strike for a 94-second TKO at welterweight, and Darren Uyenoyama dominated Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto via unanimous decision.

Robbie Peralta benefited from an accidental headbutt that staggered Mackens Semerzier and set up a series of punches that directly led to a third-round TKO.  McCarthy did not appear to see the headbutt, which could have led him stop the fight and take the scorecards of the judges to that point in order to determine the result.

Alex Caceres, known on The Ultimate Fighter as “Bruce Leeroy,” made a successful drop to bantamweight to earn a unanimous decision over former WEC champion Cole Escovedo.  Mike Pierce edged Paul Bradley via split decision, and Aaron Rosa captured a majority decision over Matt Lucas by the odd scores of 30-26 twice and 28-28.

UFC on Fox Results

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The stakes for UFC on Fox couldn’t be higher

Dana White is counting on his heavyweights to plow the UFC into the mainstream on Fox. (Photo courtesy of Paul Thatcher/Fight! Magazine)

(Courtesy of BostonHerald.com)

Tonight’s UFC on Fox, which features UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez vs. Junior dos Santos, is a show so monumental it could forever change the landscape of mixed martial arts.

If everything goes right from Anaheim, Calif. at 9 p.m., the UFC will be one step closer to establishing themselves as major players in the sport industry. UFC president Dana White has never hid the fact that he wants his brand to be on par with the NFL, a lofty goal but getting the sport on network television is a step in the right direction.

Tonight, of course, has to go off without a hitch. It’s easier said than done when you’re only showing one fight. Granted, the fight between Velasquez and Dos Santos is perfect for this because quite frankly, everyone loves heavyweights. And tonight, fans from all over will be able to watch the top two best heavyweights in the world fight and fight for free.

“This is without a doubt the biggest fight in UFC history. This thing started as a small fringe sport and has grown to what it is today,” White said. “(Tonight) as we step out onto Fox, millions of people will see UFC who’ve never watched before. As we take this step forward into what we call ‘mainstream,’ we were much more fortunate in that we were able to hand pick a fight that we wanted to put on Fox. If I had to do it all over again, this is still the fight I’d pick to put on network television.”

White has already said that even if tonight’s fight gets over early, no other fights will be shown. There are multiple things that could go wrong – a quick knockout, a disqualification, a boring five round affair or even a fight being stopped due to a cut. But it’s a risk White and Fox executives are willing to make.

Though this is a first for the UFC, to be on a major network, it’s not a first for MMA. Elite XC had three shows shown on CBS in 2008 and the results were interesting to say the least. Though viewers peaked at 6,510,000 making it the most watched MMA event in history, the main event was subpar. Elite XC’s grand idea to try and build around Youtube sensation Kimbo Slice, in hindsight, was poor planning.

Now the UFC will do it right. Not with a gimmick fight, but with one of the most intriguing MMA match-ups in the world. And though White has his sights set on the NFL, it’s still boxing who they’re going head-to-head with. And tonight couldn’t be a better test as one of boxing’s biggest draws, Manny Pacquiao, takes center stage.

“We’re obviously stoked (to have this event on FOX),” said Fox Sports Chief Executive David Hill. “We’re all huge boxing fans and I think with the death of Joe Frazier, it made people realize that everyone remembers what a great boxer and competitor he was, and the will to win Joe Frazier had. Everyone started talking about the golden days of boxing and what happened to it. To be coming back on primetime with a fight like this, it’s kind of like the dawn of a new era. It’s like a phoenix coming from the ashes.

“What boxing was to my generation, UFC is to my son’s. By the end of these seven years, UFC will be mainstream.”

Tonight’s prelims can be seen on Facebook or Foxsports.com, starting at 4:45. The UFC on Fox: Pre-Fight Show  starts at 7 p.m. on Fuel TV, which will also host the post-fight show at 10 p.m.

UFC on Fox Fresh Faces: Swanson, Uyenoyama, and Lucas

Saturday is one of the biggest days in the history of the UFC. With a heavily promoted champion fight between Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos, it’s clear that the UFC and FOX view this night as a chance to take mixed martial arts to another level.

One of the unfortunate side effects of this event, though, is that a solid undercard of fights has been relegated to live streams on Facebook.com and Foxsports.com. Of course, free fights are free fights, and the UFC on Fox undercard will feature three fighters making their promotional debut during this historic event.

Meet them in this edition of Fresh Faces.

Cub Swanson (photo courtesy of Paul Thatcher/Fight! Magazine)

Name: Cub Swanson

Weight class: Featherweight

Fighting: Ricardo Lamas

Record: 15-4 (4 (T)KOs, 7 submissions)

Recent body of work: Earned a split decision over Mackens Semerzier at WEC 52 last November

Who he is: Cub Swanson has built his reputation on excitement. A three-time Fight of the Night winner in the WEC, Swanson came within one win of fighting for the WEC featherweight title, but ended up on the wrong end of a highlight-reel flying knee from eventual champion Jose Aldo. Since the UFC/ WEC merger, Swanson had been scheduled to make his UFC debut against Erik Koch on two separate occasions, but injuries forced him out of both bouts. Now, after a year of inactivity, the Greg-Jackson trained fighter finally gets to make his long-awaited debut in the Octagon.

Darren Uyenoyama (Photo courtesy of Paul Thatcher/Fight! Magazine)

Name: Darren Uyenoyama

Weight class: Bantamweight

Fighting: Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto

Record: 6-3 (1 (T)KO, 3 submissions)

Recent body of work: TKO’d Shuichiro Katsumura at The Way of Shooto 5 in September 2010

Who he is: Darren Uyenoyama earned his nickname ‘Bonecrusher’ after he accidently broke a training partner’s arm in a sparring accident. A Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, the San Francisco-based Uyenoyama has spent time fighting on both sides of the Pacific, earning a 3-0 mark in Strikeforce in the U.S. and traveling overseas four times to fight in Japan. It has been just over a year since Uyenoyama last fought, and he will look to put together back-to-back wins for the first time since early 2008.

Matt Lucas (photo courtesy of Paul Thatcher/Fight! Magazine)

Name: Matt Lucas

Weight class: Light Heavyweight

Fighting: Aaron Rosa

Record: 14-2 (7 (T)KOs, 3 submissions)

Recent body of work: Knocked out Shawn Frye in 42 seconds at Rage in the Cage 152 last May

Who he is: Fighting out of Arizona Combat Sports, Matt Lucas has spent the majority of his career in the Arizona-based Rage in the Cage promotion. After starting his career 9-0, Lucas hit a brief two-fight skid, losing both contests by submission. Since those loses, though, Lucas has racked up five straight wins, four of which came by first-round TKO. In all, Lucas has finished nine of his 16 career fights in the first round, and has only been to decision four times.

Cameron Gidari is the official writer for TapouTVTC.com. Follow him on Twitter at Twitter.com/GidariTapouTVTC

UFC on Fox Weigh-in Results

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Rear Naked Choke Radio: Newsday’s Mark LaMonica, UFC Encyclopedia author Tom Gerbasi

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Rear Naked Choke Radio comes atcha live from LA Boxing in Paramus, N.J. as Joe Rizzo and Jeremy Fullerton get you ready for UFC on Fox and a pair of Bellator Season 5 tournament finals.

Newsday’s Mark La Monica (Twitter: @LaMonicaMMA) joins the guys to talk about the impact of the UFC’s first move to network television and also the recent purchase of a majority stake in Bellator by Viacom.  Tom Gerbasi, editorial director for Zuffa, comes on to discuss his new book, the UFC Encyclopedia, and the other goings on around the company.  Tom also gives a career retrospective of the late Joe Frazier.

Joe and Jeremy will picks the weekend fights against the odds, including the UFC heavyweight title match between champion Cain Velasquez (minus-165) and Junior Dos Santos (plus-135), and the tournament title matches at Bellator 57.

Rear Naked Choke Radio streams live from LA Boxing in Paramus, N.J. on MMADieHards.com Wednesdays at 6:45 p.m. ET (unless otherwise noted) and is part of the MMA DieHards Radio Network. If you cannot catch the live stream, it is available on demand RIGHT HERE shortly after completion of the broadcast. We’re also available on iTunes and TalkShoe.

MMA Beatdown radio: Cole Escovedo, Bas Rutten

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MMA Beatdown radio is back on MMADieHards.com and the MMA DieHards Radio Network as Mike and Amy talk to HDnet’s Bas Rutten and UFC fighter Cole Escovedo.

Bas Rutten (twitter: @BasRuttenMMA), an HD Net staple on “Inside MMA” will tell us about his brand new show on Fuel TV.  He’ll also be taking your questions!

Cole Escovedo (twitter: @coleescovedo) is slated to face Alex Caceres on UFC’s first “UFC on Fox” card, 11/12/11 in Anaheim, CA.

The show streams live right here on MMADieHards.com on Tuesdays at 8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 PT (unless otherwise noted). If you cannot catch it live, it’s available on demand RIGHT HERE shortly after the completion of the broadcast, and also can be found on iTunes.

UFC on FOX 1 preliminary card to stream free on Facebook and FOX.com

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Spike TV to counter UFC’s debut on FOX with “UFC: Unleashed” marathon

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Guida meets Henderson, Yamamoto-Uyenoyama at UFC on Fox on Nov. 12

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