UFC and FOX reportedly sign deal
UFC and Fox agreed to a deal for seven to eight years, starting in 2012, Sports Business Daily reports. While the agreement calls for up to four UFC shows a year on the Fox network, most of UFC's programming currently carried by Spike TV and Versus would move to Fox's FX and Fuel cable channels, the industry trade publication says.
Spike has been UFC's primary cable outlet since the 2005 debut of The Ultimate Fighter reality show.
Ratings for UFC's live programming -- Fight Night shows and preliminary cards before pay-per-views -- have remained relatively stable over the years. TUF ratings remain in the 1.0 range despite a time shift to accommodate Spike's new Coal program.
But the audience for UFC's taped shows has fallen, Sports Business Daily notes:
Sources said Spike ultimately passed over concern that its UFC shoulder programming stopped growing. Shows like Unleashed,Knockouts and Countdown averaged 1 million viewers in '05. This year, they are averaging 492,000.
Bidding for UFC's programs reportedly reached $90 million annually, Money has never been the only factor considered by Zuffa, which views free TV in North America as a vehicle for exposure and promotion for its core product, pay-per-view entertainment.
"We're never going to be in a situation where we're making money on those networks," UFC President Dana White said earlier this year. "We'll have to come out in a situation where we break even. That works."
Although Zuffa has negotiated with commercial networks before, as well as HBO, talks usually broke down over control issues. Zuffa has always insisted on keeping control of the broadcast, which is generally anthema to sports networks.
Sports Business Daily did not say whether the Fox deal was with the network's sports arm or its entertainment division.
Manny Gamburyan Injured and Out of UFC 135 Bout Against Diego Nunes
Manny Gamburyan has suffered a shoulder injury and has been forced out of his UFC 135 fight against Diego Nunes.
Gamburyan announced the news via his Twitter account on Monday.
“I’m off from the UFC 135 card, I hurt my shoulder and MRI is not looking good,” Gamburyan wrote. “I just wanna say sorry to all my friends and fans, I’ll be back!”
Dan Hardy in no hurry to return to UFC, will consider all options in and out of the cage
In the main event of Sunday's UFC on Versus 5 card, British slugger Dan Hardy finally got the fight for which he had long pined.
And yet somehow, even though fellow scrapper Chris Lytle stood in front of him for a little more than 14 minutes, Hardy still came up short.
UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta put an end to all speculation by tweeting post-fight that Hardy will get at least one more fight in the octagon. But "The Outlaw" isn't quite sure when he'll take the UFC co-owner up on the offer.
UFC on Versus 5 main-event winner gets new Harley motorcycle
The winner of tonight's UFC on Versus 5 main event will leave Milwaukee with more than just a victory and win bonus.
UFC officials today announced that either Chris Lytle or opponent Dan Hardy also will receive a 2012 Harley-Davidson Blackline motorcycle.
In the buildup to tonight's UFC on Versus 5 event, the UFC teamed up with Milwaukee's Harley-Davidson Museum to host pre-event festivities.
Report: Lyoto Machida vs Phil Davis fight possibly in the works
When Phil Davis went down with an injury just weeks before UFC 133, Lyoto Machida was initially tapped to replace him against Rashad Evans.
Then "The Dragon" decided he wanted "Anderson Silva money" and freshly minted company man Tito Ortiz stepped in to save the day. That left both Machida and Davis out in the cold with no dance partners.
Chris Lytle set to retire after UFC on Versus 5 main event
MILWAUKEE – Perhaps there's a reason UFC welterweight Chris Lytle said he's willing to stand and trade with British slugger Dan Hardy.
Apparently, it doesn't really matter where a win or loss puts him in the UFC's 170-pound division.
Lytle on Saturday informed his employers that Sunday's UFC on Versus 5 contest would be his last in the octagon
UFC on Versus 5 official weigh-in results
MAIN CARD (Versus)
•Dan Hardy (170)* vs. Chris Lytle (170.5)
•Ben Henderson (156) vs. Jim Miller (155.5)
•Donald Cerrone (156) vs. Charles Oliveira (155)
•Duane Ludwig (170.5) vs. Amir Sadollah (170)
PRELIMINARY CARD (Facebook)
•C.B. Dollaway (186) vs. Jared Hamman (185)
•Joseph Benavidez (135.5) vs. Eddie Wineland (136)
•Ed Herman (186) vs. Kyle Noke (185)
•Ronny Markes (205) vs. Karlos Vemola (205.5)
•Alex Caceres (146) vs. Jim Hettes (145.5)
•Cole Miller (155) vs. T.J. O'Brien (155.5)
•Danny Castillo (156) vs. Jacob Volkmann (156)
•Edwin Figueroa (136) vs. Jason Reinhardt (135)
* - Missed weight on first attempt (171.5 pounds); made weight on second attempt
Zhang Tie Quan vs. Darren Elkins at UFC 136
According to his coach from China Top Team, Chinese superstar, Zhang Tie Quan will be making his return to the Octagon against Darren Elkins this October. Tatame has the report:
Another fight is coming up to UFC 136 card. The event, headlined by two title fights (lightweights Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard and featherweights Jose Aldo vs. Kenny Florian), will mark the return of Zhang Tiequan to the octagon.
His coach at China Top Team, Ruy Menezes told TATAME that his protégé is set to fight Darren Elkins at UFC 136, on October 8th.
UFC on Versus 5's Lytle still eyes title, not "pulling an Anthony Johnson" to get it
MILWAUKEE – British welterweight scrapper Dan Hardy (23-9 MMA, 4-3 UFC) has been begging for someone to stand on the opposite side of the UFC's octagon and offer him a slugfest.
Despite the dangers in doing so, longtime veteran Chris Lytle (30-18-5 MMA, 9-10 UFC) promises he'll do exactly that in the main event of Sunday's UFC on Versus 5 card.
The five-time "Fight of the Night" winner insists it's not a suicide mission. At nearly 37 years old, "Lights Out" still has eyes on the UFC's welterweight title – he's just not "pulling an Anthony Johnson" to get there.
"I want the type of fight that everybody afterward says, 'That's the best fight I've seen in a long time,'" Lytle told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "So, there's no thought in my head of pulling an Anthony Johnson (because) I've got to get that 'W.' I'd rather lose a fight than get a win like that, to be honest with you.
If victorious, UFC on Versus 5's Ben Henderson plans GSP-like post-fight speech
MILWAUKEE – Former WEC lightweight champion Ben Henderson proved naysayers wrong when he successfully made his UFC debut in April.
Henderson outclassed Mark Bocek en route to a decision victory and proved WEC talent is on par with the UFC's. Henderson's next foe is tough veteran Jim Miller, who has only seen defeat once in his UFC career.
And if victorious in the UFC on Versus 5 headliner, Henderson has a Georges St-Pierre-inspired speech planned.
Cerrone says "cocky" Oliveira perfect recipe for fast start at UFC on Versus 5
MILWAUKEE – Three-time WEC title challenger Donald Cerrone is the type of explosive fighter who can capitalize on a single mistake made by any opponent.
And if Cerrone's predictions for his upcoming UFC on Versus 5 fight with Charles Oliveira hold true, the Brazilian youngster may have already made an unfortunate move: an errant smirk pointed "Cowboy's" way.
"I seen him looking at me the other day, smirking; that to me is cocky," Cerrone said. "Come Sunday night, it's on. I can't wait to peer across that ring and see his little cocky ass standing there. I'm excited."
Josh Grispi out, Nam Phan in against Matt Grice at UFC 136 in Houston
An undisclosed injury has forced Josh Grispi (14-3 MMA, 0-2 UFC) out of October's UFC 136 event.
In his place steps featherweight replacement Nam Phan (16-9 MMA, 0-2 UFC), who now takes on Matt Grice (13-4 MMA, 1-4 UFC) at the event, officials recently announced.
Featuring a championship doubleheader, UFC 136 takes place Oct. 8 at Houston's Toyota Center.
The evening's main card airs on pay-per-view. However, Phan vs. Grice is expected to take place on the evening's preliminary card.
UFC on Versus 5 gets last-minute TV partner in U.K. with Premier Sports TV
Sunday's UFC on Versus 5 event will air live in the U.K. after all.
UFC officials today announced that Premier Sports TV channel 433 will show the event live.
Officials from the UFC's usual TV outlet – the premium-cable channel ESPN UK – recently announced they won't be carrying the Aug. 14 event, and other future events could be affected. (ESPN UK doesn't have the rights to air Versus events and must negotiated them on an event-by-event basis.)
Prior to the addition of Premier Sports TV, which will air the event in free-view mode, UFC officials planned to stream the entire card in the U.K. via UFC.tv. Premier Sports is available on the Sky platform, though Virgin and Freeview customers still will need to use the free UFC.tv. stream as an alternative since they don't have access to Premier Sports.
UFC on Versus 6: Cruz may be disrepected but he'll benefit too
I'm sure Dana White and the geniuses at UFC knew what they were doing, and I'm sure they're aware of the interest this fight will raise in these newly added divisions.
Aldo and Florian are helping to ease the WEC transition by pitting perennial contender KFlo against the WEC Black House Powerhouse. The UFC on Versus Card will lay the groundwork for this card to capitalize on new interest.
Cruz and Johnson should be applauded because not only are they giving us, the fans a great main event for a decent and FREE card but because they are helping their fellow division fighters.
I'm sure in the next year we will see more of them on main cards as opposed to watching Chad Mendes v Rani Yahya as a prelim. I mean when was the last time you saw someone earn a title shot on an under card?
Dana White: Flyweight Division Isn't Likely Until Early 2012
The possible formation of a UFC flyweight division has been a hot topic as of late. A couple of months ago Dana White went on record saying that they were going to go forward with the creation of the division, and they were already looking at signing talent. After watching the Tachi Palace Fights 10 card last weekend (or trying to anyway - the stream dropped more than the Dow Jones has lately), it became readily apparently that these guys could be very popular in the UFC.