The Ultimate Fighting Championships appear to have won the race as to who gets the next national television deal.
While not confirmed by any parties, UFC has scheduled a TV taping at 1 p.m. on 6/22 at the Bellagio in Las Vegas for what is apparently a FOX network special. There is no confirmation about when the special would air.
Based on the nature of the taping, this may only be a one match show for television, but that is only speculation based on the line-up, with a main event of Vitor Belfort vs. Chuck Liddell. The undercard just seems to be to have a card with no name fighters. This is a major risk for UFC to bank its first TV deal on a match involving Belfort, who has pulled out of his last two scheduled UFC matches, once legitimately due to an injury, a second time to appear on a television show in Brazil.
The other matches scheduled are:
Robbie Lawler vs. Steve Berger
Benji Radach vs. Nick Serra
Tony Fryckland vs. Rodrigo Ruas
Joao Marcos vs. Josh Thompson
Aaron Spratt vs. Zack Light
Because of the date of the show, it is most likely that the planned Liddell vs. Evan Tanner match for the 7/13 PPV from London, England will be pulled from that show. That match was never officially announced anyway.
I hope this works out for them, as I enjoy the UFC shows and to start seeing them on TV and not just PPV would be cool.
This might sound weird, but I'd rather it be something on Fox Sports Net. My thinking is that on FSN it will be able to go under the big corporate radar in whatever format, weekly or monthly. If it were on Fox large ratings will be expected of them, FSN on the other hand will not require large ratings. I'm assuming something around a 1.0 will be great non-team sports numbers and will bring in enough money for them to survive any Pride raids.
It takes a big man to cry, but it takes a bigger man to laugh at the man.