In the aftermath of his FOX debut lasting a full 64 seconds, UFC head honcho Dana White seemed to be on the defensive.
With some fans apparently expressing a certain amount of displeasure over how things ultimately shook out on November 12, a noticeably testy White had this to say of Junior Dos Santos’ victory over Cain Velasquez:
"Just so everybody understands, we're not in a deal with Fox yet. Our deal doesn't start until January. This fight here, these guys just wanted to kick this thing off as like a 'Welcome the UFC to Fox' fight. This fight wasn't part of the deal. The deal is for seven years, so many fights on Fox, this time, that time - this was never part of the deal. After we signed the deal, Fox said, 'Why don't we do this: why don't we do a fight right away? Let's put a great fight on TV, kick it off and let everybody know about the partnership.' That's what this thing was," White said. "For anybody to b---h about this fight and they didn't get to see that fight - shut up. You should've bought tickets then if you wanted to see all the fights and you don't like to watch it on Facebook. Seriously, shut up. I don't even want to hear it.
"We wanted to do this one, we wanted to put our first fight on Fox, see how this thing went. It went seamless, it went smooth, it was great," he said. "This whole thing's a work in progress and now we'll go from here."
When it was all said and done, despite the fact that there was barely a minute of actual action, the UFC’s FOX debut did a 3.1 rating and 5.7 million viewers tuned in for their one-hour broadcast. It was the most attention that the company had gotten since September of 2009 when 5.3 million tuned in for an episode of The Ultimate Fighter featuring Kimbo Slice and Roy Nelson going at it.
White was noticeably more tranquil after he got the numbers. Here’s what he had to say to Dave Meltzer of Yahoo! Sports:
“I’m pumped,” said he said. “I wouldn’t change a thing. We had to introduce the sport to a bunch of people who had never been [exposed to] it before.
“It would have been great to have had a three-round war, but we can’t control how the fight is going to go.”
Whether or not the sport was actually introduced to “a bunch of people” who had never been exposed to it before remains debatable, but Saturday was clearly a good night for White and his UFC brand.
Still, you have to figure that White's initial outburst regarding how his 64-second primetime debut would be met by the public was more because of his own insecurities than anything else.