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MMA News: UFC on Fox, “Shogun” Rua's Injury, Spike and More

Now that the Fox television deal is official, new details have emerged for the November 12 event in Anaheim, CA which UFC President Dana White called a “bonus” card from Fox before their new partnership begins in January. Lorenzo Fertitta told the Las Vegas Sun that the televised event will only be an hour long, and will only feature two fights on the broadcast, perhaps due to Manny Pacquiao scheduled to fight on PPV later that night.

“We’ll be out of there before Pacquiao even walks to the ring. This is going to be a perfect night for any fight fan. Get together with your friends, watch two big fights in the UFC and then change the channel to ride into the Pacquiao pay-per-view…It’s going to be a little different with the first one. It’s going to literally be back-to-back action. We aren’t going to mess around with a lot of pre-fight commentary, post-fight commentary. We are going to roll right in, set up the fights and let the action go. For the people coming live in Anaheim, it will be just like a full pay-per-view. It’s a full fight card and if the first (televised fight) goes real quick, we’ll fill in like we always do.” As I said on Wednesday, this is huge news and a game changer.

Only a one hour special may seen like a tease, but I’m sure they’ll put the other 9 or 10 fights on their Facebook page. So fret not, MMA fans. We’ll most likely be able to see them all.

Rumors abound on Brazilian forums, Twitter, and Facebook state that Mauricio “Shogun” Rua has re-injured his knee and would be out of his bout with Forrest Griffin on UFC 134 card. However, has contacted Rua’s manager, who silenced those rumors. “His knee is absolutely perfect, there’s no injury,” said Rua’s manager Eduardo Alonso. “I don’t know where people take that from. He’s training hard, following the training scheduled with Rafael Cordeiro, Renato Babalu [Sobral] and all the team…He’s very excited [for] this fight.” Well this is good news. Another knee injury could probably cost him his career. Now that that’s cleared up, I can look forward to this highly anticipated rematch.

During Thursday’s press conference, Dana White revealed that The Ultimate Fighter will be going live with its first season on FX. The seasons will kick off with a two hour live event where the fighters compete to make it into the house, then each Friday night the shows will have a reality portion consisting of what happened over the previous days in the house, followed by live fights. Not only that, viewers will get to vote on which fights they want to see, ala American Idol. They definitely had to change something. Even though TUF was holding strong with ratings numbers, it became stagnant. This new format should re-energized the franchise. And I love the live fights idea.

UFC officials announced that featherweights Dustin Poirier and Pablo Garza will square off on the very first UFC event on Fox. Not a bad fight to see if there’s time, but there’s no way this fight will be one of the the two scheduled televised bouts.

Although the UFC splitting with Spike TV leaves a huge opening in the networks lineup, Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney insists his promotion isn’t lying in wait. “At this stage, the only group that we’re working with that are actually putting fights on with Bellator is MTV2, and they’ve been doing an amazing job.” Yeah, and Dana White has no interest in purchasing Strikeforce. Oh wait. Look, Viacom owns both MTV2 and SpikeTV. SpikeTV has stated that they aren’t getting rid of MMA programming. SpikeTV reaches more homes than MTV2. Add all that up and all signs point to Bellator being moved over. Bank on that.


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