It was five years ago this week that UFC announced that a Heavyweight Championship fight between Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos would headline the debut on Fox network. The following is our initial report and Jamie Penick’s instant analysis of the news…
The UFC’s historic debut on network television now has its headliner, as UFC President Dana White announced on Friday afternoon that Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos will meet in the main event for the first ever UFC on Fox event on Nov. 12.
The event, coming to the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., will bring one hour of UFC action to the #1 network in the UFC’s key demographic on Nov. 12.
“We deliver,” White said in the conference call. “We wanted to deliver to our partner, Fox Sports, we wanted to deliver to the fans… The no brainer, the one right in front of our face, was the Heavyweight Title fight.”
The historic network debut will feature this Heavyweight Title fight alone, though the fans in Anaheim will get a full fight card, and preliminary card fights could make their way to the broadcast if there’s time.
Velasquez returns for the first time since capturing the Heavyweight Title last October with his first round TKO victory over Brock Lesnar. After undergoing shoulder surgery, Velasquez sat out all of 2011, and will finally defend his belt for the first time.
Dos Santos gets his first shot at the title after notching his seventh straight win in the UFC with a three round beating of Shane Carwin at UFC 131 in June.
Tickets for the fight will go on sale on Friday, Sept. 16, and fans will be able to purchase them at Ticketmaster as well as the Honda Center box office.
Penick’s Analysis: This is a huge fight to put on free television, and considering neither is an established pay-per-view commodity this fight will go an long way towards bringing new fans to these two fighters. This is going to be a huge event on Fox, and will absolutely be the most watched MMA fight ever, and I can’t wait to see how this all plays out.