The UFC's primetime debut on Fox isn't planning to compete with boxing's number-one draw after all.
Immediately after the event's announcement at Thursday's landmark press conference, astute observers began to whisper that the co-promotion's debut -- set for November 12th -- could potentially clash with Manny Pacquiao's third bout against Juan Manuel Marquez. It wasn't too far of a stretch either. After all, bullheaded competition like that has become the UFC's modus operandi in recent years.
However, UFC co-president Lorenzo Fertitta says that's not the plan this time. According to Fertitta, while the UFC plans to create a full card for the event, only two bouts are scheduled for national broadcast.
"It's going to be a little different with the first one," Fertitta explained to the Las Vegas Sun. "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."
Fans in Anaheim will still be treated to a full-fledged pay-per-view type event, and many of the fights will presumably be available via Fox partner-networks such as FX, or online Facebook streaming. Meanwhile, the nationally televised broadcast on ‘big Fox' is scheduled to run at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT as a one-hour special event.
"We'll be out of there before Pacquiao even walks to the ring," Fertitta said. "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."
The idea certainly should get the blood flowing of any fight fan, and follows right along with UFC President Dana White's assertion that big changes are coming. The only question now is what the UFC plans to do with their national-network debut hour. All seven promotion champions are currently locked into other events, but there are still a few big names out there.