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"I think there's still a large group of media and large group of just what I'd call sports fans, casual sports fans, that maybe kind of know what UFC is, but they're not saying, 'Hey, right now I have to be home to watch this fight.'That's what we're hoping, is to bring millions more people in to see the UFC. I know that we've had some controversy from some of the boxing promoters, like Bob Arum, saying we're stupid; why would we put the heavyweight championship on free TV; that's a stupid move. The reality is this: Our model has been very successful for us, as far as putting our product on free TV to generate new fans, and that's the way we look at it. I'm not concerned about what our bottom line looks like in November; I'm concerned about what it looks like five years from now. The whole idea is to draw millions of more fans into the group. If I can convert 100,000 of those millions that will be watching for the first time into customers for the next 20 years, then our investment on Fox has paid off.... It's a huge commercial. You have to let people sample the product. Once again, there's a lot of people out there that really haven't been exposed to the UFC, don't know guys like Cain Velasquez, how special he is; a guy like Junior Dos Santos. Once you watch them, you create new fans."
-- You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) co-owner, Lorenzo Fertitta, talks to USA Today about the decision to feature a major heavyweight title fight, Cain Velasquez vs. Junior dos Santos, on network television rather than pay-per-view (PPV). Fertitta explains that the long-term benefits far outweigh any short-term financial losses, betting that the telecast on FOX, which is the first-ever for the promotion on network television, will attract a large amount of new fringe fans. New fringe fans who will ultimately turn into consistently-paying customers of the future once they come down with UFC fever. It worked on Spike TV with the inaugural season of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF), which culminated with the most important fight in the history of the promotion with Forrest Griffin vs. Stephan Bonnar. Does the fight between Velasquez and dos Santos at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., on Nov. 12, 2011, hold the promise of another watershed moment for mixed martial arts (MMA) or will it take repeated exposure to truly make a mainstream dent?