When UFC makes its debut on network television with its "Velasquez vs. Dos Santos" event, it will do so with a "Super Bowl level atmosphere."
That's because executives at FOX today promised levels of promotion the likes of which the world's largest mixed martial arts organization has never seen before. That includes a red carpet and tailgate party complete with celebrities and the big time feel you've come to expect from major sporting events like the Super Bowl.
Here's what FOX Sports President Eric Shanks said on today's conference call:
"I will say one thing we will be doing is launching the UFC on Fox with a Super Bowl style red carpet and tailgate party with every star in Hollywood, and every dignitary we need to get out there to launch this thing. It will be a la Super Bowl tailgate and Super Bowl red carpet, with a huge party outside before the event."
We gonna party like it's 1999, folks.
UFC President Dana White echoed those sentiments on the call when he said this will be "an event of all events." Well, it will feel like it, at the very least. Pre-game show, party outside the arena, celebrities, all the major players; this is kind of a big deal.
So what fight exactly will be bringing all the boys to the yard?
That would be a heavyweight championship fight pitting current titleholder Cain Velasquez against number one division contender Junior dos Santos, a bout executives at FOX are already saying is "like getting Ali vs. Forman."
While that might be a bit of an overstatement, there's no questioning the magnitude of this event. In fact, the fight was made even bigger with the announcement that it would be the sole contest held on the one-hour show, which is slated to air at 9 p.m. ET on FOX.
Five round war of attrition, anyone?
The undercard will, in fact, be made available to fight fans in some capacity and if the Velasquez vs. Dos Santos fight lasts for all of 30 seconds, we may even see a preliminary card bout on network television.
But the big money maker is the heavyweight title fight and by the time the show kicks off from Anaheim, California on Nov. 12, 2011, it will feel like the Super Bowl of MMA.