Who said professional boxing and mixed martial arts (MMA) can't co-exist?
Dana White seems to think boxing and his MMA juggernaut, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), help each other out when they both have events on the same night. On Sept. 17, 2011, the promotion presented UFC Fight Night: "Battle in the Bayou -- Shields vs. Ellenberger," the same night that pay-per-view (PPV) giant Floyd Mayweather competed last against Victor Ortiz.
In 2009, the UFC went "head-to-head" against "Money" yet again as he took on Juan Manuel Marquez the same night UFC 103 went down in Dallas Texas, which featured a main event between Vitor Belfort and Rich Franklin.
On November 12, 2011, the UFC and Fox kicked of its partnership as the pair presented a monumental Heavyweight clash between Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos at UFC on Fox 1. Yet again, the sport of boxing was having a pretty big fight going on the same night with Manny Pacquiao taking on Juan Manuel Marquez for a third time.
This weekend (May 5, 2012), the UFC will stage UFC on Fox 3 from East Rutherford, N.J., while Mayweather takes on perhaps his toughest challenge to date in Puerto Rico's sensation, Miguel Cotto, from the fight capitol of the world, Las Vegas, Nevada, at the MGM Grand garden Arena later the same night.
But is it a problem for Zuffa/UFC officials to be worried about? Will this weekend's stellar boxing match between Mayweather vs. Cotto affect the UFC numbers as it presents its third foray into national television?
UFC's head honcho, Dana White -- an avid boxing fan who has had his issues with "Money" in the past -- doesn't seem to think so. In fact, speaking at the UFC on Fox 3 pre-fight press conference today (May 3, 2012), White believes they help each other out.
Check it out:
"I think we both benefit from it and we've seen it in the numbers in the past. You know, everybody works hard all week, Monday through Friday and you have two days off. You have Friday night and you got Saturday night. You gotta do stuff with your kids, you gotta take your girl out, whatever your deal is, you have stuff to do. We compete with that every weekend. And I think on a night when you can watch the free fights on Fox and you can tune into the Mayweather fight after, more guys are going to stay home because there is a lot more going on that night. I know for a fact, every time we do these Fox cards, I have the fight in my room in the back and I go right back and I will Saturday, too. We will do these fights and then I'll go back and watch the Mayweather-Cotto fight right after, so. If you're a fight fan, it makes all the sense in the world to stay home on Saturday night."
On a Cinco de Mayo that is a fight fans dream, the good news is that people will not have to worry about choosing one over the other. UFC on Fox 3, which is headlined by Nate Diaz vs. Jim Miller, is set to kick off at 8 p.m. ET on free Fox television, which will be way before "Money" steps into to the ring to battle "Junito" on PPV.
The boxing event will also feature an intriguing bout between surging Mexican sensation Saul "Canelo" Alvarez taking on boxing legend "Sugar" Shane Mosley in the co-main event of the evening.
You staying home?
For what it's worth, Dana and Floyd seem to have squashed any beef that may have existed between the two. For now, anyway.