If UFC Fight Night 50 was designed to counter-program Bellator 123, then that was a decision by the FOX network, not Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
That's according to UFC President Dana White, who told reporters at the UFC 174 media scrum (watch it here) that he doesn't get to pick the dates for "Fight Night" events -- FOX does -- determined by what other programming it has scheduled on any given weekend.
So the fact that UFC will end up on the same Friday night as Bellator (Sept. 6, 2014) in the same state, less than 10 miles apart, is probably just a coincidence.
"They can go on their own fucking date anywhere and it’s not like me going on the same night is going to do any damage to Bellator that wasn’t already done. I couldn't give a shit when Bellator goes. What night, what day, whatever. It's not like Bellator is out there killing it and we're going to go take some of it. It's stupid to even think that. We end up on the same night as many sporting events. I literally don't think of Bellator, I don't give a shit what Bellator's doing or what's going on with them. It's not like Bellator is some organization you have to look out for. Seriously look at the cards they put on and what they are doing. The difference is, is that they're Viacom. They're on a channel right in the middle of everything where you land on there and you watch. Nobody's going out of their way. 'Oh, a big Bellator event's on tonight!' You know what I mean?"
The UFC Fight Night 50 mixed martial arts (MMA) event will air on FOX Sports 1 from inside the Foxwoods Resort & Casino in Ledyard, Connecticut, while Spike TV airs its Bellator 123 fight card at Mohegan Sun Resort & Casino in nearby Uncasville.
White also laughed at the idea that Bellator 120 pulled 100,000 pay-per-view (PPV) buys for its "Rampage vs. King Mo" event last month in Mississippi, especially considering the original draw was estimated to be around 65,000 viewers, according to this insider.
"Yeah it shocks me, because no it didn't [do 100,000 buys]. Did [Bjorn Rebney] ever find out what the gate was? No one ever got back to him on the gate? He didn't know what the gate was. He didn't know what his gate was, but he knew he did 100,000 pay-per-view buys? The guy is a fucking clown. Could you imagine a night when you guys ask me, ‘Hey, what was your gate tonight?' And I was like, ‘I don't know.' I won't. You don't want to give out your gate, and yeah, you don't want to give out a real pay-per-view number, either."
It will be interesting to see what the ratings look like for Sept. 6 and I have a feeling that no matter who comes out on top, both sides will claim victory in some form or another.
We were No. 1 in the 11-13 year old demo from 9:35-10:07!