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Dominick Cruz vs Demetrious Johnson title fight is on free TV because Dana White 'believes in that model'

The recent announcement that the upcoming UFC on Versus 6 event on Oct. 1 would feature Bantamweight Champion Dominick Cruz defending his strap against Demetrious Johnson was met with glee and more than a little surprise.

That's because the world's largest fight promotion isn't exactly in the habit of giving away title fights on free TV. In fact, the last time they did so was a light heavyweight unification bout between UFC champion Quinton Jackson and Pride champion Dan Henderson at UFC 75 all the way back in Sept. 2007.

Simply put, it's far more lucrative to offer such match-ups on pay-per-view (PPV).

Then again, that's only the case if the respective participants are proven draws at the box office, which is most certainly not a claim that can be made for either Cruz nor Johnson.

However, one of the best ways to convince customers to come back and spend some coin on your product is to give them a taste for free. And that's a model UFC President Dana White tells he firmly believes in:

"You put him on free TV because I believe in that model. I believe that you put great fights with great fighters on free TV. And you build these guys up, and you build the fan base, and you get more and more people to know who they are and want to see them fight in the big fights."

After a period of Urijah Faber -- and more than a few fans -- campaigning for an immediate rubber match after Cruz went the distance with "The California Kid" at UFC 132, the decision has been made to forgo that option in favor of a fresh challenger.

Demetrious Johnson seemingly came from out of nowhere to quickly establish himself as a legitimate threat to the bantamweight throne.

He's won his last four fights against highly respectable competition -- namely Norifumi Yamamoto and Miguel Torres -- and fits the bill as the most credible challenger to Cruz.

Can the speedy "Mighty Mouse" culminate his incredible rise to the top by knocking off "The Dominator" and become a UFC champion in just his third fight inside the Octagon?

And will there be enough fans willing to tune in to help turn the winner into a certifiable draw on PPV? Or will the lighter weight classes always struggle to attract an audience?

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