Who's ready for a big announcement?
Enough with the speculation, the Ultimate Fighting Championship is slated to reveal the biggest fights of its network debut, UFC on FOX, for later this year (November 12, 2011).
The bearer of good news will be UFC President Dana White who is scheduled to participate in a conference call with the media today (September 2, 2011) at 1 p.m. ET.
MMAmania.com will deliver up-to-the-second live updates of the conference call after the jump:
Brian Hemminger here. The call is scheduled to begin shortly.
Dana White: We deliver to the fans. We are going with the most prestigious championship in all of sports. The heavyweight title. UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez will take on Junior dos Santos in the main event of the FOX show.
Dana White: We wanted to kick it off with a bang. We were kicking so many things around. Timing is a big issue too. The no-brainer, the one right in front of our faces the whole time is the heavyweight championship.
Dana White: The San Jose card wasn't finished and no card is ever officially announced until I announce it.
Dana White: You've heard this from me 50,000 times in the last couple weeks. We want to deliver and this is going to be the most watched mixed martial arts event in history. We're gonna break our network record from Brazil with this matchup. We're going one hour with a five round heavyweight championship fight. There will be one fight.
Dana White: Obviously these guys were supposed to be on a pay-per-view card. Trust me, for these guys to take the fight, they're being paid just fine. They're more than happy. Both guys were so excited to be fighting on the first FOX card.
Dana White: It's the most prestigious championship in all of sports. There's nothing more exciting than when you know it's going to be a great heavyweight fight. You saw what Cain Velasquez was able to do to Brock Lesnar standing. Obviously Cain is looking to take Junior dos Santos down. If he can implement his gameplan and take dos Santos down, we've never seen Junior dos Santos down. I think this fight is going to be awesome and I'm excited for it.
Dana White: Tickets for the FOX show go on sale next Friday at the Honda Center.
Dana White: It was a decision that we made with FOX together. We wanted to put our best foot forward. The way that we're looking at this thing, there are going to be millions of poeple looking at the UFC that have never seen MMA before. It'll be just like any other pay-per-view for the fan experience.
Dana White: Having a free fight on FOX leading into a pay-per-view the next week sure doesn't suck.
Dana White: We're still negotiating where the fight will be shown in the UK. It's always down to the wire over there. Once all these deals are at the end of the term, we would love to be with FOX over there. Once our deals expire, we will figure it out and we will get the whole UK/Ireland thing fixed. Rest assured, our relationship with FOX is seven years and we'll figure out that piece of the puzzle.
Eric Shanks: We'll fill out the rest of the night with either a full replay of the night or we can do the "best of the night" basing on how much time we have left in the rest of the night.
Dana White: It was the easiest conversation ever convincing these guys to get on network television. It took like 3 1/2 minutes to get the deal done with Cain and JDS.
Dana White: The way that we've worked with FOX and the way we've worked it out, David Hill has forgotten more about production than I will ever know. We like the style and feel of our show but we want input from FOX. We're open to suggestions, we want to work with them. We aren't drawing the line. They're the number one network in the country for a reason because they're the best at what they do. We want to work with these guys.
Dana White: You guys know how I've always felt about this. Every time someone tries to tell us we're mainstream, we're not mainstream. What we're getting here is the opportunity from FOX to become mainstream. We're not sitting around patting ourselves on the back. Now is the time to work. Now is the time to get better. You guys are going to see changes in how the shows are run and we'll take it to the next level.
Dana White: This is going to be the event of all events. Just to be in Anaheim and watch it in a bar that night, you're gonna feel the atmosphere and the buzz going on in southern Cal.
Dana White: The fight will air in Canada, more than likely through Rogers.
Dana White: We announced the deal and three hours later they were already promoting the UFC in the NFL. This deal doesn't start til January and they were already promoting the deal.
Eric Shanks: Dana started teasing us with doing a championship fight about two nights ago. They said, "what if we had a championship fight for ya?" We didn't know who those fighters were until the last couple nights. You will see tomorrow in our FX baseball and football. We're looking to make as big a deal about this as we can.
Dana White: We looked at everything. Obviously this was one of the ones that we looked at too. None of our guys are that well known in the mainstream but what I want to do when you go out and say this is our first fight on FOX. We do 13 pay-per-views a year and we always deliver. We're delivering man.
Eric Shanks: There was no question that we were going to get a fight of this magnitude. We know that we'd be getting a huge fight that will grab the attention of people that haven't traditionally followed the UFC. We're gonna deliver to them.
Dana White: Cain Velasquez is trending worldwide on Twitter right now.
David Hill: Most of the education will come through the commentary. We don't want to mark it up with little illustrations.
David Hill: We think Joe Rogan is awesome.
Dana White: If you're gonna go out on your first fight in the biggest network in the country, you've gotta go with your best fight. We're going with a heavyweight fight that's gonna be a barnburner. It's more than just a heavyweight title, it's two guys that are gonna perform.
Dana White: I put on all the bells and whistles and those guys go out there and do their job. You tell me the last time you saw Junior dos Santos and Cain Velasquez in a boring fight. I'm literally betting everything that it's not gonna happen.
David Hill: One of my golden rules is to never predict ratings. If I was a betting man, I'd put a couple of bucks that we will beat the Kimbo fight.
Dana White: The Kimbo Slice fight on Spike was 5 million viewers. I'm expecting us to blow that out of the water.
Dana White: Brock Lesnar is 100% and he's getting back into training in the next couple of weeks. The rumors are so far out in left field it's ridiculous.
Dana White: Junior dos Santos' manager has texted me 57,000 times saying how excited they are.
Dana White: We had a big white board and we were just writing names down and seeing what makes the most sense. This is our Forrest Griffin - Stephan Bonnar and there's not doubt in my mind that these guys are going to deliver.
Dana White: I think this fight gets over before the Pacquiao fight gets on. I hate Bob Arum and I hope he only gets one buy on this fight but I love Manny Pacquiao and hope he gets three million. It's a Catch 22.
Dana White: I said when we announced the deal that this was literally my dream deal. Now that we're actually in it, it's even better than I dreamed it would be. Not only are we integrated in all the major sports, FOX sports does it bigger and better than everyone else. These are our kind of guys. They're guys that I actually like and want to hang out with which is rare in the television industry.
David Hill: (laughs like a maniac)
This concludes the conference call. Thanks for tuning in guys!