Quotes have started rolling in from the 1-on-1 interviews with the Fox and Zuffa people from yesterday’s press conference. While I wasn’t overly impressed at how enthused certain Fox Sports people seemed at working with the UFC, quotes like this sound more up the right alley:
“We look at numbers and we approached this like any other sport,” said Hill. “What are the trends? Is it trending up or trending down? This [deal] is like getting into baseball or basketball 10 years after it was launched. I’ve been covering sports for a hell of a long time and to me, this is the most unique opportunity I’ve ever seen in my life.”
Meanwhile, in Bellator-land:
“At this stage, the only group that we’re working with that are actually putting fights on with Bellator is MTV2, and they’ve been doing an amazing job,” Rebney today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
Rebney admitted the while UFC’s recent deal with Fox has “shifted the landscape,” he isn’t sure whether it’s going to have a direct impact on Bellator’s business.
“We’re a very different format,” he said. “We’re a very different organization. What we do and how we do it is distinct and unique from how the UFC does it. The UFC utilizes the principle of matchmaking, which they are apparently going to continue to use, where they just sit behind a desk and decide what happens, and who fights for what when. We don’t. We’re a pure sports organization.”
Is it just me, or is Bellator’s ‘tournament or die’ stance really starting to limit them? It’s not that I don’t enjoy them, but how many times have cool fights not happened because the promotion refuses to do anything but the rare ‘superfight’? If Bjorn isn’t willing to budge on this, maybe he really won’t be the promotion that ends up on Spike.
Great fuckcocks, no! Fox Sports guy Eric Shanks says Mr Lipstick Gus Johnson may end up doing some UFC work:
“We’ll do pre-fight, post fight, with probably more FOX talent. We have a lot of guys here between Jay (Glazer), Gus Johnson now is a huge fight fan and does a lot of MMA. Gus’s schedule permitting and having conversations with him as to when he would be available, I think we’d love to have both of those guys on.”
This is where we gotta hope the UFC is willing to stand up and say “That guy sucks and we’d rather replace Joe Rogan with Mauro Ranallo than consider this.”