It’s not confirmed by Dana White yet, but multiple outlets are reporting that the UFC will finally make the jump to network television on FOX in 2012. The news was originally broken by Sports Business Journal and breaks down like this: 

Fox execs refused to comment on the deal, but sources with knowledge of the negotiations said bidding had gone as high as $90M per year. The Fox deal is believed to be for seven or eight years. As part of the deal, most of the weekly programming that UFC has on Versus and Spike TV will move to FX starting in January. That includes several fight cards, plus shows like the reality series “The Ultimate Fighter.” Fox-owned Fuel also will wind up with some UFC content. But rumors that Fox will rebrand Fuel as a UFC channel are not true, sources said.

Sources said Spike ultimately passed over concern that its UFC shoulder programming stopped growing. Shows like “Unleashed,” “Knockouts” and “Countdown” averaged 1 million viewers in ’05. This year, they are averaging 492,000. Spike holds the rights to UFC library programming through ’12, including old fights and shoulder programming such as “UFC Unleashed.”

Thus the relationship between Spike and the UFC ends. So tragic, they were like peanut butter and chocolate, penis and vagina, Frank Trigg and rear naked chokes. But listen, children. Mummy and daddy aren’t splitting because of you (well, maybe it is a little because you didn’t tune into enough ‘Unleashed’ programming). You’ll have a new daddy now. Everything will be just fine!

Four “major” free fight cards a year on network television should be enough to make any MMA fan foam at the mouth in anticipation, and despite the recent troubles of parent company News Corp and uber-mega-evil CEO Rupert Murdoch, FOX is still a huge power in the broadcasting industry. Plus we get the UFC Fight Nights and “Louie” on the same channel. If you don’t watch “Louie” you’re a shithead! Anyways…

Nobody knows the confirmed specifics of the deal yet (if there is indeed a deal), but it’s a fair bet that Dana and co. finally managed to jump the “creative control” hurdle that killed the long-rumored HBO deal a few years back and that UFC events on FOX or FX will look just like UFC events on Spike or Versus did. As many have remarked in the last hour, Bellator now looks like a sure bet to take over the MMA niche the UFC is leaving on SpikeTV, which may lead to them getting more than 3 viewers on MTV2. Again, no hard confirmation yet but the UFC does have a big press conference today…