A long rumored welterweight fight between Diego Sanchez and Jake Ellenberger has been confirmed as the headliner for the first ‘UFC On Fuel’ event in 2012.
The show will take place on February 15th in Omaha, Nebraska and the main event is scheduled to go three rounds. No other fights have so far been announced for the show.
Both Sanchez and Ellenberger are currently in the thick of it in the upper half of the 170lb division, with Ellenberger in particular making good use of his wrestling background and heavy hands to compile a five fight unbeaten run, including a 53 second knockout of Jake Shields back in September.
Sanchez had a rocky start after returning to the welterweight division in 2010, but this year he’s produced back-to-back wins over solid competition in Paul Thiago and Martin Kampmann.
This will mark the first of a number of events on Fuel TV throughout the year, and this seems like a good way to kick things off with what should be an entertaining scrap.
The TV ratings for this show should be very interesting given that Fuel TV is available in far less homes than either FOX, FX and even the UFC’s current partners like Spike TV and Versus.
A recent pre and post-fight show on the station for ‘UFC On FOX 1’ drew less than 100,000 viewers each – a small number by UFC standards yet still record-breaking for Fuel.
I’d expect to see a considerable increase for a live event like this, but even so it’s not going to move the needle like it would have done on a more widely known platform.
Fuel TV is something of a long-term project however, with FOX execs hoping that the fact that they will devote 25% of the channel’s airtime to UFC programming will increase awareness and have people demanding that major network providers like Comcast will carry it in the future.