It seems that the UFC’s final live event on FOX on December 8th will once again be going up against some tough opposition in the shape of boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao’s next fight.
Pacquiao’s opponent has not been established yet, but he is booked to fight in Las Vegas on that night, and coming off an extremely controversial loss to Timothy Bradley earlier in the year there’s sure to be a lot of interest in whether Pacman can get back to winning ways.
The UFC are looking to end the year on a high with a strong fight card of their own which will feature a lightweight title fight pitting Ben Henderson against Nate Diaz, while Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua Vs Alexander Gustafsson and BJ Penn Vs Rory MacDonald mark this out as the deepest FOX card to date.
It’s become something of a regular occurrence for major boxing fights featuring either Pacquiao or the sport’s other big draw Floyd Mayweather Jr, and up until this point both the UFC and the boxing promoters have claimed it’s a good thing since the time scheduling means you can watch the MMA fights for free on FOX and then switch over to PPV for the boxing.
I’m not so sure about that. While ‘UFC On FOX 1’ posted good ratings despite Pacquiao fighting on the same night, ‘UFC On FOX 3’ did poorly on the same night as Mayweather Vs Cotto.
It’d be better for the UFC to have the night to themselves as a major boxing bout tends to divert a lot of the pre-fight media and casual fight fan’s attention, but the problem is that it’s tough to go on a Saturday when there isn’t something else happening, such as going head-to-head with record breaking viewers watching the Olympics coverage during ‘UFC On FOX 4’.
It’s just the reality of the situation and the UFC and FOX are going to have to work hard to promote shows like the one in December to convince people that it’s must-see TV if they want to break out of the current ratings slump that’s seen the last two shows post an average of just 2.4 million viewers.