The UFC is set to deliver more events than ever in 2012, but thanks to their new deal with FOX fans will be enjoying more events for free and less on pay-per-view than in 2011.
This year the UFC will produce a total of 16 PPV events, but in a new USAToday interview with UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta it emerges that number will be reduced slightly in the coming year.
“We’re going to pull back a little bit on the schedule next year. We have 14 pay-per-views [planned],” Fertitta tells Sergio Non.
As part of their new television deal which officially starts in January they will have up to four live events on FOX next year, while FX will also offer free fights, but Fertitta notes that Fuel TV will get their fair share too.
“We’re going to have, I think, four free fights on Fuel,” he says.
The promotion are set to kick off their FOX deal next weekend with ‘UFC On FOX 1’ with a free ‘taster’ event which will see the UFC heavyweight title up for grabs as current champion Cain Velasqueztake on Junior Dos Santos.
While Fertitta can’t guarantee that all the FOX shows will be of this magnitude he does indicate that it is their goal to put on significant fights on the network.
“I can’t guarantee they’re always going to be championship fights, but they’re going to be good fights. Even a fight like (BJ Penn vs. Nick Diaz) could potentially have been a Fox-type card.”
So is all this an indication that the television model set to replace the UFC’s traditional pay-per-view model now that they are on FOX?
Not according to Fertitta.
“We have to feed the pay-per-view. So we did throttle back a little bit, but they’re certainly not going to take the place of it.”