With declining ratings & complaints about a lack of star power the UFC & FOX executives seem to have finally listened & are loading up on the 5th instalment of the UFC on FOX.
The December 8th event will he headlined by three major fights. Once Benson Henderson defeated Frankie Edgar at UFC 150 it was announced that Nate Diaz would be the next contender. Henderson vs. Diaz for the UFC lightweight championship will headline the UFC on FOX card.
Two additional fights were announced that will help draw MMA fans to the broadcast. Up & coming light heavyweight superstar Alexander Gustafsson will battle former UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua.
The third bout is one that has been delayed & pulled off of UFC 152. BJ Penn will face Rory MacDonald. The delay in the fight gives MacDonald to heal from a cut suffered in training.
This card will feature the first title fight on FOX since the debut show where Junior Dos Santos defeated Cain Velasquez for the UFC heavyweight title.
Fans have complained about the lack of stars & big names on these free cards. The ratings have suffered & both the network & UFC needed to take some action to bump the ratings back up. Even though this card is much more impressive than previous ones the job is not done.
FOX has a lot of work to do to promote this card properly to the audience. Promotion for the last card seemed to be an all time low. FOX has to invest more air time for the fighters, promotion of the card & additional TV shows. The Road To The Octagon show must return & possibly with more than one episode.
On the surface it appears both sides want to push with this card & improve the viewership. With less than 4 months until the card we will now see if the promotion side of it follows up.