UFC on Fox: Who Knew People Were This Ignorant?
Last night the UFC showcased the two best heavyweights in mixed martial arts when Cain Velasquez defended his UFC Heavyweight Championship against No. 1 contender Junior Dos Santos from the Honda Center in Anaheim, CA.
As if watching these two duke it out for the sport's most coveted prize wasn't enough, fans were treated to the fight for free as Fox and the UFC partnered up for the first time after signing a historic seven-year deal back in August.
As UFC President Dana White repeatedly said, this fight was done before the actual deal kicked in and therefore was more or less a means to get acquainted with one another.
The whole weekend had a special feeling to it as it should anytime the heavyweight title is on the line, but the fact that the UFC was going to be on network television for the first time in its history made it even more special.
From the weigh-ins on the Fox owned Fuel TV network on Friday night to the two hour pre-fight show on Fuel, the atmosphere was completely electric. You could feel it in your bones and as the hair on your arms stood up when Bruce Buffer first entered the famed Octagon to begin the introductions.
Before the bout even began the naysayers were already complaining that all of the undercard fights, including a matchup between Clay Guida and Ben Henderson to determine the No. 1 contender to Frankie Edgar's UFC Lightweight Championship were not going to be shown on television. They instead were offered on both the UFC Facebook page and the Fox Sports website.
Then there were people questioning if it was a good idea to showcase the heavyweights as a way to introduce the sport to a whole new legion of fans. What happens if the fight ends early? The casual fan will be left wondering if they really learned anything about the sport, maybe they should show a fight that has the potential to be more active and has a chance to last longer.
Were You Satisfied With The First UFC on Fox Show
No matter what or whom the UFC showed last night there were going to be unhappy people. It's impossible to please everyone all of the time. All you can do is put your best foot forward and that is what Dana White and company did last night.
MMA is unpredictable, it always has been and to be honest that is part of the reason the sport is so memorable and intriguing.
Was it unfortunate that the fight lasted all of 64 seconds? Yes it was, it happens when you have two hard hitting heavyweights putting all of their power into their punches while wearing four ounce gloves.
I choose to look at the positive aspect of what happened last night. We saw a man who grew up in very poor conditions achieve a lifelong dream. We saw that man and the true raw emotions he was feeling just seconds after the biggest win of his career.
My Facebook page was immediately inundated with people posting that the fight sucked, that Fox was going to be pissed it ended so quickly and even some who felt the fight was fixed. Being the stubborn argumentative person I am, I went right into an offensive mode.
I was able to call upon my experiences, including the honor of having interviewed Velasquez to state the case that these guys are as honorable as they come.
Emotions like the ones pouring out of Dos Santos are real, you can not fake feelings like that, especially in front of thousands of people in the arena and millions of people at home. If he knew he was going to win then he would've been able to hold his emotions in check, that was not the case in his post-fight interview.
The same could be said of Velasquez who actually apologized for losing!! This man came off a year-long injury, worked his butt off and took on a great fighter. Losses happen, he will be back.
If I was able to change the mind of one person last night then I would consider the night a resounding success because I know there were many others like me discussing the exact same conversations as I was with people on their Facebook page. Dos Santos came, he saw and he conquered. So did the UFC and Fox as they put on one hell of a show, before, during and after the actual fight.
Be sure to stay tuned to Bleacher Report for all things UFC on FOX. B/R is your home for post-fight analysis of the Cain Velasquez vs. Junior dos Santos fight card. Also, be sure to check out our fight card hub page for news and opinion on the entire UFC on FOX fight card.
Bryan Levick is a Featured Columnist for Fighters Magazine and Bleacher Report. You can follow him on Twitter @BryanLevick
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