Velasquez versus Dos Santos a perfect choice for UFC on Fox
The first UFC bout to be broadcast live on the FOX Network in America has been chosen. UFC Heavyweight Champion, Cain Velasquez will defend his title for the first time against top contender, Junior Dos Santos.
Originally scheduled for a week after the November 12th FOX airdate on pay-per-view, the heavyweight tilt is now being used as the UFC’s best foot forward on their new network home.
Word of the change only surfaced recently with the bout surprising many as it beat out the hotly rumoured Anderson Silva versus Dan Henderson/Chael Sonnen, Frank Mir versus Alistair Overeem and Tito Ortiz versus Rich Franklin for the landmark event’s main event.
While no doubt a surprise, the decision is a fantastic one by the UFC and trumps all the aforementioned rumoured bouts.
Though the idea of showcasing the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world, Anderson Silva on the biggest stage the UFC has ever had is a tantalising one, the match-up comes with a few risks.
Firstly there’s Silva’s bizarre performance at the UFC’s first event in Abu Dhabi where he showed that he lives in his own little universe and is not subject to the UFC’s best laid plans.
Secondly, both Silva’s potential opponents are wrestling centric fighters whose only potential recourse for victory would be to stall out Silva in a style that would not be very pleasing to the mass audience of newcomers that the FOX platform will provide.
The Mir/Overeem bout is also laced with a fair amount of uncertainty considering Overeem’s recent performance against Fabricio Werdum. Add into that the fact that a heavyweight title fight trumps a non-title heavyweight bout everytime.
Then finally you get to the Ortiz/Franklin bout that never would have flown as a headlined without a meaty co-main event. Though the fight has the potential to be a great fight between two veterans of the sport, it isn’t really a solid showcase of the current fighter skill-sets in the UFC or of the organization’s top talent.
The Velasquez/Dos Santos bout doesn’t exceed those previous bouts because of their failures though.
In terms of excitement level, you’d have to be the strongest of cynics to think this fight would end up the least bit dull. Velasquez’s ridiculous skill-set and work rate match-up perfectly with Dos Santos’s takedown defence and decapitating strikes.
The fact that this fight was going to headline a pay-per-view is another box that it ticks that the previous bouts do not. The UFC showcasing a pay-per-view worthy title fight on free TV showcases the respect they are paying to their newest platform.
This fight isn’t the best choice though because it’s competitive and it’s a title fight, it’s the best choice because it’s a competitive, Heavyweight title fight.
Make no mistake, that one word is the biggest (pun partially intended) thing about this fight.
On the night this event takes place in America, Manny Pacquiao will also meet Juan Manuel Marquez for the third time in a highly anticipated fight.
Competition between MMA and Boxing isn’t something that is championed by the major players on either side most of the time. Whenever the two go head to head however it is a different story altogether.
On one of the biggest nights for boxing this year, the booking of a competitive heavyweight title fight by the UFC on free to air TV shows those fans what the sport of boxing has been lacking for some time now.
The desire amongst combat sports fans to see a competitive heavyweight division in boxing has gone unsatisfied for many years now. The recent disappointment that was the David Haye title-shot encapsulated that desire and disappointment perfectly.
With the Pacquiao/Marquez bout gearing a mammoth audience to a night of combat sports action, what better time for the UFC to showcase what is sure to be a fantastic heavyweight title fight to the biggest viewing platform they have ever been on?