Some may comment that professional boxing is on life support. I might be one to partially agree with that notion. In our latest version of “Days of our Lives” Bob Arum feuds with Dana White over the UFC prime-time debut on the night of the Pacquiao -Marquez bout. Arum remains stuck on the profit sharing (or lack of) between Dana White and his stable of MMA fighters. Arum is relevant because he promotes Manny Pacquiao and outside of a bout with Floyd Mayweather, then many of us are unsure of what’s next for professional boxing. On Saturday night, Dana White fired a warning shot at professional boxing by grabbing a 3.1 rating and 5.7 million viewers for its 60 minute show. (which went off the air prior to Pacquiao making it to ringside.)
Okay, so the UFC main event last 64 seconds between Junior Dos Santos and Cain Velasquez. There’s a lot of noise coming White stating this “Welcome the UFC to Fox” fight was introducing the sport to a bunch of people who had never been exposes to it before. Either way, White’s UFC brand took it’s first step forward – and a positive one. The UFC / Fox partnership commences in Jan2012 and it’s a seven year deal. SO, the brand, marketing and money are all in place. White is jacked in and connected to the fan base the way Roger Goodell, Bud Selig and David Stern could only wish to be in their wildest dreams. Plus, the NFL, MLB and NBA don’t have the Octagon Girl.
Now, is the time for Dana White to sit back as commissioner of his organization and no longer try to portray himself as the star — your fighters (Brock Lesnar / Alistair Overeem) are the stars of your UFC brand.