Cain Velasquez (pictured), Junior dos Santos tapped to lead UFC’s charge into mainstream
Originally published at Fight News
by Anthony Springer Jr.
UFC president Dana White always said the world’s biggest mixed martial arts promotion would be on network TV when the “right deal” came along.
Fox came along with the right deal and now, the UFC is going with a monster fight to introduce MMA to millions. On Nov. 12, shortly before Manny Pacquiao takes on Juan Manuel Marquez in a highly anticipated rematch, UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez will put his title on the line against Junior dos Santos–on free TV.
White announced the pay-per-view worthy headliner yesterday on a media conference call.
“This is going to be an event of all events,” an excited White stated.
After a number of names were tossed around for the headliner spot–including middleweight champion Anderson Silva and MMA’s most familiar mainstream face, Brock Lesnar–White said going with Velasquez and dos Santos makes the most sense. Regardless of the sport, the heavyweight title is recognized as the biggest and best title for casual fans.
Despite previous success and growing popularity, White knows the UFC is far from mainstream appeal.
“Mainstream is when you walk down the street of any major city anywhere and ask them if they know what basketball is. That is mainstream. What we’re getting here is we’re getting the opportunity from FOX to become mainstream.
As for the challenger and champion, let’s just say both men know how much is on the line. The UFC has a history of big fights that took the organization to the next level: Tito Ortiz and Chuck Liddell, Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar. No matter who emerges victorious, Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos look to add their names to the list of UFC legends.
“They know how big this is,” White stated. “They know what this means to the sport and to the UFC and to their careers personally. They’re honored, they’re pumped, and it’s going to be a great fight.”