The UFC held their press conference today to formally announce their return to Fox as well as Chicago. On the stage was UFC President Dana White, Rashad Evans and Phil Davis who headline the event, Chael Sonnen and Mark Munoz who are in the role of co-main event, and Michael Bisping and Demian Maia who will square off in the featured bout of the evening. There were some pretty big news worthy tidbits from the presser as usual.
Dana White formally announced that both the Evans/Davis fight and Sonnen/Munoz fight were number one contender bouts. The Bisping/Maia winner will face the winner of Sonnen/Munoz vs Anderson Silva. He also stated that the placing the UFC on Fuel has paid off in an 11% increase in the subscriber base. This is big news as the UFC plans to air 2200 hours of content on the network in 2012.
White also spoke about the Ultimate Fighter. The series on FX wil have the fights aired live. The taped portion of the show will what’s being called ‘jive live’ in that it is from the previous two days. As for the relationship with SPIKE, White reiterated that it was not his decision to leave the network. Instead it was the executives at Viacom. When asked about SPIKE’s plans to counter-program the Fox card, White stated “We didn’t make the decision to not be on SPIKE. Someone high up at Viacom made that decision and now they’re acting mad at me.”
There was a pretty awkward moment when Chael was asked about Dan Henderson’s recent tweet which stated that Anderson wasn’t really hurt, he just doesn’t want to fight Hendo or Chael but he’d be okay with fighting Bisping. Chael responded “I don’t believe Anderson’s hurt. He just got caught on tape working out with Wanderlei. How hard is it going to be becoming world champion by beating up math teachers. I think he’s ducking me. I think he’s ducking Henderson. I don’t think he’s eager to fight Bisping, you’ll have to talk to Henderson about that.” Michael Bisping took the microphone and stated “Henderson’s just like Chael, they both have a problem with submission defense. Just because you blew your shot at Anderson Silva, don’t come talking smack about me.”
Finally during the fan question portion of the presser Rashad Evans and Phil Davis got into a verbal joust where Davis commented on Rashad’s chin. Evans responded saying “I’m going to put my hands on you worse than that dude on those kids at Penn State.”
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