Let's tell it like it is: the UFC is avoiding potentially bloody fights on FOX.
Sure, the UFC is the most popular brand of Mixed Martial Arts in the world, and they're the only MMA organization that has a major network deal as it stands right now, but they are avoiding fights that might be potentially bloody fights.
There's nothing really wrong with avoiding those types of fights, because a major MMA card always has the capability to be a success without a lot of bloodshed or a seriously grotesque injury.
Actually, it might be the blood and the injuries that could turn people away from the sport, but in an era where MMA is becomingly gradually accepted and embraced by many parts of the world, why would it be necessary to avoid those fights?
Is it the mere possibility of a brutal, bloody battle that incites the potential of FOX pulling the plug on the deal?
Sure, it's reasonable to put two big names on free TV, even if both are wrestlers or BJJ aces who may or may not deliver on an exciting fight. If you look at the UFC on FOX 2 card, there were quite a few wrestlers on that card, though the ones on the FUEL TV/Fox Deportes card arguably put on a show before the whole world got to see the action on FOX.
Still, FOX knew what they were getting when they signed their end of the deal with the UFC.
They should've known that the sport that the UFC promotes incorporates a number of different martial arts, and that sometimes the fights can be brutal at times for two or more of the fighters featured on a card.
That's just how MMA works. Sometimes the fights are slow enough to resemble collegiate wrestling matches, sometimes the fights are technical "chess match" caliber affairs, sometimes the fights are brawls and sometimes they are fast-paced bouts that see two fighters come out swinging and wind up going the distance while showcasing every aspect of the art of combat in the process.
If they bleed, they bleed, and while it may turn some people away, others might appreciate that "warrior's spirit" that expresses itself through the competitive drives and the art form of the in-cage action that the fans get to witness live.
Sure, maybe a fight card full of fights guaranteed to be like Leonard Garcia vs. Chan Sung Jung I is probably the opposite of the way to go, but this is what FOX signed up for.
If they didn't want their viewers to see blood, violence and the living masterpiece of competition in the form of actively-regulated mixed martial arts competition, why would they allow the UFC on their network?
The UFC also knows that when they signed up to do seven years with their programming and free-TV event schedule on FOX and their family of television networks, they were not being asked to give the fans anything that they would not give the fans on a pay-per-view event, sans vulgarities.
The deal is still on and the UFC has not changed their product. The only changes to the product is that Jon Anik will generally handle the FX and FUEL TV cards, while there will be a panel of experts comprised of two fighters and Curt Menefee for FOX shows that lead us into the normal commentary with Joe Rogan and Mike Goldberg.
Oh, and the robots are there too. I've always liked robots, but Real Steel makes those bots look surreal.
Anyways, the kid gloves were cool when the UFC first eased into this deal, but the most successful free nights of fights after UFC on FOX 1, as far as non-PPV-related events are concerned, were the UFC debuts on FX and FUEL TV/Fox Deportes.
Now that we're into this deal, it's time to take the kid gloves off and try to not be scared if a little bit of blood or if one swelling eye shows up on the screen with the whole world watching on FOX.