UFC officials moved its annual Super Bowl weekend pay-per-view event from its traditional Las Vegas locale to New Jersey this year at the behest of its TV partners at FOX. The plan is for massive crossover promotion between FOX, the UFC, and the NFL, since FOX is broadcasting the Super Bowl this year, which is expected to garner 120 million viewers.
Evidently, someone forget to tell NFL officials about the plan.
UFC fighters and UFC reporter Megan Olivi attended the NFL’s Super Bowl media day on Tuesday, dragging around a UFC belt for photo and video opps with NFL players and others in attendance.
The only problem, according to NJ.com, is that an NFL official, Dennis Kayser, wasn’t real keen on “that wrestling stuff.”
“We don’t want this around here,” he said, according to NJ.com’s report. “This is wrestling stuff, right? Yeah, we don’t want that associated with us and this event. This is the NFL.”
Olivi called over FOX’s NFL Insider Jay Glazer, who has also been intricately involved in mixed martial arts for quite some time. He explained to Kayser that, hey, the UFC is NOT wrestling and that the UFC is in fact a FOX broadcast partner… just like the NFL. It’s all in the family, man.
Apparently Glazer had the magic touch and Kayser relented, finally agreeing to allow the players, et al, to appear on camera with the UFC belt, as long as they didn’t have it on the podium with them.
Everything ended on a positive note – well, save for the fact that FOX show host Regis Philbin threw out a challenge to Ricardo Lamas – and the UFC provided the above video. Check it out.