It was as simple as that according to UFC president Dana White, who said after an exciting three-round war between Jake Ellenberger and Diego Sanchez, that it should have been a five-round fight.
The UFC changed the policy on non-title main events in 2011 so all of them would be five rounds.
That was until the new deal with Fox was struck and the main events for the shows on FX and Fuel would fall under the old rules of a three-round main event.
The first UFC on FX main event between Jim Miller and Melvin Guillard was also scheduled as a three-round fight, but it didn’t make it out of the first.
What resulted on Wednesday night between Jake Ellenberger and Diego Sanchez was a back-and-forth battle that could have absolutely gone on longer than the 15 minutes allotted. After Ellenberger took the first two rounds, Sanchez came storming back in the third, taking his opponent’s back and firing away with big shots trying to get the finish. The fight ended before Sanchez could put Ellenberger away, but there’s no denying the swing in momentum.
Unfortunately the end of the third round was also the end of the fight.
White now says after learning from this mistake that all future main events will be five rounds, regardless of being on FX, Fuel, Fox, or pay-per-view.
The next scheduled show on FX is on March 3 with the main event pitting Thiago Alves against Martin Kampmann, but with bout agreements already in place and the fight being only two weeks away, it will remain a three-round fight.
White also stated that the upcoming UFC on Fuel TV 2 main event between Alexander Gustafsson and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira would remain a three-round fight, again because bout agreements have already been issued and signed for that fight.