But for every Jay Glazer there are 10 journalists like ESPN’s Michael Wilbon and Tony Kornheiser who routinely bash MMA without having much knowledge or insight on the sport in which they are calling ‘barbaric’ or a ‘bloodsport.’
When the UFC announced their seven-year deal with Fox, everyone knew Glazer was on board with assured excitement, but what about all of the other commentators, journalists, and reporters in the Fox family of sports?
Fox Sports Co-President Eric Shanks says that everyone working at Fox was beyond excited when they made the deal official, and welcomed the largest MMA organization in the world into their fold.
“The day that we signed the deal, people kind of knew we were talking to the UFC ahead of time, and the day that we signed the deal I didn’t know this, but every person at Fox is a UFC fan,” Shanks stated on Wednesday.
“Every woman that works there, every man that works there, people were high fiving me in the hallway, thanking us for getting the deal. Every young guy, every PA, every AD, that place hasn’t been more pumped in a long time than when we actually signed the deal.”
The Fox broadcasters reach a wide variety of sports with commentators like baseball play-by-play man Joe Buck, who hosted the recent edition of UFC Primetime, as well as NFL pre-game show host Curt Menefee, who actually anchors the broadcast team for Saturday night’s live coverage of Velasquez vs. Dos Santos.
Some of Fox’s famous faces will even show up on Saturday night to help lend support to the UFC’s welcoming party to the network.
“The announcers too, you’re going to see Terry (Bradshaw), Howie (Long), and Jimmy (Johnson) down there in Anaheim on Saturday night. (Michael) Strahan is obviously there, he’s a big fight fan; Curt’s (Menefee) obviously working,” Shanks revealed.
“We’ve welcomed a new sport to the family and we haven’t done that in a decade, and like David (Hill) said, everybody’s just completely stoked.”
Fox will also hold a red carpet event leading into the UFC on Fox show, which will air on Fuel TV during their two-hour pre-show starting at 7 p.m. ET on Saturday night.
Fuel TV host Nicole Dabeau will lead those festivities while Jay Glazer and UFC lightweight Kenny Florian lead the coverage in the studio heading into the 9 p.m. ET kickoff for the fight.