by: Jack Bratcher
Dana White is in the fight business. Fighting is in this man’s blood. That competitive spirit has enabled him to build the UFC into the great success story that it is today. There’s no way he’s going to let another MMA promotion walk into this game and just take away what has taken him years of blood, lawsuits, and friendships to build. White’s competitive nature was at no time more apparent than on July 19th when on short notice, the UFC cooked up a free Fight Night to air on Spike TV to counteract the Affliction: Banned event.
Exactly one week later, another one of the UFC’s competitors, Elite XC will be holding their second event on CBS during prime time. Their first event, as far as number of viewers is concerned, was a huge success and featured Kimbo Slice. This Saturday, July 26, Robbie Lawler will defend his title in a rematch with Scott Smith. While the UFC is not holding a live event to compete with CBS Saturday Night Fights, they are replaying for the very first time on television UFC 84 Ill Will, featuring the lightweight title fight between Sean Sherk and B.J. Penn. Other fights on that card are Tito Ortiz vs. Lyoto Machida and Wanderlei Silva vs. Keith Jardine. So as you can see, it’s a stacked card that many UFC fans will definitely tune into, especially if they missed it on Pay-Per-View back in May.
If replaying one of the best Pay-Per-Views of the year free on Spike TV weren’t enough, Dana seems to have one more trick up his sleeve. Do you remember what happened last time Dana White said he had “a special announcement”? Do you recall how much media attention that garnered? Well he’s done it again. Tonight on UFC Unleashed, a commercial aired that said during the cable TV premiere of UFC 84 this Saturday night, “UFC President Dana White, will be making A SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT“. Oh man. This guy is a genius. Trust me, this is no coincidence and not happenstance. This is a carefully calculated marketing ploy by Dana White himself to take attention (and viewers) away from Elite XC on CBS and put it on the UFC on Spike TV.
The obvious next question is, what will the “special announcement be?” I’ve quit trying to guess these announcements. I’m always wrong and never ever close. But if someone else were going to guess, they might say Dana’s big announcement will be, “Zuffa has purchased the IFL. They re-signed Tito Ortiz to another contract or….Anderson Silva is moving up to Super Heavyweight.” I will say this to Dana’s credit: every time he says he has a big announcement, it usually is very significant.
So what will you be doing Saturday night: UFC or Elite XC? Since I’ve already seen UFC 84, I’ll be watching Elite XC and I’ll find out the big news later. No way am I missing that Robbie Lawler vs. Scott Smith fight or Nick Diaz vs. Thomas Denny. At least we have the choice of programming. A year ago we would not have a choice. Mucho MMA! I can dig it!