I’m sure you’ve all seen the news – the UFC has signed the long-rumored, long-sought deal with a major network in FOX. Confirmation followed shortly after that TUF 14 would be the last one on Spike and that the still-successful show will now be aired on FOX as well.
While most of the coverage has been about how great this move is for the UFC and the sport as a whole, what fights will air and when and who will control what details (surprise, surprise… the UFC retains all control), I didn’t see a single bit of concern for or gratitude towards Spike.
I for one remember the days when any MMA was good MMA. The fact that we could see one fight a week on TUF and – more importantly – gain insight into the way a fighter lived was a great boon to the sport. Add in that Dana White to this day calls Forrest Griffin vs. Stephen Bonnar “the fight that saved MMA” and we actually owe a lot more than we realize to Spike for providing that platform to be seen by the general public.
As we celebrate the growth of our great sport, let’s make sure to thank everyone that got us here. That doesn’t just mean White, Chuck Liddell, and Randy Couture.
So thank you, Spike TV. Thank you Toyo Tires, Gordon Biersch, Headblade, Mickey’s, Blade: The Series, and even the eyeball-roll causing Condom Depot. All of you helped fund and grow the sport we love, and – while we may not say it often – we’re forever grateful!