If you recall the UFC’s inaugural FOX event, there was about 600 times more promotion than actual fight. And the ratings did well, a 5.7 million average. In the last FOX event, there was almost no promotion, and the ratings averaged 2.25 million. Now, that could have something to do with the first one being a heavyweight championship fight between Cain Velasquez and Junior Dos Santos, and the last one being a lightweight contender’s battle between the much despised Nate Diaz and the difficult-to-promote Jim Miller, but let’s not get all logical here. We’re counting beans, dammit.
In response to the poor ratings, FOX has decided to flex their promotional muscle with the return of “Road to the Octagon.” The show will profile the event’s four top billers: Shogun, Brandon Vera, Lyoto Machida, and Ryan Bader. It will follow these gentlemen through their training and struggles – both personal and professional, and will undoubtedly be heavy on the melodrama. Any fighter that comes from Brazil automatically qualifies for socioeconomic sympathy because hey, apparently that whole country is a shithole, and they will shamelessly play that angle to agonizing death.
Here’s the official press release with viewing information:
“The first UFC’S ROAD TO THE OCTAGON special airs Sunday, July 29 (2:00-3:00 PM ET) and features an in-depth look at Rua, Vera and fighters on UFC on FOX’s main card Saturday, Aug. 4 (8:00-10:00 PM ET) live and in prime time from Staples Center in Los Angeles. The second special, which focuses on the fighters battling in the Saturday, Dec. 8 prime time UFC on FOX event, airs Sunday, Dec. 2 opposite local NFL on FOX singleheader coverage (3:00-4:00 PM ET or 4:30-5:30 PM ET).”
The release is difficult to get through, but what do you expect from the public relations department of a bootleg operation like FOX. Basically, the translation is this: We acknowledge that the UFC on FOX 4 card has a shitty main event, so we’re making that up to you with a free, in-depth, hour long look into said shitty main event, on Sunday, July 29 at 2PM ET. Whatever is going down in December is way too far in the future to even talk about right now.
So yeah, if you want to watch the “Road to the Octagon,” it’s on TODAY.