On Tuesday night, the UFC announced on Fuel TV that fights will return to Atlantic City for an FX show on June 22 and to Fox on Aug. 4 in Los Angeles. The date of the Fox show will pit the UFC directly against the Summer Olympics.
The UFC hasn’t shied away from the Olympics in the past. UFC 110, which featured Cain Velasquez taking out Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira in the first round, aired against the 2010 Winter Olympics. Georges St-Pierre defended his belt against Jon Fitch at UFC 87 on the second night of the 2008 Summer Games.
But there are two big differences here. First of all, this is network television vs. network television. The previous UFC events that took on the Olympics were pay-per-views, which generally attract a more hard core fan base. With network television, the UFC is seeking casual fans. During the Olympics, casual sports fans tune into the Games.
Secondly, the UFC’s other Olympic-conflicted events fell on nights fell on lightly scheduled Olympics evenings. August 4 will be jam-packed with sports popular in the U.S.. Swimming will award medals in four races. Basketball and beach volleyball will play early-round games. In track and field, the men’s long jump and women’s heptathlon and 100m events will conclude. The gold and bronze medal tennis matches will take place at Wimbledon.
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The UFC to take on the Olympics in August