Jim Miller Vs. Nate Diaz To Headline UFC On Fox 3 - Is It Good Enough To Draw Viewers?

Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

The UFC will be making their third effort on Fox on May 5. As mentioned yesterday, the fights will be the same night as the Floyd Mayweather vs. Miguel Cotto bout on HBO PPV. Going on the same night as a major boxing event would seem to require a big main event to ensure people are willing to skip a portion of the PPV card to watch the UFC's effort.

So I was a bit surprised last night when the UFC tweeted:

So, @UFConFOX news? Diaz/Miller now the 5 round main event, also on main card heavyweight battle @LavarJohnson vs Pat @hypeordie Barry

Both of those fights are good bouts that are sure to be plenty exciting, but neither features a huge name. I have my concerns about how well this show will draw on Fox.

Again, the concern isn't about action, it's about name value. This has the feeling of a FX main event, not a headliner on a major network. You can try to sell the idea of action but people have to be drawn in by fighters they know.

The first show had a heavyweight title bout which carries a natural allure. The second event featured Rashad Evans vs. Phil Davis had a former champion who had done multiple stints on The Ultimate Fighter and had main evented multiple successful pay-per-views. In this main event you have a guy who won The Ultimate Fighter but never really took off as a top fighter against a very talented fighter who hasn't really "caught on" yet.

I look back at EliteXC's second network effort to sort of cement my thinking. Robbie Lawler and Scott Smith had put on a great show on the first CBS show, a show which averaged 4.85 million viewers. When it ended due to an accidental foul, they were rematched on the second CBS show. The promise of action was obviously not a draw as viewership dropped by over two million viewers without the Kimbo Slice name.

Obviously, the UFC name brand is at play here so I wouldn't expect the ratings to drop by 50% on the third effort, but I do think there will be a very noticeable drop.

The other thing I'm not sure the UFC and Fox realize is that the "our fights will be done before Floyd Mayweather and Miguel Cotto step into the ring" line isn't going to work as well this time around. It's looking like Saul "Canelo" Alvarez will be in the co-main event slot. Alvarez is arguably the biggest Mexican draw in the sport, fighting on Cinco de Mayo on a major PPV. It looks like Alvarez will be fighting Shane Mosley in what is a big enough "name fight" to keep the 1.5 million (early estimates for the PPV) buyers locked in to the show they shelled out $60 for, especially if the alternative is a Fox fight involving fighters the general public isn't familiar with.

I'm all for Miller vs. Diaz on Fox, I think it's a great fight and I think using Fox to elevate talented guys like that is a very good thing. I just think you have to do it with a bigger "drawing" fight in the main event slot.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Bloody Elbow

You must be a member of Bloody Elbow to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bloody Elbow. You should read them.

Join Bloody Elbow

You must be a member of Bloody Elbow to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bloody Elbow. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_5349_tracker