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Will UFC on Fuel TV Be a Bad Thing for the Fans?

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Luke Thomas had a very interesting discussion with Dave Meltzer of Yahoo! Sports and The Wrestling Observer on MMA Nation. While part one saw the pair talk about 2011 pay-per-view performance, the second half of the interview focused on Brock Lesnar's long-term marketability, the UFC's overseas efforts and how 2012 is shaping up.

Here's the full audio:

A full transcript of the interview can be read over at MMA Nation but here's one of the highlights as Dave and Luke discuss 2012 and the Fox deal:

Luke Thomas: Dave, let's talk about 2012. Thirty-four shows. Now listen if Strikeforce goes away, they did 16 shows last year, eight being Challengers, eight being the bigger shows. You substitute the 27 shows they did this year, it's about the same number but something tells me, 34 shows for the UFC, maybe those extra shows are all international. Talk to me about, in your judgment, what do you think the UFC strategy is? Is it just international expansion? Do they believe more is better? Help me understand why they're upping shows and dropping pay-per-views?

Dave Meltzer: Well they're money and they have options for a lot of television. The thing is with TV, the TV on FX, that's a good venue. It's a pretty high-rated cable network, higher rated than Spike, higher prestige as well but Dana told me they were gonna run shows on Fuel and Fuel had better get in more places because to me, Fuel, so few people can get it that it's almost like you'll frustrate your fan base that wants to watch every show because what is it, 75-78 percent of the country doesn't get Fuel. Unless UFC being on Fuel will pressure more cable companies to carry Fuel and that's part of the strategy as well but I hate the idea of a live show for UFC that their audience cannot get on television in a reasonable way because then you frustrate your life audience that's used to seeing it. Yeah, sometimes you have to pay for it, sometimes you get it for free but the idea that there's UFC fights, maybe they're not the biggest fights, but they're still UFC fights and I can't watch them, UFC fans are not used to that. They're used to, if they want to, they can at least see every main event show that they want.