It goes without saying that the first year of the UFC on Fox has been a disappointment for the world's preeminent MMA organization. Ratings for the UFC's Fox specials started strong last November, dipped in January remaining strong, but tanked in May, and stayed relatively unimpressive two weeks ago. You can spin the slipping ratings all you want (and UFC president Dana White did in May), but it goes without saying that the ratings so far have ultimately been disappointing.
The next Fox fight card is scheduled for December 8th, and the card for the event is completely loaded. The lightweight title will be defended by champion Ben Henderson, who always puts on extremely exciting fights, against Nate Diaz, one of the most outspoken fighters in MMA (and a pretty talented, exciting guy in his own right who was on the Fox show in May). Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, a former UFC and PRIDE champion who put on a hell of a fight on the last Fox event against Brandon Vera, will take on one of the organization's top young prospects in Alexander Gustafsson. The third announced fight puts MMA legend BJ Penn, a former UFC lightweight and welterweight champion, against Rory McDonald, a young Canadian who's gotten into a war of words with Penn and has been deemed the future of the UFC's welterweight division.
If these three fights, along with another one yet to be announced, can't draw huge ratings for the organization... well, it's rare that anything ever will on Fox after that strong debut they had with the Junior Dos Santos-Cain Velasquez heavyweight title fight last November. But why?