The UFC said goodbye to Fox on Saturday after seven years with the broadcaster. Starting in 2019, UFC will be on ESPN and ESPN+.
Looking back on the seven years with FOX, the UFC went from not being able to get a deal with a major broadcasting company, to now being one of the most popular sports in the world. FOX helped create several stars and had several top moments in UFC history. For two fighters, the seven years with FOX helped propel their career inside the Octagon and for one, it propelled their career outside the Octagon.
Here are the two fighters who benefited the most from the FOX deal.
Nate Diaz became a star because of his post-fight call out on FOX after defeating Michael Johnson. Diaz called out, at the time, featherweight champion Conor McGregor to fight him.
— UFC (@ufc) December 20, 2018
That callout, to this day, is one most MMA fans remember. Diaz ended up getting his wish and got to headline his first ever pay-per-view after being the middle fight on a FOX show his previous fight. Diaz ended up defeating McGregor by submission in their first fight and became a superstar.
He then had an immediate rematch with McGregor and ended up losing the fight. However, that moment on FOX helped make Diaz a star and made him millions of dollars because he got the fight he desired.
Diaz is now a fan favorite and seemingly, will only return for money fights. No other fighter propelled their career from a middle of the rankings fighter to one of the biggest stars in the sport due to FOX. Diaz did that and more.
One fighter in Diaz propelled his career in fighting, meanwhile, Daniel Cormier propelled his career in broadcasting. The light heavyweight and heavyweight champion got his start as a broadcaster because of FOX, and now Cormier has said he has a job in broadcasting once he retires from fighting.
Cormier is a regular commentator for UFC events and is even a frequent guest or guest-host to some of the most notable talk shows in America. Cormier became a star broadcaster all thanks in part to FOX giving him a chance to do so.
What other fighters do you think benefited from UFC on FOX?
Cole Shelton covers MMA for BJPenn.com, MMANews, and MyMMANews.com while also being the lead MMA odds writer for Sports Betting Dime