Brock Lesnar will return to UFC programming on Nov. 12, though not in a competitive capacity.
The former UFC heavyweight champion will serve as an analyst during the promotion’s inaugural broadcast on Fox Network this Saturday, UFC President Dana White announced on Wednesday during a media conference call.
“This is focused on the heavyweights and the heavyweight championship fight on Saturday night between Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos,” said White. “We're going to be talking about Alistair Overeem and Brock Lesnar. Overeem will be there, and Brock Lesnar is actually going to be one of the analysts on the show, breaking down the fight. He [defended the title] against Cain Velasquez, and he was supposed to fight Junior dos Santos, so his opinion is interesting.”
Lesnar meets Overeem in the main event of UFC 141, which goes down Dec. 30 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The onetime heavyweight king lost his title to Velasquez in October, falling by first-round knockout to the American Kickboxing Academy standout.
After losing his belt, Lesnar coached opposite dos Santos on the 13th installment of “The Ultimate Fighter” and was scheduled to square off with the Brazilian in June before another diverticulitis flare-up forced Lesnar back onto the operating table. As a result, Lesnar’s bout with Overeem will mark the Lesnar’s first in-cage appearance in 14 months.
In addition to announcing Lesnar’s involvement in UFC on Fox 1, which emanates from the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., White also confirmed that all UFC preliminary bouts are headed to Fox platforms in 2012, spelling the end for Facebook streams.
“When this deal starts in January, every live fight, no matter what it is, all goes to Fox,” said White. “Some are going to FX and some are going to Fuel. It’s going to depend, but every live fight will be on a Fox platform.”
The executives attending the call further broke down the distribution of content between Fox, FX and Fuel TV. As expected, the UFC will air four live events on Fox and six live events on FX each year, along with weekly broadcasts of a new, live version of “The Ultimate Fighter” on the latter channel.
Fuel TV was thought to be the new home of most all pre-recorded UFC content, as well as pre- and post-fight specials. However, White hinted on Wednesday that the cable station could play a bigger programming role than originally thought.
“There are going to be a ton of live fights on Fuel,” said White. “You’re not going to be able to not have Fuel if you’re a UFC fan.”
Fuel TV General Manager George Greenberg echoed White’s sentiment regarding UFC programming on the Fox-owned cable network.
“Twenty-five percent of our programming will be devoted to the UFC. We’re going to have north of 2,000 hours,” said Greenberg. “At the end of the day, this is an introduction to a new sport that has absolutely been put on the map in the last 10 years.”