What changed this week I have no idea. Maybe it was something in the water but no matter what it was it is turning out to be a great week for the UFC. Not only is the promotion setting up for one of its most highly anticipated events ever but the organization has struck it rich in media gold so far this week.
The week started when the UFC was the featured story in the most recent addition of Sports Illustrated. Roger Huerta appeared on the cover of the magazine but this was only the start of the UFC coverage in the magazine. Inside was a full article that was surprisingly relatively free of bias. The article did it’s job of not sounding like a late-night infomercial pushing the sport down your throat nor was it full of false rumors about the fastest growing sport in America.
Fast forward to Wednesday and the media coverage only grew.
Wednesday evening I am working as normal and have the TV set tuned to ESPN. Surprisingly Jim Rome starts an interview with Chuck Liddell who discusses the UFC and this weekends event. The ESPN-UFC coverage continued the very next half-hour as PTI debated the sport on their sports-banter program. But the flood wasn’t over yet. Next up Around the Horn made the UFC one of its major topics on the show as the sports writers debated how big the UFC could become rightfully pointing out some of the widely known facts of the sport.
Thursday continued the flood of media coverage as Liddell was interviewed by ESPN yet again, this time on ESPN News. The UFC explosion hit the web too as ESPN.com delivered piece after piece of UFC content from previews to podcasts. Also late on Thursday ESPN debuted their surprisingly nice UFC MMA section on the ESPN.com website.
Look for the recent trend to continue as ESPN News will be airing UFC 71 weigh-ins tomorrow night at 7 pm eastern (live weigh-in coverage will begin here at 7 pm as well). Don’t be surprised if there is a SportsCenter piece on this weekends event or if the results and highlights are shown on the network Saturday night when the event is over and Chuck Liddell and Quinton Jackson have squared off in the octagon.