I thought UFC's debut on national television was a success. The production aspects of the show were spectacular. The set looked great and I thought Curt Menefee, Dana White, and Brock Lesnar did a great job with their pre-fight and post-fight commentary. The show had a pretty good flow for only broadcasting one fight. As far as the fight goes, it went almost exactly as the experts predicted. Unfortunately, I thought it was a little disappointing though. With Velasquez being out for over a year and Dos Santos claiming to be less than 100%, neither guy seemed to be at the top of their game. It wasn't terrible, but it was far from what I think they would deliver if they were both 100%. On a normal night, it wouldn't be that big of a deal. But I think the fighters being less than 100% was exacerbated by the fact that it was the only fight on the broadcast. If the show had been a half-hour longer, allowing the Guida-Henderson fight to be air on television, I think the show would've felt much stronger. It's one thing for the fight to not deliver the quality expected. It's another for it to happen as the only fight airing on TV.
But that's what happens in unscripted sports. Not every fight delivers every time out. The important thing for the UFC is that they delivered on the things they could control. The production was great, they crowned a new heavyweight champion, and they promoted their next two big heavyweight fights (Lesnar-Overeem and the winner taking on JDS). Which is why I consider the show a success, in spite of the fight not being as good as it would be under different circumstances. I look forward to the day Velasquez and Dos Santos cross paths again and I look forward to many more UFC broadcasts on Fox.