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Dana White, UFC Hits Prime-Time With FOX

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LOS ANGELES (AP) – The UFC has made it to network prime-time programming.

Mixed martial arts’ dominant promotional company announced alandmark seven-year deal with Fox on Thursday, putting four UFC shows on the network each year. The UFC also will appear prominently on cable network FX, with live fights on most Friday nights and a revamped version of “The Ultimate Fighter,” the UFC’s popular reality show.

UFC President Dana White says the deal is the biggest step yet in MMA’s transformation from a banned fringe sport into the national mainstream.

Fox will allow the UFC to control its own production, a previous stumbling block in White’s negotiations with network TV. White says he wants to make a fresh start in every aspect of UFC’s programming, working with Fox to improve even its pay-per-view broadcasts.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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