Month: September 2017

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UFC Welterweight Alan Jouban Makes Analyst Debut with Champions Daniel Cormier, Michael Bisping and Host Karyn Bryant for UFC FIGHT NIGHT: SAINT PREUX VS. OKAMI LIVE on FXX

Dan Hardy and Todd Grisham Call Fights Live on FXX from Saitama, Japan on a Rare Friday Night Fight Card

LOS ANGELES, CA – Today, FOX Sports announces UFC welterweight Alan Jouban (@AlanJouban) will make his FOX Sports desk analyst debut with champions Daniel Cormier (@dc_mma) and Michael Bisping (@Bisping), host Karyn Bryant (@KarynBryant) and reporter Megan Olivi (@MeganOlivi) for UFC FIGHT NIGHT: SAINT PREUX VS. OKAMI live from Saitama, Japan on FXX Friday, Sept. 22.

Bow-by-blow announcer Todd Grisham (@GrishamMMA) and former welterweight contender Dan Hardy (@danhardymma) call the fights live on FXX Octagon-side from Japan. Victor Davila (@mastervic10) and UFC bantamweight Henry Briones (@HenBriones) have the call in Spanish on FOX Deportes.

In the evening’s main event, No. 6-ranked light heavyweight Ovince Saint Preux (20-10) faces UFC veteran Yushin Okami (34-10), who steps in on a week’s notice after Mauricio “Shogun” Rua pulled out of the fight. Currently sporting a four-fight win streak, the 36-year-old Okami has a remarkable 17-1 record in Japan, and looks to add an 18th victory when he faces Saint Preux. Okami has 13 wins in his UFC career from 2006 to 2013, and is returning this fight to the Saitama Super Arena, the same venue where he won his last UFC fight over Hector Lombard in 2013.

The three-hour main card begins Friday on FXX and FOX Deportes at 10:00 PM ET and features five more action-packed bouts. The co-main event features No. 1-ranked strawweight Claudia Gadelha (15-2) facing No. 4-ranked Jessica Andrade (16-6), while Japanese lightweight legend Takanori Gomi (35-13, 1NC) faces Dong Hyun Kim (14-8-3). Gokhan Saki (0-1) and Henrique da Silva (12-3) lock horns in a light heavyweight scrap. Featherweight Teruto Ishihara (10-4-2) fights Rolando Dy (8-5-1, 1NC), while Mizuto Hirota (19-8-2) and Charles Rosa (11-3) open the main card with another featherweight bout.

The two-hour UFC FIGHT NIGHT PRELIMS begin Friday at 8:00 PM ET on FXX and FOX Deportes with four additional bouts. Welterweights Keita Nakamura (32-8-2, 1NC) and Alex Morono (13-4) collide. No. 5-ranked flyweight Jussier Formiga (19-5) fights Ulka Sasaki (20-4-2). Undefeated strawweight Syuri Kondo (5-0) faces Chan-Mi Jeon (5-1), while Shinsho Anzai (9-2) and Luke Jumeau (12-3) open the PRELIMS with an exciting welterweight bout.

Friday’s coverage begins on FXX at 7:00 PM ET with the UFC FIGHT NIGHT PREFIGHT SHOW, featuring Bryant, Cormier, Bisping and Olivi. The action wraps up immediately following the main event with the UFC FIGHT NIGHT POSTFIGHT SHOW on FXX. The UFC WEIGH-IN SHOW takes place Thursday, Sept. 21 at 6:30 PM ET on FS1 with the same studio crew.

On UFC TONIGHT Wednesday, Sept. 20 (8:00 PM ET) on FS1, hosts Kenny Florian and Cormier interview Shogun and Saint Preux before Friday’s fight and preview the light heavyweight showdown. Later that night, a new episode of THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER: A NEW WORLD CHAMPION premieres at 10:00 PM ET and is followed by the companion show TUF TALK at 11:00 PM ET.

Leading up to the fights, UFC fighters offer unique, behind-the-scenes clips on FOX Sports PROcast and on the FOX UFC social pages. Follow @UFConFOX on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for updates throughout the #UFCJapan fights this Friday.

Viewers can live stream the UFC shows on FOX Sports GO, available in English or Spanish through the FS1 or FOX Deportes feeds. The shows are available on desktop at FOXSportsGO.com and through the app store or on connected devices including Apple TV, Android TV, Fire TV, Xbox One and Roku. In addition, all programs are also available on FOX Sports on SiriusXM channel 83 on satellite radios and on the SiriusXM app.

FOX SPORTS UFC PROGRAMMING SCHEDULE

DATE TIME (ET) EVENT NETWORK*
Wednesday, Sept. 20 8:00 PM UFC TONIGHT SHOW FS1
Wednesday, Sept. 20 10:00 PM THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER FS1
Wednesday, Sept. 20 11:00 PM TUF TALK FS1
Thursday, Sept. 21 6:30 PM FS1 UFC WEIGH-IN SHOW FS1

 

Friday, Sept. 22 7:00 PM FS1 UFC FIGHT NIGHT PREFIGHT SHOW FXX
Friday, Sept. 22 8:00 PM FS1 UFC FIGHT NIGHT PRELIMS FXX / FOX Deportes
Friday, Sept. 22 10:00 PM FS1 UFC FIGHT NIGHT: SAINT PREUX VS. OKAMI FXX / FOX Deportes
Friday, Sept. 22 1:00 AM FS1 UFC FIGHT NIGHT POSTFIGHT SHOW FXX

*All programs available on FOX Sports GO and FOX Sports on SiriusXM channel 83

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FOX Sports College Hoops Schedule Highlighted by 25 Pac-12 Matchups

FS1 Returns as Home to Pac-12 Tournament Championship

NEW YORK, NY – FOX Sports adds 25 Pac-12 men’s basketball games to its loaded 2017-18 schedule, including the championship game of the conference tournament Saturday, March 10, on FS1, and several appearances by the conference’s top teams.

FOX Sports’ Pac-12 schedule is highlighted by three games from the Pac-12 Tournament at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. FS1 televises the final quarterfinal-round game on Thursday, March 8 (11:30 PM ET), the second semifinal on Friday, March 9 (11:30 PM ET) and the championship game on Saturday, March 10 (10:00 PM ET).

FOX Sports opens its Pac-12 slate with an appearance by 2017 Final Four participant Oregon, who hosts Utah on FS1 Friday, Dec. 29, at 10:00 PM ET. FS1’s schedule features multiple appearances by each of the conference’s NCAA Tournament participants from a year ago – Oregon, Sweet 16 participant UCLA, projected preseason top-10 USC, and 2017 Pac-12 Tournament Champion and possible preseason No. 1 Arizona.

On the FOX broadcast network, Sean Miller’s Wildcats host Utah on Saturday, Jan. 27, at 5:30 PM ET in a matchup of two of the conference’s top squads last season. Also on FOX, Oregon visits Stanford on Saturday, Feb. 3, at 5:00 PM ET, to close out a college basketball tripleheader on the broadcast network.

The Pac-12 men’s basketball schedule on FOX and FS1 can be found in the PDF below.

Landon Donovan

Landon Donovan Makes MLS Broadcast Debut on FOX

MLS-NFL Doubleheader Sunday
No. 1-Ranked U.S. Women’s National Team Battles Oceania Football Champion New Zealand Tuesday on FS1

LOS ANGELES, CA – Today, FOX Sports kicks off an impressive soccer slate with nearly 50 hours of coverage across the FOX Sports family of networks. This week’s lineup includes the U.S. Women’s National Team, Landon Donovan’s MLS broadcast debut as part of FOX’s MLS-NFL doubleheader, and 14 Bundesliga matches.

Jill Ellis’ No.1-ranked U.S. Women’s National Team headlines Tuesday’s lineup, hosting Oceania Football Champion New Zealand at 7:30 PM ET on FS1. More than 25,000 spectators are expected at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati to support the Americans as they take on the Football Ferns. Jenny Taft hosts pregame, halftime and postgame coverage from a field-level set at Nippert Stadium alongside former U.S. WNT midfielder Leslie Osborne. Renowned broadcaster JP Dellacamera calls the match live alongside two-time U.S. WNT Olympic Gold Medalist Aly Wagner with Taft reporting from the sideline.

Earlier in the day, FOX Sports televises four Bundesliga matches across its family of networks. Carlo Ancelotti’s Bayern Munich headlines Tuesday’s Bundesliga coverage as the squad clashes against Schalke. Coverage begins at 2:00 PM ET on FS1 and FOX Deportes. Ian Joy hosts FS1’s studio coverage alongside analysts Eric Wynalda and Jovan Kirovski, with Keith Costigan and Stu Holden calling the match. Mariano Trujillo and John Laguna are on the call for FOX Deportes.

On Wednesday, Sept. 20, Christian Pulisic and Borussia Dortmund headline FOX Sports’ four-match Bundesliga schedule when the team squares off against Hamburg on FS1. Studio coverage begins at 2:00 PM ET with host Joy and analysts Alexi Lalas and Wynalda. Costigan and Kirovski are on the call.

FOX Sports’ action-packed soccer week concludes Sunday, Sept. 24 with an MLS-NFL doubleheader on FOX, and a clash between the No. 2 seed Portland Timbers and Orlando City FC on FS1 at 8:00 PM ET. Live coverage begins at 2:00 PM ET when 2013 MLS Cup Champion Sporting Kansas City host the LA Galaxy. Former LA Galaxy legend Landon Donovan makes his MLS broadcast debut, joining play-by-play announcer John Strong on the call with Katie Witham reporting from the sideline.

Action continues at 5:00 PM ET as the Montreal Impact travel to Mercedes-Benz Stadium to face Tata Martino’s Atlanta United. Dellacamera calls the match alongside former MLS goalkeeper Brad Friedel with Danielle Slaton reporting from the sideline.

Those areas not receiving the MLS broadcasts on television will receive a regional NFL broadcast at that time and can watch the full MLS matches on FOX Sports GO.

Both MLS matches will also be available in Spanish on FOX Deportes. Ernesto Amador and Martin Zuñiga call the Sporting Kansas City-Galaxy matchup, and Elmur Souza and Alejandro Luna are on the call for Atlanta-Montreal.

In the nightcap, the Portland Timbers face Orlando City SC at 8:00 PM ET on FS1 and FOX Deportes. Costigan and Lalas call the match live from Providence Park, with Paul Tenorio reporting from the sideline. On FOX Deportes, Amador and Trujillo call the action in Spanish. This week’s full match schedule can be found here.

All FOX soccer matches can be live streamed via FOX Sports GO and FOX Soccer Match Pass. FOX Sports GO is available on FOXSportsGO.com or on the FOX Sports GO app, which can be downloaded from iTunes, Google Play, Amazon App Store and Windows Store. Streaming is also now available on several connected devices, including Apple TV, Android TV, FireTV, Roku, Chromecast and Xbox One.

Landon Donovan Makes MLS Broadcast Debut on FOX (377 kB, last updated September 2017)
Tiki and Ronde Barber

FOX Sports Pairs Rondé & Tiki Barber to Call Meeting of Their Former Teams

Football’s Most Famous Twins in the FOX NFL Booth for Oct. 1 Giants at Bucs Game alongside Kenny Albert and Kristina Pink

NEW YORK, NY – The NFL’s most famous and accomplished twins, standouts Rondé and Tiki Barber, will be teammates once again, reuniting on FOX to call the Oct. 1 New York Giants at Tampa Bay Buccaneers game (4:05 PM ET).

The game, pitting their former teams (Giants – Tiki; Bucs – Rondé) against each other, is believed to be the first time twin brothers have called an NFL game for national broadcast television. They join Rondé’s FOX NFL boothmate, play-by-play announcer Kenny Albert, and sideline reporter Kristina Pink to telecast the battle between the franchises at which each spent their entire NFL playing careers. Rondé played cornerback for the Bucs from 1997 through 2012, while Tiki was a Giants running back from 1997 to 2006.

“I probably wouldn’t want to be part of a three-man booth with too many people, but I’m happy to share the FOX booth with Tiki,” Rondé said. “Tiki is a novice in terms of calling games, and there are so many different mechanics that go along with it. We have always shared our life experiences with each other, so he knows what he is getting into by virtue of me. He is very ‘big-picture’ and not myopic when it comes to football. Because of his history in New York and mine in Tampa, we will be able to offer a different perspective to these two markets and a global viewpoint on both teams to any viewer.”

Rondé has served as a FOX NFL analyst since 2013, while Tiki co-hosts “Tiki and Tierney” on CBS Sports Radio. In their first joint broadcasting project, the Barbers shared the airwaves on SiriusXM Radio’s “The Barber Shop” for several years. The duo, who played together at the University of Virginia and were roommates throughout college, appeared on FOX’s CELEBRITY MASTER CHEF in October 2016 and have co-written several children’s books.

“Rarely does a TV network have the chance to broadcast a game from the perspective Rondé and Tiki Barber will provide FOX Sports,” said John Entz, FOX Sports President of Production and Executive Producer. “It is always beneficial to have an analyst who played for one of the teams on the field, but to have both teams represented in the TV booth, by twin brothers, will be truly unique. Both men are sharp and astute on their own, so when they are paired alongside Kenny Albert, it will be intriguing to watch them play off of each other.”

“I am ecstatic to have the opportunity to join my brother, Rondé, and Kenny (Albert) in the booth for the Giants/Bucs matchup,” Tiki said. “Being a former Giant, and having lived in the New York/New Jersey area for the past 20 years, I look forward to bringing the viewers a different perspective. Rondé and I played against one another five times professionally, and it was always a lot of fun, I’m sure it will be the same with Kenny as our quarterback on Oct. 1 in Tampa.”

Selected by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the 66th overall pick in the 1997 NFL Draft, Rondé quickly became one of the most consistent cornerbacks in the league and was selected to five Pro Bowls (2001, 2004-2006 and 2008). He earned three first-team All-Pro (2001, 2004 and 2005) and two second-team All-Pro selections (2002 and 2006). Rondé was named to the NFL 2000s All-Decade Team and played in every game from 2000-’12. He led the NFL in interceptions (10) in 2001 and remains the Buccaneers’ all-time interceptions leader (47) and only member of the “40/20 club” (40+ interceptions, 20+ quarterback sacks). The biggest achievement of his career, however, came during the 2002 season when he helped Tampa Bay defeat the Oakland Raiders to win Super Bowl XXXVII.

Drafted by the New York Giants as the 36th overall selection in the second round of the 1997 NFL Draft, Tiki spent his entire 10-year career with the franchise and is a member of the New York Giants Ring of Honor. He was named to three Pro Bowls (2004-2006) and earned first-team All-Pro honors in 2005. As a Giants running back, Tiki amassed 10,449 career rushing yards and averaged 4.7 yards per carry. He is credited with 55 rushing touchdowns, 586 receptions, 5,183 receiving yards and 12 receiving touchdowns.

Tiki played in Super Bowl XXXV against the Baltimore Ravens and set numerous franchise records during his tenure. Additionally, he was the NFL’s top yardage gainer from the line of scrimmage from 2003-2006. While at the University of Virginia, Tiki was honored as the ACC Player of the Year in 1996.

FOX Sports VR ND at MichSt

FOX Sports Delivers High-Powered Notre Dame at Michigan State in Social Virtual Reality

FOX Sports VR App Allows Group Viewing Similar to Multiplayer Video Games
Wendy’s Sponsors ‘Virtual Suite’ Experience; 360-Degree Skycam View Debuts

CHARLOTTE, NC – It’s not the best seat in the house … it’s better.

FOX Sports is giving college football fans the opportunity to watch the high-powered matchup between Notre Dame and Michigan State in newly released social virtual reality. Coverage of the game begins Saturday, Sept. 23 (8:00 PM ET) on the FOX broadcast network and also is available through the free FOX Sports VR app. On the app, viewers have the ability to watch together from the best views in the stadium, all while verbally communicating and interacting with each other’s in-suite avatars throughout the experience.

Once again teaming with LiveLike, with presenting sponsorship from Wendy’s, the Official Hamburger of the NCAA, FOX Sports is unveiling another view to its virtual reality production package, enabling users to access a 360-degree Skycam look at the action between the Spartans and Fighting Irish.

The c360 Skycam livestream streams 360-degree panoramic footage on four consumer touchpoints: the FOX Sports VR app, @CFBonFOX on Twitter, FOX College Football (CFBonFOX) on Facebook and the FOX Sports YouTube channel.

Viewers can watch pre-game festivities, team warm-ups, halftime band performances and post-game celebrations live via the c360 Skycam stream on social platforms, with multi-view, live game action available through the FOX Sports VR app.

In addition, c360 footage is available for use in the FOX game broadcast.

“FOX Sports continues to accelerate the development of virtual reality as a unique complement to our overall package of sports offerings,” said Jeb Terry, FOX Sports Vice President of Partner & Program Management. “With the debut of social VR with the Gold Cup in July, and now the addition of the Skycam perspective, we continue to strengthen an already robust offering to both viewers and advertisers.”

Through its “virtual suite,” the FOX Sports VR app will offer:

  • Multiple high-resolution camera angles that give users the ability to choose between views or enjoy a director’s cut that automatically selects the best camera angle for live game action; including the introduction of the view from the c360 Skycam
  • On-demand, all-access 360 videos leading up to the game
  • After the game, VR highlights of the biggest plays from the best angles
  • Exclusive look at non-game action, including pre-game, halftime festivities and post-game

When entering the experience, users are able to select a “Social” tab and a “Join Friends” button that connects the user to Facebook upon authorization. At that point, friends who have done the same will pop up on the user’s friends list, creating the opportunity to view the experience in a social environment. Additionally, the experience can automatically select a viewing partner at random, with viewers having the ability to seamlessly switch Social VR “on” or “off.”

The FOX Sports VR app can be enjoyed without any special VR equipment through the mobile-specific interactive, 360-degree viewing experience built specifically for smartphone viewing, or with a Gear VR or cardboard headset. Fans can access this FOX Sports VR “virtual suite” by downloading and installing the free FOX Sports VR app and signing in with their television provider credentials.

The social virtual reality initiative is the latest effort from FOX Sports Lab, a designed approach to exploring technical partnerships that give viewers a fresh perspective and ad sales teams more targeted sports integrations.

Over the last two years, FOX Sports has offered more than a dozen major events in VR, including Super Bowl LI, the 2016 & 2017 Big East Men’s Basketball tournaments, 2017 UEFA Champions League Final, 2016 U.S. Open Championship, 2016 MLS Cup, 2017 Gold Cup, 2016 Bundesliga season opener, 2016 Daytona 500, 2016 Big Ten Football Championship and a PBC heavyweight title fight.

Matt Leinart

No. 4 USC Hosts Texas in First Rematch of Classic 2006 BCS National Championship Game

Matt Leinart Sits Down with Vince Young to Share Memories from College Football’s Greatest Game

Army at No. 8 Ohio State Kicks off FOX College Football Doubleheader

No. 4 USC and Texas meet at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Saturday, Sept. 16, at 8:30 PM ET on the FOX broadcast network in the first rematch of the 2006 BCS National Championship Game, widely considered the greatest college football game ever played.

Before the season began, two stars from the 2006 classic, FOX Sports analyst and former USC quarterback Matt Leinart and former Texas signal-caller Vince Young, sat down for a lengthy conversation about the game and their memories from it. The interview premieres during FS1 COLLEGE FOOTBALL PREGAME Saturday at 11:30 AM ET prior to Northern Illinois at Nebraska on FS1. The piece also runs during halftime of Army at No. 8 Ohio State, which kicks off at 4:30 PM ET on FOX.

FOX Sports’ lead college football broadcast team, play-by-play announcer Gus Johnson, analyst Joel Klatt and sideline reporter Jenny Taft, call Texas-USC live from the Coliseum when the game kicks off at 8:30 PM ET. FOX Sports college football studio host Rob Stone and analysts Robert Smith, Dave Wannstedt and Leinart present pregame, halftime and postgame coverage live from the field at the Coliseum.

Saturday’s college football coverage on the FOX broadcast network begins at 4:00 PM ET before play-by-play announcer Joe Davis, analyst Brady Quinn and sideline reporter Bruce Feldman call Army at No. 8 Ohio State live from Ohio Stadium at 4:30 PM ET. FOX Sports’ full day of college football begins on FS1 at 11:30 AM ET before Northern Illinois at Nebraska kicks off at 12:00 PM ET. FOX Sports college football game analyst Les Miles makes his official debut in the broadcast booth for the Huskies at Huskers alongside play-by-play announcer Tim Brando, analyst Spencer Tillman and sideline reporter Holly Sonders. Northern Illinois-Nebraska is also simulcast in 4K to outlets including DirecTV.

This week’s full schedule of games on FOX, FS1, FSN and BTN, including broadcasters, can be found by clicking the PDF below.

In 2017, FOX Sports televises top games from the Big 12, Big Ten and Pac-12 conferences. FOX Sports is home to some of the most anticipated matchups of the season, including Ohio State at Michigan, Oklahoma at Oklahoma State in the annual Bedlam rivalry, and Texas at USC in the first rematch of the 2006 BCS National Championship Game. FOX Sports is also home to the Big Ten and Big 12 championship games and the Foster Farms Bowl and San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl.

Daniel Cormier

UFC TONIGHT Quotes – Daniel Cormier on Jon Jones

Florian Picks Rockhold Over Branch: “It’s going to be a close fight. Rockhold wins by a close decision.”
Rockhold on Branch: “When I’m patient, heathy and focused, there’s no one who can compete with me. I’m going to take my time, pick him apart limb by limb and finish him.”

LOS ANGELES, CA – UFC TONIGHT was hosted by Kenny Florian and Daniel Cormier, with Karyn Bryant adding reports. The crew interviews UFC middleweights Luke Rockhold and David Branch before their UFC FIGHT NIGHT headliner.

UFC TONIGHT host Daniel Cormier on Jon Jones’s B sample also testing positive for steroids: “I think it’s crazy. USADA is being very straight line, saying he gets due process, but the reality is, you can’t fail a drug test. You can pass 100 tests, but you can’t fail one. We have to wait for due process, but what are we waiting for? They tested the A sample, they tested the B sample. If there’s anything, you can’t test positive. It’s unfair. I’m very upset about it.”

UFC TONIGHT host Kenny Florian on Jones testing positive again: “When we’re talking about Jon Jones against you, this is the third time he’s done it. In three fights involving your name, he’s tested positive for something. My understanding is Turinabol is extremely rare. For a supplement company having it in their supplement would be very expensive. So does it make sense that this would be tainted supplement? Given Jones’ history, it doesn’t look good for him. Being away from the sport for another four years, would not be good for him. ”

Cormier on what Jones should do next: “He has to fight it. It’s a death sentence. This is a very expensive drug. Something that’s not easily found in a supplement. I’ve been in the USADA process for 12 years, I’ve never had these issues. If it was a mistake, you’ve got to be more careful, especially with all the scrutiny on him after what’s already happened.”

Cormier on getting the belt back: “I lost the fight. That’s how I felt. But Dana White called me today and said if it’s a no contest, then the fight didn’t happen and because of that, the championship is getting returned to me. If he cheated, he could not have fought and won the fight. Financially, it’s a big difference if I don’t fight as the champion as opposed to fighting for the vacant title. I’m taking the belt. He disqualified himself before the fight. So it didn’t happen, and I get the belt back, which is the right thing to do. You don’t cheat the sport, cheat the fans or me. Jones, you have all the physical advantages. You’re 30 years old. You have an 85 inch reach. I’m 38 years old. I would love to wake up and take stuff so I don’t have to walk down my stairs sideways. But I don’t. Once again, this guy has made a mockery of the sport.”

VIDEO: Daniel Cormier
https://twitter.com/UFCONFOX/status/908121153633271809
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3NyRZDtrxzw

Cormier on Luke Rockhold’s strengths against David Branch: “I believe Luke Rockhold the best middleweight in the world. But he has to fight at range, use his length and his kicks. He lost against Bisping because he was too close. He’s a phenomenal athlete. You don’t realize until you’re in there with him. He’s big and powerful. If Branch isn’t careful, he can take him out in specular fashion.”

Florian on Branch’s advantages against Rockhold: “I think Luke is big, but David is just as big. He takes little damage in there. He knows how to fight a southpaw and fought one in his last fight. He knows how big this fight is. He’s riding high on confidence with his current win streak.”

Cormier on Branch’s experience: “Branch’s last loss was against Anthony Johnson, and that went to a decision. So if people are saying he doesn’t deserve it, that’s not the case. Remember the last time Luke fought someone lower than him in the ratings and what happened?”

Cormier picks Rockhold over Branch in two rounds: “In this fight he has all his weapons. He can kick, he can grapple. I know David Branch is a phenomenal grappler, but I think he’ll struggle with the size of Luke Rockhold and his athleticism. David is a little slow fighting Luke and he’s a conventional fighter, so the left body kick will dig into the side of David. We’ve seen Luke finish people with that and put people in trouble. I have Rockhold in two.”

Florian on how Rockhold beats Branch: “I think David can roll with Rockhold, especially with the submission game. He might throw in a leg lock. He could surprise him. However, it’s going to be a close fight and goes the distance. Rockhold has a tough fight, but wins by a close decision.”

Luke Rockhold on training in Florida: “I’ve got to do what I’ve got to do. There’s some young and hungry talent there my size who I can feed off of.”

Rockhold on being off 15 months: “I had a torn ACL. There’s a healing process. I’ve had to heal up. I’ve been trying to fight a since June. Anderson Silva wouldn’t fight me, Gegard Mousasi wouldn’t. Yoel wouldn’t fight a five round fight. I tried to fight Shogun at 205 and Fabricio Werdum. But here we go. I got a top-10 guy.”

Rockhold on what he thinks about Branch saying Rockhold needs to cut out the alpha male act: “I don’t know. I thought he was the thug from Brooklyn. He thinks he can box, but he can’t box with me. He thinks he can grapple, but I’ll make him look like a white belt. He thinks he can wrestle. He has no idea what wrestling is.”

Rockhold on what happened when he lost the belt: “In the Bisping fight, I wasn’t patient. I didn’t focus. I tried to do too much. When I’m patient, heathy and focused, there’s no one who can compete with me. I’m going to take my time, pick him apart limb by limb and finish him.”

Rockhold on who he thinks will win between Michael Bisping and Georges St-Pierre: “I’ve got no opinion on that fight. I think Bisping wins the fight. I think GSP is an inflated 155 pounder. He has no business being in the division. He’s small and weak and I think he’s going to get crushed. I think he needs to get the hell out.”

VIDEO: Luke Rockhold Interview
https://twitter.com/UFCONFOX/status/908132897713876992

David Branch on being in his first UFC main event: “It’ll be a little different. The stakes are higher. My last fight was a great acclimation fight. I wasn’t my normal composed fighter, but it was a great warmup.”

Branch on if he needs to finish Rockhold: “I don’t need to finish to win, but the plan is to finish him.”

Branch on if he planned on the long winning streak: “I take one fight at a time. I don’t put any unnecessary pressure on me. Every fight has a different set of things to deal with. I’m dealing with this one now.”

Branch on if he’ll get a title shot with a victory: “If I win with a certain type of authority, that could put me in position. One of the three ways – by submission, knockout or TKO.”

VIDEO: David Branch Interview
https://twitter.com/UFCONFOX/status/908123980820652032

Florian on who should fight Amanda Nunes next: “Cat Zingano. Her last win was against Amanda Nunes. The fans love Cat Zingano. It would be a very exciting fight and the fans would like it.”

Cormier on who should fight Nunes for the bantamweight title fight next: “Rocky Pennington has won her last fight over Miesha Tate, she’s on a roll, she’s ranked in the top of the division and she’s deserving of the fight. It’s Raquel, she has a style that’s good for Amanda Nunes.”

VIDEO: The powerful relationship between Brian Ortega and Rener Gracie
https://twitter.com/UFCTonight/status/908090925255032832

UFC TONIGHT Quotes – Daniel Cormier on Jon Jones (155 kB, last updated September 2017)
FOX-NHRA-GRAPHIC-1040x585-logo

FOX Sports NHRA Broadcast Team Previews Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship

Pedregon, Rieff, Howe Pick Drag Racing’s Locks, Longshots & Top Playoff Stories

CHARLOTTE, NC – FOX Sports and the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) are in the staging lanes for this weekend’s opening round of the six-race NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship, with Sunday’s Final Round airing at 2:30 PM ET on FS1 live from zMAX Dragway in Concord, N.C.

The broadcast team of Dave Rieff (host), two-time Funny Car champion Tony Pedregon (analyst) and reporter Jamie Howe offer insight into drag racing’s high-pressure playoffs with a look at the favorites, the longshots and the storylines fans will be talking about:

FOX SPORTS: If you had to pick one racer who you’d say is a LOCK to win a championship this year, who would it be and why?

  • TONY PEDREGON: Since there are three or four legitimate contenders in Top Fuel, Funny Car and Pro Stock I will go with the low-hanging fruit and say that, based on the last race, Eddie Krawiec in Pro Stock Motorcycle will outperform the field. Timing is in his favor and it looks like there is more power to uncover for the Harleys.
  • DAVE RIEFF: This sport is way too unpredictable to make guarantees, but if I had to pick someone, it would be LE Tonglet as my stone-cold, lead-pipe lock. LE is a tremendous rider with a superior team. As the No. 1 seed in Pro Stock Motorcycle, he will more than hold his own.
  • JAMIE HOWE: It’s hard to pick a racer who is locked at this point because there are so many who could win each weekend. But I think, in Funny Car, it’s really Ron Capps’ to lose. They have dominated the point standings all season and are racing with a different confidence than last season. They are the defending champions and know how to do it.

FOX SPORTS: Give me a longshot pick who just may be peaking at the right time to shock the field and win an unexpected title?

  • TONY PEDREGON: Since the criteria is a longshot, I wouldn’t be surprised if Doug Kalitta jumps up and contends in Top Fuel. No wins yet this year; however, he has lost many close races and can easily turn things around.
  • DAVE RIEFF: I’d go with Terry McMillen. They are a team that has really turned the corner this year … a consistent .70s car that should have won in Seattle. The top teams are now running .60s, so there is work to do to keep up, but I like Terry and that team as my longshot.
  • JAME HOWE: JR Todd and the DHL team haven’t been the best performers but they have been there to capitalize and win races. They may be carrying enough momentum from winning Indy that they could peak at the right time to win a championship.

FOX SPORTS: What are the top one or two storylines you are watching heading into this first race of the Countdown?

  • TONY PEDREGON: Defending Top Fuel champion Antron Brown will have some serious competition this time around. Steve Torrence has improved and will be a serious threat. Leah (Pritchett) has the car and performance, but will be tested under pressure of the Countdown … Funny Car is wide open and it will be tough for (Ron) Capps to repeat with drivers like Robert Hight and Matt Hagan running so strong.
  • DAVE RIEFF: Ron Capps looking to be the first driver to win back-to-back Funny Car titles since John Force’s history-making run … And I’m keeping an eye on Drew Skillman in Pro Stock, a driver with the right temperament and the right skill set to be a champion.
  • JAMIE HOWE: Steve Torrence coming off an Indy win as the No. 1 seed in the Countdown leaves him with a bull’s eye. But if anyone in the field handles the pressure, it’s him. They have a solid car and have worked themselves into the combination they’ll run for the duration of the season. Also, Tanner Gray is a rookie on a mission in Pro Stock. He has six races left to earn the AAA Road to the Future Award.
Jamie Little

Darrell Waltrip & Jamie Little Discuss Danica Patrick’s Exit from Stewart-Haas Racing

Waltrip: “Even if she never drives again, Danica has changed the face of NASCAR and been great for the sport.”

CHARLOTTE, NC – Danica Patrick on Tuesday announced she will not return to Stewart-Haas Racing in 2018, but she did not disclose any future driving plans.

Below, FOX NASCAR analyst and Hall of Famer Darrell Waltrip and reporter Jamie Little (who has covered Patrick since her early days in the IndyCar Series and covered her pit when Patrick became the first female ever to lead the Indianapolis 500) discuss Patrick’s tenure at Stewart-Haas Racing and her impact on the sport.

FOX SPORTS: If Danica Patrick never competes in NASCAR again, what will her legacy in the sport be?

Waltrip: “Danica Patrick has been the most successful female driver in NASCAR, by far, and that’s something to be extremely proud of. I’m not sure this is the end of her driving career. That remains to be seen. She is world-famous with a name recognized across the globe and well outside NASCAR. She has done a tremendous job marketing her brand and has developed a great reputation. On the track, Danica has shown she can compete with the best, although not necessarily every week like she would have liked. Even if she never drives again, Danica has changed the face of NASCAR and been great for the sport.”

Little: “If she never races again, Danica truly made an impact not just in motorsports but in the world of sports. She proved a woman can compete with the men. Danica is the total package of determination, drive, femininity and athleticism. She has inspired a generation of girls, young and old.”

FOX SPORTS: How important is Danica Patrick’s fan base to NASCAR?

Waltrip: “Danica’s fan base is huge to the sport. I give Jeff Gordon a lot of credit for creating a youth movement in NASCAR back in the early 1990s. By the same token, Danica has been responsible for a lot of aspiring female and male drivers of the future setting goals for themselves. She has done a good job creating interest in the sport. When she runs or qualifies well, I hear from people everywhere.”

Little: “Danica’s fan base in NASCAR is huge. Many people have lost sight of what she does on a weekly basis, competing with the men and doing it in the face of utmost scrutiny. Folks lose sight of how many people watch our shows or come to the race track because she is racing. It was a big loss to IndyCar when she moved on to NASCAR, and it will be an even bigger blow to NASCAR if she walks away. Even if people don’t follow racing closely, they tune in when Danica makes history or simply out of curiosity.”

FOX SPORTS: Is there another young female driver poised to assume a similar role in the next couple of years?

Waltrip: “Danica is an inspiration to a lot of young female drivers and young girls in general. Heck, young male drivers, for that matter, as well. Kids in particular look up to her. When someone like her with a team like the powerhouse she has driven for doesn’t meet expectations, it is discouraging to anyone trying to start their driving career. But the future doesn’t hinge on one person. Another female driver will come along with the necessary credentials that cause a team owner to take a chance and put her in the car.”

FOX SPORTS: With the exodus of several high-profile drivers from full-time competition in recent years and the possibility of Patrick not competing in 2018, what steps would you like to see NASCAR make to ensure the future of the sport?

Waltrip: “NASCAR needs to be working on a plan to keep these drivers involved in the sport long after they retire from driving. Don’t let them do what Carl Edwards has done – step out of the car and rarely be seen at the track again. Jeff Gordon has done a good job of staying involved with his analyst role with FOX NASCAR and with other in-sport obligations. Dale Earnhardt Jr. will be in the broadcast booth. Tony Stewart promotes dirt racing. It’s crucial to keep these drivers involved because they have fans, and it will impact the sport if they walk away and are never heard from again. If you have a young, up-and-coming driver that fans don’t know well, pair them with a veteran like those who have retired and have them work together in various capacities. Fans might not know who the young kid is, but they’ll recognize the older one standing alongside him.”

FOX SPORTS: How has Patrick’s performance at Stewart-Haas Racing compared to initial expectations?

Waltrip: “If I was being a critic, which I’m not because I have a lot of respect for Danica, she has been given some great opportunities the past few years. SHR has done an incredible job of providing her the cars and crew chiefs to be successful, so if I was a critic, I’d say she has had some golden opportunities but never took advantage of them.

“However, the expectations were enormous when she came into the sport. But in some people’s eyes, and probably hers, she has not competed at the anticipated level. What she has accomplished is the best she could do under the circumstances at this time in the sport. You have to perform, whether you’re a legend like Richard Petty, or a female with incredible marketing potential. You must put up the numbers for sponsors and owners or they will start looking elsewhere.”

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UFC Lightweight Paul Felder Makes TV Debut Calling Some Fights with Jon Anik and Dominick Cruz for FS1 UFC FIGHT NIGHT: ROCKHOLD VS. BRANCH

Kenny Florian and Yves Edwards Serve as FOX Sports Studio Analysts with Host Karyn Bryant

LOS ANGELES, CA – FOX Sports announces today that current UFC lightweight Paul Felder (@felderpaul) makes his TV analyst debut with blow-by-blow announcer Jon Anik (@Jon_Anik) and current No. 1-ranked bantamweight Dominick Cruz (@DominickCruz) calling fights live from Pittsburgh for FS1 UFC FIGHT NIGHT: ROCKHOLD VS. BRANCH on Saturday, Sept. 16. Felder joins Anik and Cruz to call several bouts on the main card. Victor Davila (@mastervic10) and Mario Delgado (@mariodelgadorzm) have the call in Spanish on FOX Deportes.

Retired UFC contenders Kenny Florian (@KennyFlorian) and Yves Edwards (@thugjitsumaster) work as FOX Sports desk analysts alongside host Karyn Bryant (@KarynBryant) for FS1’s Friday and Saturday UFC programming, while reporter Heidi Androl (@HeidiAndrol) interviews fighters on-site.

A hard-hitting lineup of explosive fights is on its way to Pittsburgh on Saturday headlined by a middleweight matchup between former 185-pound champion and current No. 3-ranked Luke Rockhold (15-3) and surging contender and No. 9-ranked David Branch (21-3). Rockhold returns for the first time in more than a year against Branch, who extended his current win streak to 11 with a victory in May over Krzysztof Jotko.

The three-hour main card begins Saturday on FS1 and FOX Deportes at 10:00 PM ET and features five more action-packed bouts. Welterweight striking machines Mike Perry (10-1) and Thiago Alves (26-11) collide, while former Olympian Hector Lombard (34-7-1, 2NC) faces fellow middleweight Anthony Smith (27-12). Undefeated Gregor Gillespie (9-0) and Jason Gonzalez (11-3) lock horns in a lightweight scrap. No. 13-ranked welterweight Kamaru Usman (10-1) fights Sergio Moraes (12-3-1), while Justin Ledet (8-0, 1NC) and Zu Anyanwu (14-4) open the main card with a heavyweight bout.

The two-hour UFC FIGHT NIGHT PRELIMS begin Saturday at 8:00 PM ET on FS1 and FOX Deportes with four additional bouts. Lightweights Tony Martin (12-3) and Olivier Aubin-Mercier (10-2) collide. Anthony Hamilton (15-7) fights Daniel Spitz (5-1) in a heavyweight tilt. No. 10- ranked middleweight Krzysztof Jotko (19-2) faces No. 14-ranked Uriah Hall (13-8), while bantamweights Luke Sanders (11-1) and Felipe Arantes (18-7-1, 2NC) open the PRELIMS.

Saturday’s coverage begins on FS1 at 7:00 PM ET with the FS1 UFC FIGHT NIGHT PREFIGHT SHOW, featuring Bryant, Florian, Edwards and Androl. The action wraps up immediately following the main event with the FS1 UFC FIGHT NIGHT POSTFIGHT SHOW. The UFC WEIGH-IN SHOW takes place Friday, Sept. 15 at 7:00 PM ET on FS1 with the same studio crew.

On UFC TONIGHT Wednesday, Sept. 13 (8:00 PM ET) on FS1, hosts Florian and Daniel Cormier interview Rockhold and Branch before Saturday’s fight and preview the middleweight showdown. A new episode of THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER: A NEW WORLD CHAMPION premieres at 10:00 PM ET and is followed by the companion show TUF TALK at 11:00 PM ET.

Leading up to the fights, UFC fighters offer unique, behind-the-scenes clips on FOX Sports PROcast and on the FOX UFC social pages. Follow @UFConFOX on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for updates throughout the #UFCPittsburgh fights this Saturday.

Viewers can live stream the UFC shows on FOX Sports GO, available in English or Spanish through the FS1 or FOX Deportes feeds. The shows are available on desktop at FOXSportsGO.com and through the app store or on connected devices including Apple TV, Android TV, Fire TV, Xbox One and Roku. In addition, all programs are also available on FOX Sports on SiriusXM channel 83 on satellite radios and on the SiriusXM app.

FOX SPORTS UFC PROGRAMMING SCHEDULE

DATE TIME (ET) EVENT NETWORK*
Wednesday, Sept. 13 8:00 PM UFC TONIGHT SHOW FS1
Wednesday, Sept. 13 10:00 PM THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER FS1
Wednesday, Sept. 13 11:00 PM TUF TALK FS1
Friday, Sept. 15 7:00 PM FS1 UFC WEIGH-IN SHOW FS1

 

Saturday, Sept. 16 7:00 PM FS1 UFC FIGHT NIGHT PREFIGHT SHOW FS1
Saturday, Sept. 16 8:00 PM FS1 UFC FIGHT NIGHT PRELIMS FS1 / FOX Deportes
Saturday, Sept. 16 10:00 PM FS1 UFC FIGHT NIGHT: ROCKHOLD VS. BRANCH FS1 / FOX Deportes
Saturday, Sept. 16 1:00 AM FS1 UFC FIGHT NIGHT POSTFIGHT SHOW FS1

*All programs available on FOX Sports GO and FOX Sports on SiriusXM channel 83