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UFC announces 2017 Q1 schedule with aggressive counter to Tito vs. Chael


UFC will hold eight events in the first quarter of 2017 which includes both an interesting chess move against Bellator and the promotion's Brooklyn, NY, debut.

The promotion announced the early slate of shows on the Wednesday edition of UFC Tonight.

- Sunday, January 15: FS1 Fight Night - Phoenix, AZ
- Saturday, January 21: UFC 208 - Anaheim, CA
- Saturday, January 28: Fox Fight Night - Denver, CO

- Saturday, February 4: FS1 Fight Night - Houston, TX
- Saturday, February 11: UFC 209 - Brooklyn, NY
- Sunday, February 19: FS1 Fight Night - Halifax, NS, Canada

- Saturday, March 4: UFC 210 - Las Vegas, NV
- Saturday, March 11: FS1 Fight Night - Brazil (location not disclosed)

*Super Bowl weekend show

In 2016, UFC also held eight shows in the first quarter with a very similar breakdown of PPV (2), FS1 (4), Fight Pass exclusive (1), and Fox (1). The 2016 Q1 schedule called for three PPVs, but the cancellation of Cain Velasquez vs. Fabricio Werdum resulted in their Super Bowl weekend show being converted to an FS1 event.

A few notable things:

- The January 21st PPV will not only counterprogram Bellator's Tito Ortiz vs. Chael Sonnen show, but the two shows are happening an hour away from each other.

- There's no Fight Pass only show in Q1. Granted, last year's Fight Pass only event was Anderson Silva vs. Michael Bisping in a move designed to draw subscribers. Still, how WME-IMG programs first-run UFC shows for their digital platform will be something to watch in 2017.

- There is only one event outside North America. If the scuttlebutt going around earlier this fall about new ownership cutting back on overseas shows is to believed, this could be the first nod toward that being legitimate. In 2016, UFC went overseas twice in their first three months (Australia, London).

- The annual Super Bowl weekend show is a free show on FS1 instead of a PPV.