FOX hoping to hold UFC event in New York metropolitan area on eve of Super Bowl XLVIII in 2014

Jeff Zelevansky

FOX is hoping to make next year's Super Bowl week in the New York metropolitan area an appealing one for MMA fans.

The network is already set to air Super Bowl XLVIII on Feb. 2, 2014 from MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., and Eric Shanks, president of FOX Sports Media Group, said on a Tuesday conference call to promote UFC on FOX 5 that he hopes the UFC will hold an event in the area the night before the big game.

"We would love to," Shanks said of the idea. "We think that Super Bowl week, in New York, is going to be unlike anything else. We're going to own the city. We're going to own that week of sports television, and there's nothing better that we can think of than a big fight that week.

"So, we're talking to Dana and Lorenzo about that -- love for it to happen -- we're going to see if they can put it together."

Shanks joked he is trying to convince UFC president Dana White to hold the event outdoors, which would be unprecedented considering the weather in New York metro area in February. Obviously, that is out of the question.

The big question, however, remains: where would this event take place? Sports Business Journal reported Monday that there are talks of the event taking place at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. But what if New York decides to finally smarten up and legalize MMA in 2013? A UFC debut at Madison Square Garden before New York/New Jersey's first Super Bowl would certainly be a nice ending to the saga that has been MMA legalization in New York State.

Traditionally, the UFC has held an event on Super Bowl weekend in Las Vegas. The promotion will do just that on Feb. 2, 2013 when it presents UFC 156 from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Sin City.

The UFC returns to FOX on Dec. 8 with a card headlined by Benson Henderson vs. Nathan Diaz for the UFC lightweight title.

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