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Fox Sports still closed to MMA

Fox Sports journalist Jay Glazer has been trying for awhile to convince his bosses to start covering mixed martial arts, but he’s still banging his head against a wall.

“While he’s ‘tried like crazy’ to get Fox to air MMA, they’re ‘not budging,’ ” USA TODAY sports TV columnist Michael Hiestand writes in tomorrow’s edition of the newspaper.

Glazer, who has a few professional fights under his belt, was part of the studio team for the compilation of Pride re-runs that used to air on his main employer’s cable TV cousin, Fox Sports Net. He also was a play-by-play broadcaster for Affliction Entertainment’s pay-per-view show in July.

Although his main job involves covering the NFL for Fox, Glazer would prefer to make the same living by covering MMA.

“I’d love it,” Glazer told Sherdog.com’s MMA Sunday School podcast in February 2008. “Absolutely. I would leave football for that in a heartbeat, no doubt. … I love football, don’t get me wrong. It’s my career. But MMA is my passion.”

It’s a sentiment shared by many of the NFL players whom Glazer follows, but not the executives who sign his paycheck. Although the Fox Television’s entertainment side reportedly considered a deal with UFC at one point, Fox Sports officials haven’t been shy about their distaste.

“We don’t need the money that badly,” Fox Sports President Ed Goren said last year.

Apparently the company does need it that badly for its website, which has plenty of MMA stories on its boxing page, partnerships with The Fight Network and Insidefighting.com, and a co-branded site wth Razorgator for selling tickets UFC events.

Fox Sports also has no problem using the Internet to show video of Glazer training NFL players such as Arizona Cardinals quarterback Matt Leinart to fight. Just don’t expect to see Glazer talking about real fighters on Fox’s over-the-air product in the near future.

(Posted by Sergio Non)

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