LAS VEGAS – As UFC president Dana White has often said, live television ain't easy.
The latest reminder came on Friday's new edition of "The Ultimate Fighter: Live" on FX, when what should have been a one-minute break between rounds turned into three.
Welcome to the never-ending headaches of live television, White told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com
"We were on a network commercial break," White told MMAjunkie.com immediately following the bout, which aired live on FX from the UFC Training Center in Las Vegas. "You can't break a network-commercial break. We need to fix that. This is a live sporting event, and we need to be on our toes knowing that we can go to another round. We have a 60-second commercial, and you come right back to the fight. That was bad."
It also could have affected the outcome of the fight. In Friday's fight – the third of the opening round – Team Faber's Al Iaquinta upset Team Cruz's Myles Jury to pick up his team's first victory. But after the first two rounds were declared a draw and the bout went to a sudden-victory third round, the break went three minutes instead of the mandated one.
Had a fading Jury won the third round, some could have pointed to the extra recovery time as the reason why.
Additionally, White said fighters can start to cool down and cramp up during extended breaks, which adds to the potential problems.
Still, when there's finger-pointing, the boss said it's often directed at him.
"What are you going to do?" a clearly exasperated White asked. "All the coaches were looking at me and screaming at me. Yeah. I'm the guy. You know what I mean? Every time something goes wrong, I'm the guy. 'What are you doing, Dana?' Yeah, I'm giving him a three-minute rest. That's what I'm doing. It's always me."
White, though, said the problem won't happen again. If a fight is forced to a third round, the fighters will get the standard one-minute break On a night in which the judges were "dead-on" with their scores, he wants to assure UFC and FX officials do their part too.
"We can't pull out of a network break, so we need to figure that out and fix it," he said. "It won't happen again. Like I said, when you go to this live format, everything is a work in progress.
"Just when you think you've got all the bugs worked out, something else pops up."