UFC 70 on HBO?

It looks like all the speculation surrounding how UFC 70 will air in the United States can very nearly be laid to rest. A source close to the negotiations between Zuffa and Home Box Office told me this morning that “the deal is done, they’re just waiting on final authorization and signatures” and that UFC 70 will almost certainly air on HBO.

If, indeed, this agreement is finalized and announced, it’s huge. As big as getting MMA on Showtime in the form of EXC was, having UFC air on HBO is a much, much bigger deal. Airing the show on HBO will help get UFC more mainstream coverage, and there’s even reports that ESPN will begin covering UFC events before the April show in Houston.

UFC 70 takes place in May from Manchester, England and features Mirko Cro Cop vs. Gabriel Gonzaga in the main event. The winner of that fight will get the next title shot at new UFC Heavyweight Champion Randy Couture, who dominated Tim Sylvia this past weekend at UFC 68 to win his fifth UFC championship at the age of 43.