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SportsMixed Martial Arts

Get ready for 'Ref Cam' at UFC on Fox 4

Herb Dean holds the Referee of the Year

Herb Dean holds the Referee of the Year award at the Fighters Only World Mixed Martial Arts Awards 2011 at The Pearl concert theater at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas. (Nov. 30, 2011) Credit: Getty

Forget for a moment the whole "One of these four guys" gets the next title shot. That's promoter-speak.

The real significant event this Saturday at UFC on Fox 4 will still take place in the cage, but it will be strapped to the shirt of referees. Fox is implementing "Ref Cam," a high-definition camera lens that will give viewers a different view of the fights. Now, instead of just having four or five camera angles to see the fight from, you get a sixth view -- one that puts you as close to the action as you'll ever get without getting hit in the face.

Long-time MMA fans have seen this before in Pride fights, but this is the first time it will be used in a UFC fight. And, let's face it: this is Fox, this is network television and this is, in theory, a larger and newer audience than in the past.

Fox is no stranger to unique broadcasting gimmicks. Remember the "Fox Trax" that followed the puck during hockey games?

This camera, from Inertia Unlimited, debuted on HBO's telecast of Amir Kahn vs. Danny Garcia earlier this summer.

It will be interesting to see how referees act this Saturday knowing they're wearing this camera and knowing the latest round of public bashing they received after UFC 149.

New York Sports