NEW YORK -- Regis Philbin wore a UFC championship belt around his waist and tossed a challenge at Ricardo Lamas.
"Ricardo, good luck! You’re not going to get this until you win," the 82-year-old TV personality said. "And then you’ve got to go through me!’
Lamas would have an easier time with Reege than he will with champion Jose Aldo.
When the UFC piggybacked on Super Bowl weekend, the usual promotion for Saturday’s pay-per-view event went out on the window -- and landed on the NFL’s media day. And radio row. And, well, just about any hot spot this week where NFL or major media outlets were camped out, so was the Ultimate Fighting Championship. The UFC even hit Madison Square Garden on Thursday to promote the card -- a venue the promotion can’t run because of New York’s MMA ban.
The UFC didn’t just crash the Super Bowl party, it became the life of the bash.
UFC correspondent Megan Olivi brought a championship belt to the Super Bowl circus known as media day, where Philbin proclaimed himself the champ, and players couldn’t wait to hoist the strap over their shoulder or pose with it for a picture.
Lamas, one of several UFC stars who attended, ran his fingers though Pittsburgh defenseman’s Brett Keisel’s bushy beard.
UFC heavyweight Alistair Overeem wore a Peyton Manning jersey and the 135-pound champion Renan Barao countered with Russell Wilson’s No. 3 when the fighters lined up for a post-press conference photo opp at MSG.
Lamas might find out if he can defeat Aldo for the championship. Barao defends his title against Urijah Faber and Overeem takes on Frank Mir in Saturday’s three biggest bouts.
The UFC will hold its Super Bowl weekend show at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., just a few miles from MetLife Stadium, where the Super Bowl will be played Sunday.
The UFC switched its traditional Super Bowl show from Las Vegas to New Jersey at the request of broadcast partner, Fox.
With New York closed to MMA, UFC 169 is already the fifth card the Las Vegas-based promotion has run in the building since it opened in 2007.
The show is an expected sellout -- White said he was forced to deny a ticket request for actor-rapper Ice-T.