Spike TV won't air a "UFC Prelims" broadcast for next month's UFC 113 event, but the one-hour pay-per-view teaser will return for UFC 114, a source close to the organization today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com
Spike TV and the UFC and have a contract that calls for 10 specials in 2010, so to assure some available spots later this year, officials opted to skip UFC 113, which takes place May 8 at Montreal's Bell Centre.
However, "UFC Prelims" returns for UFC 114 on May 29, and preliminary-card bouts of "The Ultimate Fighter 7" winner Amir Sadollah vs. Dong Hyun Kim and "TUF 8" winner Efrain Escudero vs. Dan Lauzon are expected to be featured.
UFC 114 takes place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The "UFC Prelims" special will precede a pay-per-view card that features co-headliner of Rashad Evans vs. Quinton "Rampage" Jackson and Forrest Griffin vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.
The UFC and Spike TV first offered a PPV teaser broadcast, which were later dubbed "UFC Prelims," for UFC 103, when the UFC went head-to-head with a boxing PPV broadcast featuring Floyd Mayweather vs. Juan Manuel Marquez. The specials proved effective enough at generating last-minute PPV buys that officials from the UFC and the organization's longtime cable partner decided to make them a regular offering.
Six "UFC Prelims" specials have aired since UFC 103, and they've drawn from 1.2 million viewers (UFC 111) to 1.7 million viewers (UFC 109). They consistently score well in the UFC and Spike TV's targeted demographics.
Sources close to the negotiations told MMAjunkie.com that the number of "UFC Prelims" specials could from increase in 2010 and become regular offerings prior to most, if not all, PPV broadcasts. Spike TV traditionally likes to feature fighters who competed on the "TUF" reality series or frequently compete on UFC Fight Night 20 cards since they're familiar with the cable station's viewers.
At UFC 114, Sadollah (3-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) faces perhaps his stiffest test yet when meets undefeated welterweight undefeated Kim (12-0-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC), who recently scored a decision victory over T.J. Grant. Since an upset to Johny Hendricks in August, Sadollah has posted decision wins over Phil Baroni and Brad Blackburn.
Meanwhile, Escudero (12-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) suffered his first career loss when Evan Dunham submitted him in January at UFC Fight Night 20. He now meets fellow lightweight Lauzon (12-3 MMA, 0-2 UFC), who recently dropped a submission defeat to Cole Miller and now tries to get his first UFC win for a third time.
The full UFC 114 card includes:
* Rashad Evans vs. Quinton "Rampage" Jackson
* Forrest Griffin vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
* Michael Bisping vs. Dan Miller
* Todd Duffee vs. Mike Russow
* John Hathaway vs. Diego Sanchez
PRELIMINARY CARD (Spike TV)
* Dong Hyun Kim vs. Amir Sadollah
* Efrain Escudero vs. Dan Lauzon
PRELIMINARY CARD (Not televised)
* Melvin Guillard vs. Thiago Tavares
* Luiz Cane vs. Cyrille Diabate
* Joe Brammer vs. Aaron Riley
* Jesse Forbes vs. Ryan Jensen