Following August's upcoming UFC 133 broadcast, "UFC 134: Silva vs. Okami" will be the next pay-per-view event to get a "UFC Prelims" special on Spike TV.
Officials recently confirmed the broadcast plans with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com
The two bouts set for the one-hour special include Spencer Fisher vs. Thiago Tavares and David Mitchell vs. Paulo Thiago.
"UFC 134: Silva vs. Okami" takes place Aug. 27 at HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro. The pay-per-view headliner sees pound-for-pound kingpin Anderson Silva defend his UFC middleweight title against perennial contender Yushin Okami.
The UFC 133 "UFC Prelims" special will be Spike TV's eights of 12 scheduled for 2011 (UFC 126, UFC 128, UFC 129, UFC 130, UFC 131, UFC 132 also got them, and August's UFC 133 event will also feature a special). ION Television also has aired specials when Spike TV hasn't, such as with UFC 127.
Despite being armed with a penchant for crowd-pleasing brawls, Fisher (24-7 MMA, 9-6 UFC) has struggled to a 1-3 mark in his pst four outings. Nevertheless, the nine-year veteran is known to bring the fight to opponents and will surely do the same against Tavares.
Meanwhile, Tavares (15-4-1 MMA, 5-4-1 UFC) looks to rebound from a March knockout loss to Shane Roller. The loss was the Brazilian's first in four trips to the cage. A Brazilian native who has also fought in the U.S., England and Holland, Tavares is a three-time UFC "Fight of the Night" winner.
Once of the UFC's most promising 170-pounders, Thiago (13-3 MMA, 3-3 UFC) now finds himself in a must-win situation. After opening his career with a 10-0 record and signing with the UFC, the Brazilian won three of his first four bouts, including high-profile victories over UFC contenders Josh Koscheck and Mike Swick. But he since has dropped decisions to Martin Kampmann and Diego Sanchez and looks to avoid a three-fight losing streak.
The Brazilian special-forces police officer was slated to fight Johny Hendricks in March but pulled out of the bout due to an elbow injury. He now meets Mitchell (11-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC), a California-based fighter and Tachi Palace Fights veteran who opened his career with an 11-0 mark to earn a UFC contract. But in his UFC debut back in September, he suffered a decision loss to T.J. Waldburger at UFC Fight Night 22. Mitchell had been slated to fight Swick in January at UFC Fight Night 23, but both fighters pulled out of the event due to injuries.
The remaining preliminary contests could stream on Facebook, but the UFC has yet to announce any official plans.
The UFC first offered a PPV teaser broadcast for UFC 103 in 2009, when the UFC went head-to-head with a boxing PPV broadcast featuring Floyd Mayweather vs. Juan Manuel Marquez. The Spike TV 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.
The latest UFC 133 card includes:
Champ Anderson Silva vs. Yushin Okami (for middleweight title)
Forrest Griffin vs. Mauricio "Shogun" Rua
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Brendan Schaub
Edson Barboza vs. Ross Pearson
Luiz Cane vs. Stanislav Nedkov
PRELIMINARY CARD (Spike TV)
Spencer Fisher vs. Thiago Tavares
David Mitchell vs. Paulo Thiago
Erick Silva vs. Mike Swick
Yuri Alcantara vs. Antonio Carvalho
Yves Jabouin vs. Ian Loveland
Alexandre "Cacareco" Ferreira vs. Rousimar Palhares*