Spike TV Confirms Plans to Air UFC 123 Prelims

By Sherdog.com Staff Oct 8, 2010
As anticipated, Spike TV officials on Friday unveiled plans to air two preliminary bouts -- Mark Munoz vs. Aaron Simpson and Rory MacDonald vs. Matt Brown -- at UFC 123 “Rampage vs. Machida” on Nov. 20 at The Palace of Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills, Mich. The one-hour special will air at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT, just prior to the pay-per-view telecast.

A two-time collegiate All-American wrestler at Arizona State University, Simpson suffered his first professional defeat in June, when he succumbed to second-round punches from Chris Leben at “The Ultimate Fighter 11” Finale in Las Vegas. The 36-year-old Gunnison, Colo., native was a four-time state wrestling champion in high school, where he compiled a remarkable 142-1 record. Simpson won his first seven mixed martial arts bouts, finishing six of them.

Munoz wrestled collegiately at Oklahoma State University, where he was a two-time All-American and became the first Filipino-American to win a Div. I national championship. The 32-year-old father of four now trains alongside UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva at the Black House camp. Munoz last appeared in August, when he dropped a split decision to the world-ranked Yushin Okami at UFC Live 2. Victories against “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 3 winner Kendall Grove, former Sportfight champion Mike Pierce, Strikeforce veteran Ryan Jensen and Tony Rubalcava -- the only man to defeat fast-rising American Kickboxing Academy prospect Luke Rockhold -- anchor Munoz’s resume. He has four first-round finishes among his eight wins.

Meanwhile, Brown will carry a two-fight losing streak into the event. The 29-year-old Xenia, Ohio, native last appeared at UFC 116 in July, when he submitted to a Chris Lytle armbar at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. A quarter-finalist on Season 7 of “The Ultimate Fighter,” Brown has gone the distance only twice in 20 professional appearances. He owns notable victories over “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 9 winner James Wilks and Matt Serra protégé Pete Sell.

One of the sport’s top prospects at 170 pounds, MacDonald succumbed to strikes from former World Extreme Cagefighting champion Carlos Condit at UFC 115 in June. The 21-year-old Canadian won the first two rounds from Condit before being subjected to a brutal beating in the third. The fight was halted with seven seconds remaining in round three. MacDonald has delivered all 10 of his wins by knockout, technical knockout or submission.
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