Spike TV to Air UFC 126 Prelims; 12 Specials Total in 2011

By Sherdog.com Staff Jan 24, 2011
Spike TV will continue to broadcast “UFC Prelims” specials in 2011, as the cable channel on Monday announced that it will air 12 of the live, hour-long Ultimate Fighting Championship programs throughout the year.

The first such special will come on Feb. 5, when Spike broadcasts a pair of UFC 126 “Silva vs. Belfort” undercard bouts from the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. Featured on that telecast will be a lightweight matchup pitting British brawler Paul Kelly against former WEC title contender Donald Cerrone, as well as a featherweight bout featuring unbeaten wrestling convert Chad Mendes and Japanese standout Michihiro Omigawa.

According to a press release from Spike TV, the “UFC Prelims” have drawn 1.5 million viewers on average since beginning with UFC 103 in September 2009. The last such special, which aired prior to November’s UFC 123 pay-per-view, drew a household rating of 1.1, with an average of 1.5 million viewers. It was the third-most watched of Spike’s 13 “Prelims” broadcasts to date.

“UFC Prelims” were absent for the last two UFC pay-per-views, which saw the promotion stream prelims on its own website (UFC 124) and air fights on little-known network Ion Television (UFC 125). Despite Monday’s announcement, MMAJunkie.com reports that the UFC and Spike TV have yet to finalize a contract renewal which would keep the fight organization on Spike through 2012.
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