The UFC are clearly in a giving mood this holiday season, and so it’s been announced that three of New Years Day’s UFC 125 prelims will air live on Ion Television.
UFC president Dana White revealed to MMAJunkie that the three fights on offfer will be Marcus Davis Vs Jeremy Stephens, Josh Grispi Vs Dustin Poirier and Phil Baroni Vs Brad Tavares.
“The prelims were not supposed to be aired for this show, but I know the fans are always asking how I’m going to pay them back for some other shows,” White said. “Well, here you go. If everything else I do isn’t enough, let this one be it,” White said.
Ion Television is likely to not be as familiar to many of you as the UFC’s other TV homes such as Spike TV and VERSUS – but White insists this is a significant platform for them.
“These guys are considered a network. The FCC calls them a network. This is the first time we’ve ever been on network television, and the prelims are going to be aired. It’s a big deal. It’s in over 100 million homes.”
And if all goes well it may not just be a one-time deal.
“We’re going to talk to these guys and see what’s up,” White said. “This might be a regular thing. Listen, it’s a ballsy move to go on network with prelims, but the Ion guys are the real deal. We’re going to see if we can make it happen with them.”
Ion Television is currently home to re-runs of several popular shows such as Criminal Minds, The Ghost Whisperer and My Name Is Earl on week-days and films at the weekend. It holds the dubious honor of being the least watched major English language network in the US.
This is not the network’s first foray into the world of MMA, they previously hosted seasons two and three of the “Bodog Fight Series” in 2007-2008.
The hour long UFC prelim show will begin at 9pm ET following a re-run of Jean Claude Van Damme movie Timecop.