After offering regular programming on Spike TV and Versus for the past few years, it appears Zuffa has found a new, albeit temporary, home for transmitting their wares – Ion Television. Though it initially seemed as though fans wouldn’t be fortunate enough to watch any of the UFC 125 preliminary fights unless attending the actual event, according to Dana White, a trio of match-ups will be shown on Ion TV rather than the standard two associated with similar broadcast in the past including Josh Grispi vs. Dustin Poirier, Marcus Davis vs. Jeremy Stephens, and Phil Baroni vs. Brad Tavares.
News of the move was reported by MMAJunkie, where the UFC President added that he understood he was making a gamble based on the change in format.
“Time-wise, it’s impossible to pull off three if they all go to the distance. I’m going to roll the dice on this thing,” he explained. “I always try to give the fans as much as I can give them. I love being able to give them free fights. That’s always been my goal and my model with this thing since day one.”
Though no official time was mentioned, it is believed the prelims will air at 9:00 EST.
White also mentioned feeling the free fights, which were not originally in the UFC’s plans, could help make up for any shows over the past year providing lackluster action or questionable outcomes.
UFC 125 is scheduled for January 1 in Las Vegas and is headlined by Frank Edgar’s title-defense against the only man to have earned a victory over him in the ring, Gray Maynard. Also set for the card is a bout between Thiago Silva and Brandon Vera, as well as Nate Diaz mixing it up with Dong Hyun Kim, Clay Guida facing Takanori Gomi, and Chris Leben fighting Brian Stann.