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Sign of the End Times: FOX Sports Pushes Back ‘UFC Fight Night: Jacare vs. Mousasi’ Main Card to Avoid Competing With Bellator


(Disclaimer: This week’s Bellator show may not actually feature Michael Chandler dancing like a cracker-ass doof and King Mo shaking his head at him.)

Until yesterday, UFC Fight Night 50: Jacare vs. Mousasi (aka The Massacre in Mashantucket) was scheduled to have a six-fight main card beginning at 9 p.m. ET this Friday on FOX Sports 1. But in an unexpected and downright bizarre turn of events, FOX Sports confirmed last night that it will be bumping the first two main card fights down to the prelims — Charles Oliveira vs. Nik Lentz and John Moraga vs. Justin Scoggins  — and starting the main card an hour later, at 10 p.m. ET.

This is great news for die-hard MMA fans, considering that the Bellator 123: Curran vs. Pitbull 2 main card — which kicks off at 8 p.m. ET on Spike TV, also this Friday — will be wrapping up right around then. So why would FOX Sports make this change on three days’ notice? There’s only one explanation: They didn’t want the first hour of their main card to be blown out by Bellator’s headliners. That’s right, the UFC has conceded the #FridayNightWars scheduling battle to Scott Coker, who is most likely grabbing his nuts right now.

Keep in mind that the entire UFC Fight Night 50 preliminary card will be aired on FOX Sports 1, starting at 7 p.m. ET. And if that broadcast does a weaker number than the Bellator show on Spike, who cares? Prelims aren’t supposed to draw a big number, right? What FOX Sports and the UFC are doing is making sure to avoid any unfavorable comparisons during the meat of their broadcasts; they don’t want the 9-10 p.m. slot on FS1 to be a ghost town because everybody’s down the dial watching a potential dogfight between Pat Curran and Pitbull Freire.

It was a game of cable-scheduling chicken, and the UFC swerved first, which is shocking for anybody who remembers the UFC at its ruthless counter-programming peak — the UFC that would book a free Anderson Silva fight on short notice just to bury Affliction. And so, Bellator earns a moral victory, and MMA fans without two television sets or DVR service don’t have to choose which event to watch on Friday. Hell, if you live in Connecticut, you could probably watch both main cards in person, since the venues are only ten miles away. The true winner of #FridayNightWars? The fans.

Follow us after the jump for the current broadcast info and fight cards for UFC Fight Night 50 and Bellator 123 on Friday…

UFC Fight Night 50: Jacare vs. Mousasi

Main Card (10 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1)
Ronaldo Souza vs. Gegard Mousasi
Alistair Overeem vs. Ben Rothwell
Matt Mitrione vs. Derrick Lewis
Joe Lauzon vs. Michael Chiesa

Preliminary Card (7 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1)
Charles Oliveira vs. Nik Lentz
John Moraga vs. Justin Scoggins
Al Iaquinta vs. Rodrigo Damm
Chris Camozzi vs. Rafael Natal
Tateki Matsuda vs. Chris Beal
Sean Soriano vs. Chas Skelly

Bellator 123: Curran vs. Pitbull 2

Main Card (8 p.m. ET, Spike TV)
Pat Curran vs. Patricio Freire
Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal vs. Dustin Jacoby
Cheick Kongo vs. Lavar Johnson
Bobby Lashley vs. Josh Burns

Preliminary Card (6 p.m. ET, Spike.com)
Rico DiSciullo vs. Marvin Maldonado
Steve Garcia vs. Kin Moy
Josh Diekmann vs. Mike Wessel
Tamdan McCrory vs. Brennan Ward
Dan Cramer vs. Perry Filkins
Mark Griffin vs. Mike Mucitelli
Pete Rogers vs. Phillipe Martins
Brandon Fleming vs. Blair Tugman
Lucas Cruz vs. Andrew Calandrelli
Matt Bessette vs. Scott Cleve

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