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UFC Pay-Per-Views Returning to 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT

Brock Lesnar Alistair Overeem UFC 142
(For you two, I’ll sacrifice my beauty-sleep. / ‘shop via blackbeltclub)

After pulling back their pay-per-view start times to 9 p.m. ET this year to cater to East Coast viewers, the UFC will be returning to their original 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT time-slot, beginning with UFC 141 on December 30th. The promotion confirmed the switch to USA Today yesterday, stating that their decision was based on “careful consideration and feedback from our fans.”

It appears that the 9 p.m. experiment didn’t have the intended effect. According to estimates from MMAPayout and the Wrestling Observer, UFC pay-per-views have been averaging 414,500 buys from January to August 2011, down 25% compared to the first eight months of 2010. In particular, it was reported that UFC 134 woefully underperformed, although that event’s totals were certainly affected by Hurricane Irene.


It’s Time to Play the Game: Examining Triple H’s Smack Talk About the UFC

I did it at least nine times. How else would I inherit his empire?

By Jason Moles

Last week MMA Fighting reported that Paul Levesque, better known as Triple H, real life son-in-law of WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon, said he thought the UFC should evolve like the pro wrestling juggernaut has, “because quite frankly sometimes the fights are long and boring, guys lying around and sometimes the fights are fast and over in five seconds.”

Is “The Game” right? Does it matter? Before we pass judgment on his comments, let’s take a quick look at a few specific examples he gave for his opinion, then weigh the pros and cons of leaning too far towards Entertainment or Winning.


UFC to Ramp Up Basic Cable Programming in 2010

Dana White UFC
(Dana White: He won’t rest until every night is Fight Night. Photo courtesy of

After previous preliminary card broadcasts did solid numbers on Spike TV this fall, the UFC has announced that it will telecast 10 more live "UFC Prelims" shows next year, beginning with UFC 108 on January 2nd. The lineup for UFC 108′s one-hour undercard broadcast hasn’t been announced yet, but it could potentially feature such names as Sean Sherk, Vladimir Matyushenko, and Martin Kampmann.

But even with those extra spots, the UFC still apparently has more product than can fit on Pay-Per-View and Spike. The Versus network — long known for being the broadcast home of the WEC — has agreed to run two additional UFC events next year. Though dates and locations are still TBA, Dana White said these planned events would be similar to the UFC Fight Night shows on Spike, adding: "Versus has shown their commitment to mixed martial arts, the UFC, the WEC, and we couldn’t be happier to be in business with guys like this."

As Versus is owned by Comcast, which now owns NBC as well, the new partnership could be a first step towards getting UFC fights on a major network.


Daily Leftovers…


— Dana White and Randy Couture have a dinner date on Tuesday to discuss Couture’s future with the UFC.

— Kimbo Slice says he will likely fight at EliteXC’s next event, which takes place in February. Though it’s mentioned nowhere in the story, MMAFightline uses its headline to throw in a completely unfounded rumor about Tank Abbott. That’s what we like to call “aggressive journalism.”

HDNet Fights’ next event will be on December 15th in Dallas. The 10-fight card — named “Reckless Abandon” (!) — will feature bouts between Jason “Mayhem” Miller and Sean Salmon, and Frank Trigg against Edwin Dewees.

— Carlos Newton and Maurice Smith are out as IFL coaches.

— The first date on Amy Winehouse’s new tour didn’t go so well.