UFC Fight Night 14 won't be the only free mixed martial arts action available for free on July 19.
The UFC struck a hard blow to Affliction MMA in the battle over who can get more viewers on July 19 when the promotion announced its surprise plans to air a free "Ultimate Fight Night" in almost two weeks that will feature perhaps the best pound for pound fighters in the world, Anderson Silva.
Affliction MMA, which is rolling the dice and possibly letting the entire future of its young organization ride on the success of its inaugural event, today reaffirmed that several fights would air on Fox Sports Net in the United States and on The Fight Network in Canada prior to the pay-per-view (PPV) telecast on July 19.
Clearly, the upstart promotion needs to pull in as many PPV buys as possible, and having Anderson Silva fighting for free on another organization's event at the same time could be disastrous.
This will be the first time ever that an event will start its broadcast on a basic cable channel and move immediately to PPV. The hour-long basic cable portion of the event will begin at 8 p.m. ET (5 p.m. PT).
Here's a quote from Executive Vice President of Programming and Production for FSN, George Greenburg, on the news:
"FSN has long been at the forefront of televised Mixed Martial Arts action. Our viewers are loyal, informed and passionate about the sport. This is a great opportunity to deliver a major MMA event to them featuring world-class fighters."
As of right now, Affliction is guaranteeing two fights for FSN and The Fight Network.
In particular, the main event for the free broadcast will feature the U.S. debut of Aleksander Emelianenko (13-3) -- the younger brother of the man who many believe to be the best pound for pound fighter in the world, Fedor Emelianenko. He will take on Paul Buentello (23-10) in what looks to be a good old fashioned, heavyweight slugfest. Prior to that, there will be a light heavyweight bout featured that pits Vitor Belfort (16-8) against the hard-hitting Terry Martin (16-4).
Not a bad couple of fights for free to lead into what looks to be a great PPV.
Time will tell if this will have any affect on the UFC's ability to pull viewers away from purchasing Affliction's show ($39.95), but it certainly adds more options for fans to an already full plate of mixed martial arts action on July 19.
Get those DVRs ready boys and girls.