Counter-programming alert: Spike TV uses Nate Diaz to challenge UFC on FOX 3

BOSTON - AUGUST 28: Nate Diaz (R) connects with a right hook to the face of Marcus Davis during their UFC welterweight bout at the TD Garden on August 28 2010 in Boston Massachusetts. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is bringing lightweight veteran and Ultimate Fighter (TUF) champion Nate Diaz to network television on Sat., May 5, 2012, at 8 p.m. ET.

So, too, is Spike TV.

While "Diaz vs. Miller" goes down live on FOX, from the IZOD Center in East Ruthorford, New Jersey, Spike will counter-program with a block of UFC programming featuring none other than the Stockton slugger.

From the release (via MMA Torch):

Featured during the run will be an episode of UFC Unleashed, featuring Diaz's bout against Marcus Davis from UFC 118. Then comes a replay of UFC Fight Night 15 from 2008, headlined by his bout against Josh Neer, and a replay of UFC Fight Night 19, headlined by his fight against Melvin Guillard.

And the war keeps going on and on and on and on.

The UFC opted for greener pastures on the FOX network (including FX and FUEL TV) after Spike TV balked at Zuffa's increased licensing fees during contract negotiations back in 2011.

With the end of the Spike TV "Prelims" specials and various other MMA-related programming, the network had a pretty sizable gap to fill in its efforts to retain the 18-34 demographic that tuned in for televised fisticuffs.

Enter Bellator.

While Bjorn Rebney and Co. won't be able to make their Spike TV debut until 2013, the network will try and keep fight fans satiated with a constant stream of UFC fights, which they still have at their disposal, thanks to a library licensing agreement that extends through the remainder of this year.

Anyone think this will put a dent in the ratings for the debut of UFC on FOX 3?

More on the "Diaz vs. Miller" event right here.

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