Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has upped the ante in its latest round of counter programming, assembling a two-hour block of recent main event bouts to challenge the upcoming Strikeforce show in Chicago, according to Sherdog.com.
Spike TV has scheduled "UFC Main Events" for Saturday, Nov. 7 at 9 PM ET, directly opposite the Strikeforce: "Fedor vs. Rogers" prime time event that’s set to air live on CBS.
Fights featured in Zuffa’s new special include:
UFC 103: Rich Franklin vs. Vitor Belfort
UFC 102: Antonio Nogueira vs. Randy Couture
UFC 101: Anderson Silva vs. Forrest Griffin
UFC 101: BJ Penn vs. Kenny Florian
This is not the UFC’s first counter programming effort against Strikeforce. Spike TV debuted UFC 94: "St. Pierre vs. Penn 2" to run head-to-head against "Shamrock vs. Diaz" back on April 11, and then put UFC 100 up against "Carano vs. Cyborg" this past August.
This latest news, of course, should come as no surprise since Zuffa has made a habit of counter programming in the past. The UFC challenged the Elite XC debut show on CBS in May 2008 with a tribute to perhaps the most popular mixed martial artist on the planet, Chuck Liddell, called "Ultimate Iceman."
They also hastily put together UFC Fight Night 14 to draw interest away from the debut of Affliction: "Banned" on PPV last July with a main event between Anderson "The Spider" Silva and James "The Sandman" Irvin.
For Affliction’s second effort, "Day of Reckoning" on January 24, the UFC answered with a replay of UFC 91 "Lesnar vs. Couture."
Strikeforce can be now be considered a major player in mixed martial arts with its signing of heavyweight free agent, Fedor Emelianenko, as well as its recent cable and network television deals.
While UFC President Dana White has long since supported the efforts of Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker, he is now at war with "Strikefarce" since they entered the proverbial big stage.
Competition 101 (or perhaps ‘101-103′ in this case).
Let the games begin.