Ion Television and UFC’s Partnership Goes Official
"I am excited for our fans because I’ve been looking for ways to broadcast UFC prelims free and to as many homes as possible. Ion is the largest broadcast television station group in the U.S., and this deal will put the UFC prelims in almost 100 million homes." -- UFC president Dana White
Ion Television and Ultimate Fighting Championship finally hits the deal. The former is now the latter’s newest broadcast partner. UFC brass announced today that a trio of UFC 125 fights will be airing live on the network on Jan. 1 at 8:55 p.m. ET/5:55 p.m. PT.
“I am excited for our fans because I’ve been looking for ways to broadcast UFC prelims free and to as many homes as possible,” UFC president Dana White stated in today’s release. “Ion is the largest broadcast television station group in the U.S., and this deal will put the UFC prelims in almost 100 million homes.”
“UFC 125: Resolution” Features a lightweight title fight between current champion, Frankie Edgar, and top challenger, Gray Maynard. The event will take place on Jan. 1, and airs live on pay-per-view. Marcus Davis vs. Jeremy Stephens, Josh Grispi vs. Dustin Poirier and Phil Baroni vs. Brad Tavares will be featured on the Ion Television broadcast.
The first UFC installment for 2011 marks the first time the UFC has guaranteed three fights on a preliminary card broadcast. Came Monday, UFC president Dana White announced about making a risky move, but he was excited at the prospect of an action-packed special.
“The prelims we do air, there’s only supposed to be two,” White said. “Time-wise, it’s impossible to pull off three if they all go to the distance. I’m going to roll the dice on this thing.”
Ion Television, launched in 1998 as PAX TV. It was rebranded as Ion Television in 2007.
“We’re going to talk to these guys and see what’s up,” White said. “This might be a regular thing.
“Listen, it’s a ballsy move to go on network with prelims, but the Ion guys are the real deal. We’re going to see if we can make it happen with them.”
With the official announcement, the UFC 125 lineup now includes:
PRELIMINARY CARD (Ion Television)
* Marcus Davis vs. Jeremy Stephens
* Josh Grispi vs. Dustin Poirier
* Phil Baroni vs. Brad Tavares
PRELIMINARY CARD (Un-aired)
* Mike Brown vs. Diego Nunes
* Daniel Roberts vs. Greg Soto
* Antonio McKee vs. Jacob Volkmann