In a somewhat surprising turn of events it appears Spike TV will counter-program against November’s “UFC on FOX” event with a three-hour block of UFC Unleashed episodes revolving around heavyweights Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos. The move is likely meant to capitalize on the network’s ownership of the UFC’s video library before the organization departs to FOX on a full-time basis and is indicative of the deteriorating state of the two sides’ professional relationship stemming from it.
The first episode will air at 8:00 PM EST on November 12 and feature Velasquez’s title-winning performance against Brock Lesnar. The two other shows are highlighted by Dos Santos’ 2009 scrap with Mirko Filipovic and Velasquez’s domination of Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at UFC 110.
UFC on FOX 1 is, of course, headlined by Velasquez defending his championship against Dos Santos and marks a monumental moment in MMA history as it will be the UFC’s debut on network television.
Spike TV was left out in the cold due to the seven-year deal between Zuffa and FOX, as all Ultimate Fighter seasons and Fight Nights in 2012 will take place on FX rather than over the airwaves of the original home of the Octagon. Since the separation Spike TV has been rumored to have an interest in bringing Bellator on at some point, a notion supported by the recent move to stream live Bellator undercards through Spike’s website.