Spike Pulls No Punches with ‘UFC Unleashed: Evans vs. Davis’ Marathon

December 7, 2011
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Rashad Evans

The UFC and Spike TV’s partnership comes to a close at the end of the year with the UFC making the move to the Fox family of networks for the next seven years, beginning in January 2012.

Spike TV officials, however, still have access to a library of UFC programming, including past event broadcasts, until the end of 2012, and they’re using said material as artillery to counter-program UFC on Fox 2.

The UFC has slotted a triple-header for its second effort on Fox, headlining UFC on Fox 2: Evans vs. Davis with Rashad Evans vs. Phil Davis, Chael Sonnen vs. Mark Munoz, and Michael Bisping vs. Demian Maia.

Spike TV is countering the Jan. 28 fight card with a UFC Unleashed marathon. Spike is pulling no punches with the Jan. 28 marathon, airing from 4 p.m. to 12 midnight ET/PT on Spike TV, titling it UFC Unleashed: Evans vs. Davis.

UFC Unleashed: Evans vs. Davis leans heavily on the major players from UFC on Fox 2, predominately featuring Rashad Evans fights, but also including bouts featuring Phil Davis, Chael Sonnen, Mark Munoz, and Michael Bisping.

Aside from countering the UFC’s efforts, Spike is likely working to keep its own MMA profile in front of fans over the course of the year, leading up to Bellator Fighting Championships making the move from MTV2 over to Spike TV in 2013.

The “UFC Unleashed: Evans vs. Davis” marathon includes:

4:00pm ET/re-airs at 9pm PT
UFC Unleashed – Michael Bisping vs. Jorge Rivera

5:00pm ET/re-airs 10:00pm PT
UFC 137 – Phil Davis vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira

7:00pm ET/ 4:00pm PT
UFC Unleashed – Chael Sonnen vs. Renato Sobral (UFC 55)

8:00pm ET/ 5:00pm PT
UFC Unleashed – Mark Munoz vs. Kendall Grove (UFC 112)

9:00pm ET/ 6:00pm PT
UFC Unleashed – Rashad Evans vs. Brad Imes (“The Ultimate Fighter 2” finale)

10:00pm ET/ 7:00pm PT
UFC Unleashed – Rashad Evans vs. Rampage Jackson (UFC 114)

11:00pm ET/ 8:00pm PT
UFC Unleashed – Rashad Evans vs. Lyoto Machida (UFC 98)

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  • Breaking up is never pretty.

    I’m sure FOX will do a good job of counter – counter programing / marketing.

  • hankdylan

    OOOOH! Counter programming- not that! The UFC and FOX are scratching their head’s trying to figure out this one. Seriously though- Who cares about counter programming these days?

    I’ll DVR both- then watch what I want from the unleashed prior to watching UFC live 2 on my own time w/o commercials.

    If I didn’t have DVR- why would I care about fights that are years old that I have seen probably 10 times apiece? Chances are- and maybe this is just the common sense talking- but if I’m a big fan of any of the fighters on the card- wouldn’t I rather see their LIVE fight?

    • Not everyone is a hardcore fan and pays attention though. The counter programming is directed at casual fans and it does have some effect, they pick up stragglers. Last time Spike counter programmed the UFC they brought in several hundred thousand viewers. It may not be an overwhelming number but it does work to some extent and at the end of the day it does have a direct effect on FOX’s and Zuffa’s bottom line.

    • bdono554

      This site needs a like button for comments like this hankdylan.

  • “5:00pm ET/re-airs 10:00pm PT
    UFC 137 – Phil Davis vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira”

    I can’t begin to describe all the things that are wrong with this item lol

    • KBEsq

      What? You mean you didn’t see the secret fight at UFC 137 where Phil Davis went up a weight class into the heavyweight division to fight RODRIGO Nogueira?!