The Ultimate Fighting Championship is raising the stakes in its fight with rival MMA promotion Strikeforce, announcing that it will air the Brock Lesnar vs. Frank Mir UFC 100 fight on Spike Saturday night -- at the same time that Gina Carano is fighting Cris Cyborg on Showtime.
Lesnar-Mir at UFC 100 was the single biggest pay-per-view draw in the promotion's history, and for the UFC to give the fight away for free five weeks later is unusual. But what's not unusual is for the UFC to fight like crazy when another promotion is challenging it: When Affliction did its first pay-per-view show a year ago, the UFC put on a live show on Spike at the same time.
Five other UFC 100 fights will air on Spike Saturday night as well: Dan Henderson vs. Michael Bisping, Alan Belcher vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama, Stephan Bonnar vs. Mark Coleman, Shannon Gugerty vs. Matt Grice and Jon Jones vs. Jake O'Brien. Three of those (Bonnar-Coleman, Gugerty-Grice and Jones-O'Brien) did not air on the UFC 100 pay-per-view, meaning even fans who have already watched UFC 100 will be interested in tuning in. The co-main event, Georges St. Pierre vs. Thiago Alves, will not be shown on Spike, indicating that the UFC is saving that one for a future show.
And this is just the start of a larger war between the UFC and Strikeforce. After Fedor Emelianenko spurned the UFC's offer and signed with Strikeforce instead, UFC President Dana White made no secret that he was furious about it. You can bet that when Fedor makes his Strikeforce debut in October, the UFC will do something big.
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