The UFC returns to Facebook this Saturday as the world’s top mixed martial arts company will have a free live streaming of the much anticipated preliminary bout between bantamweights Demetrious Johnson and “Kid” Yamamoto.
"It's not just people in the U.S. People everywhere have been asking for it,” UFC President Dana White told MMAJunkie.com regarding the fight. “As we have these television deals, people in the U.K. and Australia and all these other countries, they get those other fights, and they wanted this fight, too. Everybody can watch it."
The UFC’s cable TV partner, Spike TV, has aired a number of preliminary fights for the company in the past, but scheduling conflicts sometimes keep them from airing all of the fights.
This will mark the second time that the UFC and Facebook have teamed up to broadcast preliminary fights, the first of which happened at UFC Fight Night 23. When the UFC’s Facebook page received over 130,000 “Likes” during the broadcast, Dana White said that he was sold on the idea to use social media rather than just the official UFC website, UFC.com.
Some fans are resistant to the idea of requiring visitors to sign up on Facebook and “Like” the UFC in order to watch the preliminary fights, but that doesn’t appear to be deterring the UFC and its President.
"What I like about the Facebook part of it is the social media portion of it," White explained. "It's people connecting with other people. My thing is, and this is my philosophy about fights, everybody wants to see a fight. The problem is letting everybody know that it's on.”
Fans who tune in on Facebook and Spike TV while also purchasing the pay-per-view event are now guaranteed to see at least 8 of the 11 scheduled fights at UFC 126.
Those who turned in to the previous Facebook stream for UFC Fight Night 23 were delighted at the quality of the picture which is significantly better than what is normally available for free.
As of right now, it doesn’t look like there is even discussion about the UFC leaving its partnership with Facebook. At the time of this posting, the UFC Facebook page currently has over 4.6 million “Likes” and that number is likely to grow near fight time.
For a quick breakdown of where you can see each fight, here is the schedule for this weekend’s huge UFC 126 event.
Preliminary bouts (may be available after the pay-per-view)
Mike Pierce vs. Kenny Robertson
Kyle Kingsbury vs. Ricardo Romero
Paul Taylor vs. Gabe Ruediger
Official UFC Facebook page:
“Kid” Yamamoto vs. Demetrious Johnson
Chad Mendes vs. Michihiro Omigawa
Donald Cerrone vs. Paul Kelly
Miguel Torres vs. Antonio Banuelos
Jon Jones vs. Ryan Bader
Jake Ellenberger vs. Carlos Rocha
Forrest Griffin vs. Rich Franklin
Anderson Silva vs. Vitor Belfort