A middleweight bout between Kendall Grove and Goran Reljic has been demoted to UFC 116's un-aired preliminary card, and a light-heavyweight fight between Seth Petruzelli and Ricardo Romero has been promoted to its slot on UFC 116's "UFC Prelims" special on Spike TV.
A source close to Spike TV today confirmed the change with MMAjunkie.com (http://www.mmajunkie.com).
The source said Grove prompted the change after the fighter openly criticized the UFC's longtime cable partner and their involvement in "The Ultimate Fighter."
UFC 116 takes place July 3 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Heavyweights Chris Tuchscherer and Brendan Schaub compete in the other "UFC Prelims" fight, which airs prior to the night's pay-per-view main-card broadcast.
Grove, who was the season-three middleweight winner of "The Ultimate Fighter" reality series, earlier this week told Tapout Radio that Spike TV officials only care about ratings and getting "as much drama and stupidity out of us" as possible with little regard for the cast members' careers.
Grove rejoined the radio show a few days later and apologized to Spike TV officials, UFC president Dana White and UFC matchmaker Joe Silva for passing off his personal feelings as fact. He said he "put my foot in my mouth" and thanked Spike TV officials for "giving me my shot" with the UFC.
Unfortunately, it appears it was too little too late with UFC and Spike TV executives, who now have relegated Grove (11-7 MMA, 6-4 UFC) and Reljic (8-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) to one of the event's four un-aired slots.
"Kendall made his feelings clear about Spike TV," the source said. "Besides, Seth has a great story and is a 'TUF' alum."