06-30-2009, 11:35 PM
I'm kind of a big deal
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: San Antonio, TX
For the UK Fans, UFC 100 will air Live
You lucky dogs are getting it for free!
UFC 100 will air live on UK TV
FANS of mixed martial arts in the UK have been boosted by the news UFC 100 will definitely air live on July 11.
Speculation has mounted that the event would be screened on Bravo on tape delay following Setanta's collapse last week.
But we can reveal the main card from the Mandalay Bay spectacular will be broadcast in its entirety as it happens.
We understand Virgin 1 is favourite to screen the extravaganza — which looks set to be the biggest event in MMA history.
Speaking exclusively to SunSport, the UFC's UK president, Marshall Zelaznik said: "I'd like to guarantee our loyal British and Irish fans that UFC 100 will be LIVE on television over here.
"You won't have to wait to see the biggest event in UFC history. UFC 100 will be live in the UK."
The showpiece sees Brock Lesnar clash with Frank Mir in a heavyweight title unification bout in the main event.
Welterweight star Georges St Pierre also puts his title on the line against rising Brazilian star Thiago Alves, while Britain's biggest MMA fighter Michael Bisping pits his wits against legendary American middleweight Dan Henderson.
In a further boost, it is claimed SIX TV channels are battling it out for the rights to screen fight cards following Setanta's demise.
Zelaznik added: "We've got some very exciting options on the table and I expect to be able to make an annoucement by Monday."
ESPN are said to have lodged a huge bid to become the new home of the UFC in the UK and are the frontrunners to seal a long-term contract with the promotion — probably starting with UFC 101 in August.
But they face a challenge from Five, who are keen on bringing MMA to a mainstream audience.
Although Five cannot match ESPN's financial clout, the lure of terrestrial television may help swing them the deal in favour of their subscription-based rivals.
Sky Sports are also in the running, even though they lost out to Setanta two years ago.
Bravo are also interested in screening live fights, but Virgin 1 would seem a better fit if an agreement with ESPN or Five cannot be reached.
Insiders at Virgin 1 were reportedly amazed at the viewing figures season nine of The Ultimate Fighter produced considering the minimal advertising spend the show received.
Over 380,000 people watched the TUF 9 finale on the channel earlier this month and the UFC are said to be delighted with those figures.