ION Television Official for Four UFC 140 Prelim Fights

Krzysztof Soszynski

Soszynski vs. Pokrajac highlights two-hour broadcast

As HeavyMMA was first to report last week, the UFC will air four preliminary card fights from UFC 140 on the ION television network.

The UFC and ION made the broadcast official on Monday, confirming a 7 p.m. Eastern start time for the four fights. Those bouts will lead into the UFC 140 pay-per-view, which takes place at the Air Canada Center in Toronto.

The four fights that will air on ION are: a light heavyweight fight between Krzysztof Soszynski and Igor Pokrajac; a middleweight bout between Jared Hamman vs. Costantinos Philippou; a lightweight bout between John Makdessi and Dennis Hallman; and a bantamweight fight between Yves Jabouin and Walel Watson.

This will be the third time the UFC has partnered with ION for a live prelims broadcast. For UFC 125 on Jan. 1, the network televised three fights. For UFC 127 in February, ION again featured a three-fight lead-in to the pay-per-view. For UFC 140, the ante is upped with a two-hour broadcast slot and a fourth fight. ION reaches roughly 100 million homes in the U.S.

The UFC has typically used Spike TV as its home for prelims leading into pay-per-views, but looked to ION for times Spike was unavailable. On Saturday, the time slot that would occupy a UFC prelims broadcast on Spike is being taken up by the live broadcast of Spike’s 2011 Video Game Awards.

“We are excited to give UFC fans four great fights live and free on ION Television this Saturday,” UFC president Dana White said in a statement. “We always try to give fans free fights on TV and this is just another example.”

UFC 140 features a main event light heavyweight title fight between champion Jon Jones and former champ Lyoto Machida. Also on the pay-per-view is a heavyweight rematch between former champs Frank Mir and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and a light heavyweight fight between former champ Tito Ortiz and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.