The best heavyweight in the history of mixed martial arts, Fedor Emelianenko, will fight live on CBS on November 7, and on Wednesday the UFC announced that it will counter-program Fedor with the second- and third-best heavyweights in MMA history, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Randy Couture.
Spike TV will re-play the classic Nogueira vs. Couture slugfest from UFC 102 at the same time that CBS is showing Fedor vs. Brett Rogers, meaning UFC fans who missed UFC 102 on pay-per-view will get a chance to watch it for the price of basic cable.
Spike will also show three other recent UFC fights that night: B.J. Penn vs. Kenny Florian and Anderson Silva vs. Forrest Griffin from UFC 101, and Vitor Belfort vs. Rich Franklin from UFC 103.
The decision to put UFC 102 on Spike is no surprise; it's the latest in a long line of efforts from the UFC to take viewers away from its MMA rivals. But the big question is just how many viewers it will siphon away from the Affliction/M-1 Global event on CBS. Hard-core MMA fans have already seen the UFC fights and will be excited about watching Fedor live, but more casual UFC fans might turn away from CBS and toward Spike because they're more familiar with the UFC brand. That's why this is a smart business move on the UFC's part.