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Prelims returning to Spike TV, Facebook for UFC 128

Continuing a recent trend, the UFC will offer live preliminary bouts to fans for free when the promotion rolls into Newark, New Jersey on March 18 for UFC 128. The four fights will be split between a streaming feed on Facebook and Spike TV as means of a lead-in for the PPV featuring Jon Jones’ attempt at claiming Mauricio “Shogun” Rua’s light heavyweight belt.

According to an official statement from the UFC, a quartet of fantastic grapplers will start things off online at 8:00 PM EST in the form of Jersey native Kurt Pellegrino’s lightweight affair with American Top Team’s Gleison Tibau with welterweights Mike Pyle and Ricardo Almeida, who is also rooted in the area, putting their submission skills on display shortly thereafter.

The action will then head to Spike at 9:00 PM EST with WEC veteran Anthony Njokuani’s bout with undefeated Brazilian Edson Barboza opening things up and two familiar faces who haven’t been seen in awhile, Eliot Marshall and Luiz Cane, mixing it up at light heavyweight as the final fight before fans settle in for the PPV portion of the card.

In addition to the aforementioned match-ups UFC 128 will also feature the Octagon debut of fan-favorite Urijah Faber, who takes on always-tough Eddie Wineland, in addition to PRIDE icon Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic facing TUF 10 finalist Brendan Schaub, former contender Nate Marquardt trying to de-sexy Yoshishiro Akiyama, and more!

  • Niv says:

    Nearly pit my shants when I saw this fight was on March 18, I have a bunch of buddies invited to my place on the 19th which is my day off.

    Anyhow the date is the 19th and I can’t wait to see Shogun defend his title, I expect a competitive match for about a round and a half, right up to where Shogun seperates Jones from consciousness.

  • Rece Rock says:

    I really wish I was able to go to this it’s so close to home… BUT the price of a DECENT seat is so far out of my budget currently…. SUCKS!

    Hey guys if you see anything about contest or tix give aways give me a heads up- please! Thanks.

    P.S.- to the 5 oz staff if you guys get press/ media access and no one can attend the live show please please please let me get those tickets. I’ll take pics and do a column covering the event from a fans point of view…

  • Brendhan Conlan says:

    As always I suggest people monitor local sports stations or Twitter feeds (like Dana White or the UFC) for ticket giveaways.

  • Dufresne says:

    Nearly pit my shants when I saw this fight was on March 18

    Same here. I went to double check my calendar to make sure it was marked and got pretty confused.

    Reece, I’m hoping you can score some decent seats. I’ve been there myself when UFC 107 came to Memphis and I could literally see the stadium where the event was being held while I was stuck watching the PPV on my couch.

    pit my shants
    Lol, gets me every time.

  • boomnutz says:

    how do you guys feel about Jon Jones opening as a 2:1 favorite???

  • bigbadjohn says:

    I guess it’s not surprising that Jones is favored with the hype he has among MMA fans but Shogun’s definitely being underestimated (odds wise). Histroically Shogun hasn’t toppled wrestlers as easily as he has fellow muay-thai, jiu jitsu and/ or kickboxing fighters. I think Jones takes it but not without a hard, long fight. I’ll say it will be a championship round stoppage.

  • Niv says:

    boomnutz “how do you guys feel about Jon Jones opening as a 2:1 favorite???” Personally I think it’s very disrespectful to a champ that has earned his number 1 ranking more than once.

    I get the hype, but I feel the odds will drop the closer we get to the fight, and I expect Shogun to once again prove he’s the best in the business.

    I personally find it strange that this guy still has doubters, but that’s how it goes in this business.

  • MCM says:

    Look at it from the casual fans perspective, most of whom didn’t know Shogun before his UFC run.

    Since joining the UFC he has…
    – lost to Forrest
    – won a split dec. against Coleman in an embarrassing fight that had TUF 10 fighters complaining about their cardio
    – was next to last in line to KO Chuck into retirement
    – lost a UD in his first title shot
    – won the title by KO
    He’s 3-2 in the UFC and only one “impressive” win.

    Now, most of the betting is done by casual fans. Most casual fans don’t post of MMA websites. Most casual fans don’t know of PRIDE or Vale Tudo. Most casual fans don’t know the difference between effective striking and flashy striking.
    Taking all that into consideration, I can see why Jones opened up as the favorite. I don’t have to agree with it, but I can understand it.

  • Creature says:

    Actually MCM he beat coleman by TKO in the 3rd. even tho ill agree it was kinda an embarrassing fight for both fighters

  • MCM says:

    Split Dec.!? What the f*ck was I thinking when I wrote that.

  • Dufresne says:

    how do you guys feel about Jon Jones opening as a 2:1 favorite???

    I feel like putting $50 on Shogun as a decent bet with high returns.

  • Rece Rock says:

    I don’t feel as if JJ is the favorite…I would bet that 50 bux. I say it’s truely 50/50 odds I don’t see either guy walking in as an under dog

  • boomnutz says:

    MCM, just to clarify this was where Vegas set the odds, so it actually hasn’t been affected by the betting yet (or at least when I wrote the post) from my friends that bet, I guess Vegas usually does a good job at setting the odds from a betting perspective…

    I agree with just about everything, if I were in Shogun’s camp this would be straight bulletin board material and I would use it as motivation everyday. When the fight was first made, i thought all the pressure was on Jones, but I think this changes things, he’s a 2:1 favorite over the CHAMP!! he’s got to be nervous as all hell, and Rua knows he’s never faced anyone like him..

    dood, I can’t fucking wait!!!! I think Jones will take it, but I won’t be surprised either way

  • MCM says:

    It’s been quite awhile since I dealt with Vegas bookies, but I’m pretty sure they take popularity, how a fighter is perceived by the public, and time (Jones just coming off a finish, Rua out with injuries) as a factor before they set the odds. Come fight time, I expect the odds to be closer to 50/50.

    But since I don’t actually gamble anymore, I too can’t wait as I just want to see them fight!

  • boomnutz says:

    I agree, it should def. level off some, honestly this is one fight I wouldn’t gamble on

  • G-DUB says:

    Betting actually has already affected the odds. There is no such thing as universal odds, but generally you’ll find that all casino and online sites have the odds pretty close to one another. I follow Bodog, which had the fight open at Jones -175 Shogun +155. The early betting must be on Jones b/c the line (last I checked) was Jones – 200 Shogun +175. Seems the public is buying into the Jones hype and forgetting that Shogun can be as dangerous as they come.

  • Dufresne says:

    Personally I think Jones is the next version of Shogun. I’m just not convinced that the new version is ready to take out the old one yet. I could very easily be wrong and I can’t wait to find out if I am.

  • elsicilian says:

    Yeah odds are all about gambling, not predicting the winner. It’s not surprising that Jones is getting more of the action, since he is a very popular fighter, and judging from his previous fights, he appears to be an indestructible wrecking machine. Meanwhile (as MCM detailed above) Rua is probably the least impressive UFC champion on paper.

    Personally, I like Jones to win, and I am a lot less impressed by his Pride career than many of you (a year is an eternity in MMA, and that was YEARS ago). But the glaring disparity in betting lines simply reflects the difference in popular expectations (among folks willing to put their money where their mouths are, anyway), not any quantifiable difference in talent or experience.


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