Although the UFC has made calculated moves to separate themselves from boxing, it looks as if they have just made a move to be just like their competiton. The UFC and Spike TV are teaming together to broadcast a brand new TV show, “UFC Primetime: St-Pierre vs Penn,” to help promote the January 31st super-fight. It will feature three, 30-minute episodes that will begin airing between January 14th – January 28th at 10:30PM local time.
The UFC is hoping to duplicate the success that boxing experienced when they ran a similar show on HBO. “De La Hoya-Mayweather 24/7” was created to generate greater interest for boxing’s biggest fight in years. It apparently worked, as the May 2007 bout earned 2.4 million pay-per-view buys, breaking all previous records.
GSP/Penn II will be the biggest fight in MMA history, at least the UFC is promoting it as such. It is likely that UFC 94 will challenge UFC 66 “Liddell vs. Ortiz II,” as the promotion’s top gate revenue earner. The previous record gate of $5,397,300 was set back in December of 2006.
St-Pierre is the current welterweight champion, and is the class of the division. He previously defeated Penn at UFC 58 in March of 2006 in a closely contested battle. Many thought that Penn inflicted more damage throughout the fight, however it was GSP that walked away with the split decision victory.
Penn has since dropped down to the lightweight division, dominating everyone in his way. Although he is the division’s champion, he was more than happy to make the move back up to 170-pounds to try and avenge his loss to the French-Canadian.