Part one of the three part series, “UFC Primetime: St-Pierre vs Penn,” will be airing tonight on Spike TV. The UFC spent over $1.7 Million to produce the 24-hour all-access series to hype up the epic January 31st super-fight. The series will begin tonight at 10:30PM local time, and air the next two Wednesdays leading up to their highly anticipated rematch at UFC 94.
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.
“Basically what this thing is, it’s a docudrama. It’s gonna follow BJ Penn and Georges St-Pierre…This thing is so real time that (footage) that was shot (Tuesday) is actually put into the show (which airs Wednesday),” stated UFC president Dana White. “This thing airs on Spike at 10 (10:30). Spike will probably get this thing two hours before it’s supposed to air.
“We’re inside the camp, inside the lives of these two fighters. Leading up to this fight you’re going to see everything. How they train, what kind of shape they’re in, what (expletive) they’re going through, what obstacles they’re facing. Whatever it is, you’re gonna see it.”
The GSP/Penn II fight will be the biggest fight in MMA history, at least the UFC has promoted it as such, and “UFC Primetime” is certainly no exception. 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.