Let me be the first to say that the poster for UFC 128 is about as uninspired as it gets… even the fighters look kinda “meh” about it. Maybe they should have hired THIS GUY to do it instead (he’s got some ideas for UFC 129 too), or perhaps our own iamphoenix.
Anyways, once again the UFC is giving us a two-fer of free preliminary fights on Facebook and Spike TV, making this the 5th event in a row with Facebook prelims (starting at “Fight for the Troops 2″). Some folks (like us) have long bitched that the UFC should give free access to the prelim fights instead of charging to download them, in order to encourage fans to care about their up-and-coming guys… promote “the stars of tomorrow” and all that jazz. Well I guess our complaints have been heard, cause it looks like the Facebook experiment is here to stay. Now if Dana would only listen to me about rehiring Natasha… sigh.
There’s been several changes lately due to injuries, so the card now breaks down like so:
LHW Title Fight: Mauricio “Shogun” Rua vs. Jon “Bones” Jones
Urijah “Ballchinian” Faber vs. Eddie Wineland
Jim Miller vs. Kamal “The Iron Sheik” Shalorus
Yoshihiro “Sexyama” Akiyama vs. Nate “The Great” Marquardt
Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic vs. Brendan “The Hybrid” Schaub
Luis “Banha” Cane vs. Eliot “The Fire” Marshall
Edson “Dr Leg-Kicks” Barboza vs. Anthony “The Nigerian Money Offer” Njokuani
Ricardo “Cachorrao” Almeida vs. Mike “Quicksand” Pyle
Kurt “Batman” Pellegrino vs. Gleison Tibau
Joseph Benavidez vs. Ian “The Barn Owl” Loveland
Raphael Assuncao vs. Erik “New Breed” Koch
Nick “The Jersey Devil” Catone vs. Dan Miller
UPDATE: A couple Jackals have brought something to my attention, and that is what’s Benavidez doing on the unaired prelims?! Only two fights ago, he challenged for the bantamweight belt and lost by split decision… then he subbed former top-10 ranked BJJ whiz Wagnney Fabiano. This guy is #2 in the goddamn world, but apparently he’s not worth watching. Meanwhile, Luis Cane is on a two-loss skid and fighting a TUF washout who got called up from the minors on a short-notice injury replacement, but their fight is on Spike… not just Facebook, fucking Spike.
But there is a ray of hope… on a couple of the previous events, the UFC added another fight to either the Facebook or TV prelims some time after they were first announced. So far there’s only two matches on each this time, and they’ve done three before, so here’s hoping Joey B gets some love.