The “UFC Prelims” series will return to Spike TV on March 31 with live preliminary card bouts from UFC 111 in Newark, New Jersey, Spike announced on Monday, and, as expected, Matt Brown vs. Ricardo Almeida and Nate Diaz vs. Rory Markham will be featured on the one-hour, limited commercial broadcast:
The first bout scheduled to air on Spike TV is a welterweight contest between Matt “The Immortal” Brown (13-7) and Ricardo Almeida (11-3). Brown has become a fan favorite since his stint on Season 7 of “The Ultimate Fighter,” as his relentless style and devastating striking ability has garnered him a 4-1 record in the UFC, with all wins coming via TKO or submission. He is currently riding a string of three straight dominant performances against Ryan Thomas at UFC 91, Pete Sell at UFC 96 and, most recently, James Wilks at UFC 105. The Cincinnati based fighter will now look to put himself in the title picture with a fourth consecutive victory. Standing in his way will be a man fighting in his own backyard, Hamilton, NJ’s Ricardo “Big Dog” Almeida. The winner of two straight bouts coming into his matchup with Brown, most recently against Kendall Grove at UFC 101 this past August, this Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt will look to use his strong ground game to make a successful debut in the UFC’s welterweight division after years of fighting at middleweight.
The evening’s second televised bout is also in the welterweight division, and pits Rory Markham (16-5) against Nate Diaz (11-5). Markham, one of the game’s premier knockout artists, will look to use his immense punching power to stop his opponent, Diaz on March 27th. The winner of “The Ultimate Fighter 5,” Stockton, CA based Diaz has amassed a 6-3 record in the UFC in less than three years, and his fight with Markham will see him transition from lightweight to welterweight, where he hopes his added power will augment his effective Cesar Gracie taught Jiu-Jitsu skills in stopping Markham and setting him on his way to welterweight gold.
Other bouts on the card might air on Spike TV, to be determined by the length of the fights.
“UFC Prelims” debuted in September for UFC 103 and the most-recent installment for UFC 109 earlier this month drew a record 1.7 million viewers.
Pictured: Matt Brown