The UFC/Spike relationship continued its jilted lover getting revenge feel as the network announced Tuesday they will air marathons of The Ultimate Fighter on Friday nights starting on Friday, March 2nd.
The three-hour weekly block -- called "The Ultimate Fighter Fridays" -- will feature some of the best episodes from the 14 seasons TUF ran on the male-focused cable network. Spike also said in a press release they will air special-themed editions of TUF based on social media feedback.
When the UFC announced they had signed a deal with Fox, part of the seven year contract was moving the popular reality show to FX on Friday nights with live fights as opposed to taped. The next season of TUF begins on Friday, March 9th with UFC Bantamweight Champion Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber as coaches of teams of welterweights and lightweights.
However, Spike will also be counter-programming their future asset Bellator Fighting Championships, which comes to Spike in 2013. Bellator recently announced a move to Fridays on MTV2, making for a busy night of MMA to start the weekend. They also begin their new night on Friday, March 2nd with Spike.com airing the prelim fights.
2012 marks the final year of Spike's deal with the UFC, enabling them access to archive footage they have been using to counter-program UFC events on Fox and Versus.LINK