New York, NY, January 24, 2011 – Spike TV will telecast 12 live “UFC Prelims” in 2011, featuring many of the best mixed martial arts fighters competing on undercard bouts prior to live UFC® Pay-Per-View events. Spike has aired 13 “UFC Prelims,” beginning with UFC 103 in September 2009, with an average viewership of 1.5 million.
The first “UFC Prelims” in 2011 on Spike will air live on Saturday, February 5 at 9 p.m. ET/ 6 p.m. PT from the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas with undercard bouts from UFC® 126: SILVA VS. BELFORT. An explosive lightweight bout between Paul Kelly (12-3) vs. Donald Cerrone (13-3, 1 NC) will be featured, as well as a featherweight clashing pitting Chad Mendes (9-0) against Michihiro Omigawa (12-8-1).
Fighting out of Liverpool, England, Paul Kelly burst onto the scene in 2008 with a hard-fought decision victory over Paul Taylor at UFC 80 in a bout that received “Fight of the Night” honors. In June 2009, Kelly moved to the lightweight division, where he has won three of his last five bouts, most recently defeating TJ O’Brien at UFC 123 in November.
WEC veteran Donald Cerrone is riding a two-fight winning streak and defeated Chris Horodecki via triangle choke at WEC: Henderson vs. Pettis in December in his last outing. Training with the renowned Jackson’s MMA team in Albuquerque, N.M., the 27-year-old is widely known for a brutal five-round war with Ben Henderson for the WEC lightweight crown in October 2009, considered by many the “Fight of the Year.”
Featherweight Chad Mendes, who trains with bantamweight superstar Urijah Faber in Sacramento, Calif., is making his UFC debut against Michihiro Omigawa. Mendes was a two-time All-American wrestler at California Polytechnic State University and has won his first nine professional fights, including the last four in the WEC.
Omigawa, a native of Ibaraki, Japan, made his UFC debut at UFC 76 in September 2007, battling it out for three hard rounds against Matt Wiman. After returning to Japan and dropping to featherweight in 2008, Omigawa made an instant impact as a 145-pound fighter. The 35-year-old has won eight of his last nine fights and has his sights set on a shot at the UFC featherweight title.