Those of you who have been complaining that UFC main events start after your bedtime, Dana White has heard your pleas. The UFC has announced that UFC 129 will begin a full hour earlier than normal. With UFC 129 preliminary fights on Spike TV and likely Facebook too, fans intent on catching all the action will have to make early dinner plans.
Mike Chiappetta reports that it might not just be a one-time deal:
The UFC is quietly contemplating a change to move up the start times of its pay-per-view broadcasts one hour, MMA Fighting has learned.
No final decision has yet been made, though a source in the organization confirmed to MMA Fighting that they are "considering the move for all events."
Two sources confirmed that at least one date will definitely be impacted. The change will be in play for the first time at April's massive UFC 129 event in Toronto, which will take place on April 30. On that night, the pay-per-view telecast will begin at 9 pm ET/6 pm PT, one hour ahead of its usual time.
I'm curious if the UFC is doing this as a work-around against Bellator. The upstart promotion is airing events live on Spike TV's fellow Viacom-owned channel MTV2 and has announced plans to start earlier on UFC nights. With the UFC making so many preliminary fights available so early Bellator will be in a pinch. I wonder if MTV2 is interested in airing live MMA at 6 p.m. ET?
Update: BE reader Rich Hansen points out that there won't be a Bellator event on March 30th. Nevermind.
What do you think? Is this too early for MMA?