UFC to run Fight Night card on same night, same state as Bellator 123

Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

Shots fired? The UFC appears to be on the counter-program trail with Bellator.

Just days after Bellator's final PPV numbers came in at a surprising 100,000 buys, the UFC has announced not just a Fight Night event on the same night as Bellator 123, but it'll be hosted in the same state of Connecticut on September 5th. The promotion announced their first Connecticut show since 2005 during the pre-show of the TUF Brazil 3 Finale card.

Before you dive straight into Lake Conspiracy Theory, it should be noted that there's virtually no room on Fox Sports 1's calendar for any UFC live programming on Saturday, September 6th. Major League Baseball and college football take up all the space for the evening, which leaves the UFC looking for other days of the week. Running a UFC card opposite NFL football on September 4th (opening night) or Sunday (week 1) is basically ratings suicide, so they were never going to run an event on the weekend of September 6th.

However, the sheer coincidence of being 10 miles (Foxwoods Resort and Casino) from the site of the season 11 premiere of Bellator (Mohegan Sun) makes it really obvious what the UFC is trying to accomplish. Depending on how strong the main event is, winning the TV ratings battle may take a backseat to chipping away at Bellator's attendance numbers, as MMA fans who want to attend a show in CT will (in all likelihood) have to choose sides.

No fights have been announced for UFC Fight Night: Connecticut, but Bellator 123 will include recent middleweight title challenger Brennan Ward against 1980s cartoon legend James Irvin.

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