Watch the UFC prelims on Facebook?

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I guess MMA fighters really love social media more than I thought. Whether they are announcing an upcoming fight or announcing their retirement (only to take it back later), the combat sports world is really using Facebook and Twitter to their advantage. Now, we can add a whole new way to use those skills – watching free fights live NOT on Spike TV or even the UFC website, but directly on Facebook!

The opportunity to watch two live prelim fights for free from UFC: Fight For The Troops 2 is now only a click away.Zuffa announced today on their facebook page (as you see above) that fans will have the ability to watch two fights this Saturday starting at 8 PM EST by simply clicking the “Like” button on the official UFC Facebook page. There are many duplicate pages that are fan-owned, so if you want the correct one, that’s the link!

By “liking” the page, fans will gain access to a live stream of the lightweight battle between Cody McKenzie (12-0) against veteran Yves Edwards (39-16-1), as well as TUF alum DaMarques Johnson (16-8) against Mike “The Joker” Guymon (13-4-1). Following these bouts, fans can tune in to Spike TV at 9 PM EST to watch the live broadcast of the main card, which is headlined by Evan Dunham (11-1) taking on Melvin Guillard (44-9-3, 1 NC).

This is the first time to my knowledge that any MMA company has implemented social media in this way, and if this experiment works I think we will see many more free fights through Facebook. According to an article on Social Media Today, as of April 2010, it is estimated that 41.6% of the U.S. population has a Facebook account. ComScore also reported that Facebook attracted 130 million unique visitors in May 2010, so with that much traffic the UFC will have a huge soapbox to stand on possibly gain a whole new audience and more interest from casual mainstream viewers. What that means to us is that fans like you and me are going to have to explain to millions more people about the greatness of Pride FC, what the IFL was, and that the sport is called MMA and not UFC. But hey, free fights are free fights, so I’ll take them!

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