Spike TV to Televise UFC 89


Spike TV will carry UFC 89 on Saturday, Oct. 18 at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham, England, UFC President Dana White announced on Saturday. The event, the promotion’s third inside Great Britain this year, will feature a middleweight duel between Michael Bisping (Pictures) and Chris Leben (Pictures).

Bisping (16-1, 6-1 UFC) has dazzled since moving to middleweight in April. A native of Liverpool, England, the charismatic 29-year-old destroyed Canadian Jason Day (Pictures) at UFC 85 last month and has recovered nicely from his first career defeat -- a split decision loss to Rashad Evans (Pictures) in November. Bisping burst on the scene as a cast member on season three of “The Ultimate Fighter” and has been a key cog in the UFC’s expansion into Great Britain. Eleven of his 16 career wins have come by KO or TKO.

The heavy-handed, iron-chinned Leben (18-4, 8-3 UFC) will enter the matchup on a two-fight winning streak. He figures to test Bisping’s mettle at 185 pounds, as the 28-year-old Oregonian has delivered more than half (10) of his 18 career victories by KO or TKO. He holds wins against the American Kickboxing Academy’s Mike Swick (Pictures), rising Canadian contender Patrick Cote (Pictures) and American Top Team teammates Benji Radach (Pictures) and Jorge Santiago (Pictures).

Bisping and Leben were originally scheduled to fight at UFC 85 in June. However, Leben was forced to withdraw from the show when he had to serve jail time for a probation violation in Oregon.

In addition to the Bisping-Leben main event, UFC 89 will also feature a showdown between undefeated 205-pound standouts Lyoto Machida (Pictures) and Thiago Silva (Pictures), the winner of which will undoubtedly find himself in position to challenge newly crowned champion Forrest Griffin (Pictures).

Meanwhile, light heavyweight contests pairing Brandon Vera (Pictures) with Keith Jardine (Pictures) and Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou (Pictures) with Luiz Cane will help anchor the card, along with a welterweight bout pitting Marcus Davis (Pictures) against Bisping’s undefeated teammate, Paul Kelly (Pictures).

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