The UFC ran preliminary card bouts on Ion Television and on Facebook for the first time in January with UFC 125 and UFC Fight for the Troops 2, respectively. This is the first time they've returned to Ion Television with prelim bouts, though they have run another fight on Facebook during UFC 126.
Saturday's Facebook prelims will see light heavyweights Anthony Perosh and Tom Blackledge square off, as well as a featherweight bout between Tie Quan Zhang and Jason Reinhardt beginning at 8PM ET at Facebook.com/UFC.
Then, at 9PM ET on Ion Television, Ross Pearson meets Spencer Fisher, and James Te-Huna squares off with Alexander Gustafsson.
Perosh fights for the first time since losing to Mirko Cro Cop in the UFC's last trip to Australia in February of 2010. Blackledge makes his UFC debut in the bout.
Zhang makes his UFC debut after suffering his first career loss by decision to Danny Downes at WEC 53. Reinhardt, meanwhile, returns for the first time since since January of 2008, and makes his UFC debut as well.
Pearson, season nine winner of The Ultimate Fighter, looks to bounce back from a loss to Cole Miller in his last bout, his first loss in the UFC. Fisher, meanwhile, looks to follow up on a win over Cole Warburton at UFC 120 last October.
Te-Huna gets back into the Octagon for only the second time, one year after making his debut on the UFC's first trip to Australia in February of last year. The New Zealand native has fought his entire career in Australia, and now meets perhaps his toughest test in the 10-1 Gustafsson. Gustafsson enters this fight with a 2-1 mark in the UFC, his sole loss coming at the hands of highly touted prospect Phil Davis.
Following the preliminary card airings, UFC 127 airs live on pay-per-view, headlined by a welterweight bout between Jon Fitch and B.J. Penn.
Penick's Analysis: This is much better than just having two bouts on Facebook as it appeared to be last night. Pearson-Fisher and Te-Huna-Gustafsson are both very solid fights, especially the light heavyweight fight, and getting them on television is great. Having the other two fights on Facebook is just a bonus, and the UFC is doing great in getting so many of their fights on television this year.
(This article updated on February 22 with new information involving the Ion broadcast)