by MMAjunkie.com Staff on Jun 16, 2012 at 8:00 am ET
The UFC's traditional pre-event show returns next month with the debut of "Countdown to UFC 148: Silva vs. Sonnen II" on FUEL TV.
The hour-long special previews a rematch between UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva and challenger Chael Sonnen, which is one of the most-anticipated fights of 2012.
The show debuts July 3 at 9 p.m. ET (6 p.m. PT).
UFC 148 takes place July 7 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. In addition to Silva vs. Sonnen II, Tito Ortiz and Forrest Griffin meet for a third time in the pay-per-view co-headliner.
FUEL TV airs "Countdown to UFC 148" replays on July 4 (5 a.m. and 6 p.m. ET), July 5 (11 p.m. ET), July 6 (4 p.m. ET) and July 7 (7 p.m. ET).
Originally, UFC 148 was slated to feature two title fights. In addition to the headliner, which is a long-awaited rematch after Silva pulled off a come-from-behind submission victory in 2010, "The Ultimate Fighter: Live" coaches Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber were slated to co-headline. However, bantamweight champ Cruz scratched due to a knee injury, and Renan Barao was named a replacement and slated to fight Faber for an interim title. However, that fight eventually was moved to the UFC 149 main event after would-be headliner and featherweight champion Jose Aldo also scratched due to an injury.
The UFC is expected to announce one additional UFC 148 fight for the PPV main card.
The latest UFC 148 card includes:
MAIN CARD (Pay-per-view)
- Champ Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen (for middleweight title)
- Forrest Griffin vs. Tito Ortiz
- Patrick Cote vs. Cung Le
- Dong Hyun Kim vs. Demian Maia
PRELIMINARY CARD (FX)
- Chad Mendes vs. Cody McKenzie
- Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Gleison Tibau
- Mike Easton vs. Ivan Menjivar
- Riki Fukuda vs. Constantinos Philippou
- Fabricio Camoes vs. Melvin Guillard
- John Alessio vs. Shane Roller
- Yoislandy Izquierdo vs. Rafaello Oliveira
For more on UFC 148, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.
(Pictured: Chael Sonnen)