Gracie Fighting Championships to Hold Star-Studded Event

The Gracie Fighting Championships will bring elite mixed martial artists together for a night that fight fans will not forget on January 20 in Miami, Florida at the American Airlines Arena.

Columbus, OH December 10, 2006 - The Gracie Fighting Championships, a North American mixed martial arts organization will host a night of intense fight action on January 20 in Miami. The first of four planned shows in 2007, the event is titled “Evolution: The Genesis of Mixed Martial Arts”.

Scheduled bouts include a contest for the new GFC welterweight championship featuring fan favorite Nick Diaz (14-6-0) and Thomas “Wildman” Denny (22-14-0). Two fighters from the camp of the recently departed Carlson Gracie will be fighting that evening: Ivan “Batman” Jorge (5-0), who will face the new ICON Sport middleweight champion Frank Trigg (14-5-0), and Miguel Torres (29-1-0) in a match against Charlie Valencia (7-2-0). Also fighting will be Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza Dos Santos (3-1-0) vs. Jorge “Macaco” Patino (14-9-1). “Jacare” is a highly watched Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion who has set his competitive sights on mixed martial arts after reaching the apex of his grappling career. This will be his North American mixed martial arts debut. Renato “Charuto” Verissimo (6-4-0) will also take on Rumble on the Rock Welterweight Champion Jake Shields (16-4-1). Veteran mixed martial arts fighter Mario Sperry (12-4-0) will take on Wes “The Project” Sims (16-8-1), who recently defeated the powerhouse fighter “Kimo”. Rhalan Gracie (0-1-0), the son of Relson Gracie will make his return after a loss in his debut earlier this year to a seasoned fighter. Rhalan will be fighting Andrew Mathews in Mathews’ first professional fight. The card is rounded out in an encounter between Chris “The Westside Strangler” Brennan (18-12-1) and Rafael Dias (6-1-0).

Undercard:
Phil Cardella (6-2-0) vs. Marcos Avellan (1-0-1)
Nissen Osterneck (1-0-0) vs. Mitch McElroy (1-0-0)
Ben Saunders (3-0-2) vs. John Kopenhaver (4-1-0)
Daniel Moraes (0-1-0) vs. Luis Palomino (3-0-0)

Tickets for the event will go on sale December 13 and will be available through Ticketmaster. Doors open at 6 p.m. EST and undercard bouts will begin at 7 p.m. EST. Ticket prices begin at $55. The event will also be available via pay per view in the United States via Dish Network and Viewers Choice and in Canada via Bell ExpressVu. All of the action of the January 20 card will be available on iN DEMAND for six weeks after the event.

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