The World is Ready for the UFC - UFC 73 on July 7th

Las Vegas, NV (USA) – Tired of paying your hard-earned cash for events packed with hype and little else? Sick of sitting down
for a pay-per-view event and finding out that you’re paying over $50 for just three fights that include a showcase and a mismatch? The Ultimate Fighting Championship® has the cure for what is ailing fight fans, and in a continuing effort to provide what the world is truly waiting for, it is announcing yet another UFC card stacked with at least five fights that include two intense championship bouts and a heated grudge match between two light heavyweight rivals. UFC 73: STACKED features UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson “The Spider” Silva in his first title defense vs. Nate “The Great” Marquardt. UFC Lightweight Champion Sean “The Muscle Shark” Sherk puts his newly-won belt on the line vs. Brazil’s Hermes Franca. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira steps into the Octagon™ for the first time for a heavyweight war with Heath Herring – and Tito Ortiz intends to put a painful end to Rashad Evans’ perfect 15-0 record. Let the fireworks begin. UFC 73, loaded with UFC superstars, takes place LIVE from ARCO Arena in Sacramento, Calif. Saturday, July 7, 2007.

“We have five UFC events lined up now through July in the US and UK, and every one of them is stacked with great fights,” said UFC President Dana White. “No matter where we have a UFC, our goal is always the same – to deliver the best fights between the best mixed martial arts fighters. Our fans know they will always see a good fight, and that’s why the UFC reigns supreme in live sports today.”

White continues, “UFC 73 is one of the best cards we’ve put together this year. It’s going to deliver the one-two punch fight fans want – it has Tito Ortiz and Rashad Evans, two all-state college wrestlers, both who dislike each other, settling their differences in the Octagon, as well as title defenses by our two champions Anderson Silva and Sean Sherk. We’re working on more fights right now to pack this card even heavier from top to bottom.”

About his upcoming fight versus Rashad Evans, “Huntington Beach Bad Boy” Tito Ortiz stated, “Everybody should expect fireworks. Rashad is standing in the way of my getting another title shot, and my prediction is that he won’t be able to handle my tempo or the 18,000 Tito Ortiz fans that are in Sacramento to see me win. My prediction is that fans will definitely get their money’s worth.”

Evans countered, “Tito needs to learn the meaning of respect. On July 7, I’m going to teach him what that’s all about. Let him come down from the mountain to Greg Jackson’s training camp and he’ll see what he’s up against. I’m focused and on a mission, and my goal is to knock him out.”

Tickets for UFC 73: STACKED go on sale Saturday, May 12 at 2pm PDT with prices $550, $350, $250, $150 and $50. The fastest and most convenient way to purchase tickets is by visiting the Ticketmaster Web site at Ticketmaster.com. Tickets may be purchased by calling Ticketmaster Charge-By-Phone at (916) 649-TIXS, (530) 528-TIXS and (209) 551-TIXS. Tickets are also available at the ARCO Arena Box Office, which is open Monday thru Saturday from 10am to 6pm and at all Sacramento-area Ticketmaster locations and at http://www.ufc.com.

UFC® Fight Club™ members will have the opportunity to purchase tickets to this event Tuesday, May 8 starting at 10:00am PT via the website http://www.ufc.com. A special Internet ticket pre-sale will be available to UFC newsletter subscribers Thursday, May 10 starting at 10:00am PT. To access this presale, users must register for the UFC newsletter through http://www.ufc.com.

UFC 73: STACKED is available live on pay-per-view at 10:00pm. ET/7 p.m. PT on iN DEMAND, DIRECTV, DISH Network, TVN, Bell ExpressVu, Shaw Communications and Viewer’s Choice Canada for a suggested retail price of $39.95 ($39.99 CAD).

The last UFC event held at ARCO Arena took place Nov. 18, 2006 to a sellout crowd of more than 15,300 with a gate of $2.7 million. This event promises to be another sell-out with the layers of spectacular matchups planned, including the featured main event Anderson Silva vs. Nathan Marquardt.

Silva (18-4), fighting out of Curitiba, Brazil, defeated Rich Franklin by first round TKO at UFC 64 to become the new UFC Middleweight Champion. He is an extremely well-rounded fighter with phenomenal striking skills. He took on Travis Lutter in what was supposed to be his first title defense, but Lutter fell short of making weight by a half-pound. As a result their fight was altered to a three-round non-championship bout, but Silva still finished Lutter by submission at 2:11 of the second round. “The Spider” is looking forward to fighting Marquardt and nabbing his first successful title defense in the UFC. Wyoming-native Nathan Marquardt has yet to disappoint in mixed martial arts competition, as he has put together an impressive resume that includes 28 wins, a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and recognition as a seven-time King of Pancrase. In the UFC, Marquardt’s success has continued, with wins over Ivan Salaverry, Joe Doerksen, Crafton Wallace and Dean Lister. Marquardt has earned this shot at UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva, and plans to take out the Brazilian champion and take home his middleweight crown.

In a second championship bout, UFC Lightweight Champion Sean Sherk will take on Hermes Franca in his first title defense since defeating Kenny Florian in October of last year.

Sean Sherk (35-2-1), fighting out of Oak Grove, Minn., holds an incredible record, with only two losses. The first came to Matt Hughes for the UFC World Welterweight title. Sherk went on to win 12 straight fights before losing by TKO in the second round to Georges St-Pierre. Sherk is an excellent wrestler and is one of the pound-for-pound strongest competitors in the sport. He defeated Kenny Florian in a battle for the vacant UFC lightweight title last October at UFC 64 to become champion in the newly restored weight division. Hermes Franca (18-5) has won his last eight fights – all by knockout or submission. Included in this amazing streak are UFC wins over Joe Jordan, Jamie Varner, and most recently a TKO over Spencer Fisher. This 32-year old ground ace from Fortaleza, Brazil wants to win the lightweight crown by finishing the fight Hermes-style.

One of mixed martial arts’ premier heavyweights, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil’s Antonio Rodrigo “Minotauro” Nogueira (29-4-1) returns to fight in the United States for the first time since 2000 and will make his UFC debut against one of his toughest foes in Heath Herring. A premier ground fighter with a Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Nogueira is known for his varied offensive attack and his habit of never being in a boring fight. The former PRIDE heavyweight champion, Nogueira holds wins over a Who’s Who of the sport, including Herring, Mirko “Cro Cop”, Dan Henderson, Ricco Rodriguez, Josh Barnett, Mark Coleman, and Fabricio Werdum. On July 7th, fight fans will be in for a treat when Nogueira enters the Octagon to face “The Texas Crazy Horse.” Herring, the 6’4” 250-pounder who hails from the Lone Star State, is a perennial heavyweight contender and a tough out for anyone in the game. He is coming off a unanimous decision over 6 foot 7 giant Brad Imes at UFC 69, and is looking to ascend further up the UFC ranks with a payback win over “Minotauro”
ad
at UFC 73.

The Ultimate Fighting Championship organization is regularly holding events throughout the United States and the United Kingdom. The last three UFC events have broken venue records and overwhelmed sell-out crowds with spectacular fights and surprising upsets.

UFC 68, which took place March 3rd at Nationwide Arena in Columbus Ohio, drew a sell-out crowd of more than 19,000 and shattered the record for the highest North American attendance figure for a mixed martial arts event. At $3 million, it was also the highest grossing gate in Nationwide Arena history. The fight featured the heavyweight championship bout between Randy Couture and Tim Sylvia, where Couture electrified fight fans by dominating the much-favored Sylvia through all five championship rounds to earn status as the first three-time heavyweight champion in UFC history.

UFC 69, which took place April 7 at Toyota Center in Houston, drew a crowd of more than 15,000 and earned a gate of more than $2.8 million. It set the record for the highest gate ever in Toyota Center history. The card featured the championship bout between welterweights Georges St-Pierre and Matt Serra. Serra – who many dismissed as no match for St. Pierre – charged in at the opening bell and TKO’d St-Pierre with a flurry of strikes at just 3:25 of the first round.

UFC 70, which took place two weeks ago at MEN Arena in Manchester England, was attended by over 14,500 people and grossed a gate of more than £1.3 million. It set the record for the third largest gate in MEN’s storied history, and also broke the all-time merchandise record for the arena. UFC 70, which also aired on Spike TV in the United States, was the fifth highest rated cable sports program on television – network and cable – for the week of April 16, 2007. It was the number one rated television program on television period in the 18-34 year demographic. UFC 70 featured Croatian superstar Mirko “Cro Cop”, a heavy favorite over Gabriel Gonzaga, in the heavyweight main event. Known for causing devastation with powerful leg kicks, “Cro Cop” was expected by many to end the fight by knockout. Just before the end of the first bell, Gonzaga caught “Cro Cop” with his own weapon and landed a head kick, KOing the former Pride Grand Prix champion at 4:51 of the first round.

The Ultimate Fighting Championship has five live events lined up now through July, with a dozen more planned before the end of 2007, and full lineup of fights around the globe, including Canada, United Kingdom, Europe, Japan, Australia and Mexico in 2008.

UFC 71: LIDDELL vs. JACKSON, featuring the mixed martial arts superstar and seemingly unstoppable UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell vs. Quinton “Rampage” Jackson takes place May 26th at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Liddell will attempt his seventh successful title defense and complete his mission to avenge all of his previous losses.

UFC 72: VICTORY, featuring the middleweight main event fight Rich “Ace” Franklin vs. Denmark’s Martin Kampmann, and the light heavyweight special feature Forrest Griffin vs. Hector Ramirez takes place June 16th from the Odyssey Arena in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

The Ultimate Fighter® 5 Finale, featuring Jens Pulver vs. BJ Penn - who matched wits for six weeks as coaches on The Ultimate Fighter® Season 5 - square off June 23rd in a long-awaited rematch live from The Pearl at The Palms in Las Vegas.

UFC® Fight Night™, the UFC live series of fights telecast on Spike TV, features Spencer Fisher vs. Sam Stout, and will take place from the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hard Rock Live.

For more information about UFC 73 or any upcoming UFC event, visit http://www.ufc.com or uk.ufc.com. All bouts are live and subject to change.

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