|08-26-2003, 04:38 AM||#1|
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UFC 44 Press Release
LAS VEGAS, NEV., August 26, 2003… Two welterweight fights and two lightweight bouts will complete an all-star, nine-fight card at UFC 44: Undisputed, which will be shown LIVE on pay-per-view at 10 p.m. EDT, Friday, September 26, from the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. In the welterweight division, Dave Strasser of Kenosha, Wis., will meet Karo Parisyan of North Hollywood, Calif., and Jeremy Jackson of Port Hueneme, Calif., will fight Nick Diaz of Stockton, Calif. Lightweight action will feature Caol Uno of Kanagawa, Japan, versus undefeated Hermes Franca of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., and Josh Thomson of San Jose, Calif., against Gerald Strebendt of Los Angeles, Calif. The card is subject to change.
The main event will showcase the long anticipated return of Light Heavyweight Champion Tito Ortiz to the Octagon in what will be a “Champion vs. Champion” match against interim Light Heavyweight champ Randy Couture to unify the title. In the co-main event, Heavyweight Champion Tim Sylvia will defend his belt for the first time in a “Battle of Giants” against Gan McGee.
Tickets, $350, $250, $150, $75 and $35, are on sale now at the Mandalay Bay box office in Las Vegas, at all Ticketmaster locations, at www.ticketmaster.com and www.mandalaybay.com. Tickets also may be ordered by telephone at 1-877-632-7800 or 1-702-474-4000. Ticket purchases are subject to transaction fees. The UFC is returning to Mandalay Bay, the site of its first event in Nevada in September 2001 from where UFC 44: Undisputed will be available LIVE on pay-per-view at 10 p.m. EDT on iNDemand, DirecTV, Dish Network, TVN, Echostar, Bell ExpressVu and Viewers Choice Canada. The suggested retail price is $29.95.
Strasser (23-3-4 in mixed martial arts) is a freestyle fighter who won his UFC debut April 25 at UFC 42: Sudden Impact in Miami, Fla., with a unanimous decision over favored Romie Aram. Strasser used his boxing prowess to subdue Aram, but is equally proficient in wrestling, jiu jitsu and kickboxing.
Parisyan (17-2-0) is an outstanding grappler who will be making his UFC debut. He is a former Pan American Judo Silver medalist and a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu national champion who trains six days a week when he isn’t working as a Hollywood stuntman. He has appeared in such productions as Tucker, Ultraviolet and U-Boat.
Jackson-Diaz will be a showdown between two fighters who will make their UFC debuts, but who have fought each other twice. Jackson won the first fight last September with a TKO in 49 seconds. Diaz won the second in July with a TKO in 4:33.
Jackson (9-3-0) is a well-rounded, freestyle fighter who is both a strong striker and wrestler. “Fighting in the UFC has been my dream. Fighting Nick makes it even better,” he said
Diaz (7-2-0) is a jiu jitsu fighter who is managed and trained by Cesar Gracie, so Jackson will again have his hands full attempting to control a durable, submission fighter whose biggest weapon is his endurance and whose favorite technique is the triangle choke.
The Uno-Franca lightweight bout will feature a wily veteran against a promising new comer who won an impressive debut April 25 before a hometown crowd in Miami, Fla. Uno (13-4-3) has defeated some of the world’s best 155-pound fighters, has fought twice for the UFC lightweight title and once held the Shooto welterweight championship, which he gave up to pursue other fights around the world. In his last UFC match, Uno fought top contender BJ Penn to a five-round draw for the UFC lightweight championship at UFC 41: Onslaught, Feb. 28, in Atlantic City, N.J. “I got very good experience from that fight. I would not have done anything different,” he said.
Uno will have to be at the top of his game for Franca (7-0-0), a jiu jitsu specialist from the American Top Team in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Franca defeated Rich Crunkilton by unanimous decision at UFC 42: Sudden Impact in one that card’s most exciting fights. “It was incredible. A dream come true,” Franca says of his first UFC victory. “But, Uno is one of the best. It will be a great honor to fight him.”
The Strebendt-Thomson match will be a battle of UFC first timers. Strebendt (6-2-0) combines Brazilian jiu jitsu and muay thai kickboxing to achieve quick submissions. His best techniques are leg locks. Thomson (22-1-0) has a strong wrestling background and also wins most of his fights by submission. He says his biggest weapon is his speed and he is a fast-paced, aggressive fighter who goes after a submission right from the start.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship, headquartered in Las Vegas, Nev., is the world’s premier mixed martial arts sports association. Owned and operated by Zuffa, LLC, the UFC programs six live pay-per-view events yearly through cable and satellite providers. In addition to its U.S. distribution on iNDemand, DirecTV, Dish Network, TVN, Echostar, Bell ExpressVu and Viewers Choice Canada, UFC events are distributed internationally through WOWOW, Inc. in Japan, Globosat in Brazil, Main Event Television in Australia and Sky Network Television in New Zealand. Zuffa, LLC licenses the distribution of UFC video games through Crave Entertainment and TDK Mediactive.
The UFC’s next live PPV event will be UFC 44: Undisputed at 10 p.m. EDT on Friday, September 26, from Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nev. Locate the
UFC on the internet at www.ufc.tv.
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