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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Ultimate Fighting Championship® Announces The Return Of “Nightmare” Diego Sanchez, At UFC 76: Knockout

Courtesy of the Ultimate Fighting Championship:




Las Vegas, NV (USA) – 08/14/2007 – The Ultimate Fighting Championship® (UFC®) organization today announced that Diego “Nightmare” Sanchez will return to the Octagon™ on Saturday, September 22 to face fellow welterweight contender Jon Fitch at UFC 76. This highly anticipated bout – which features fighters with a combined pro mixed martial arts record of 38-3 with 1 no contest, is part of an incredible lineup of fights scheduled for UFC 76, including a light heavyweight showdown between Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell and “The Dean of Mean” Keith Jardine. In a special feature, PRIDE FC phenomenon Mauricio “Shogun” Rua will enter the Octagon for the first time to take on Forrest Griffin. UFC 76: KNOCKOUT, featuring Liddell vs. Jardine, Rua vs. Griffin, and Sanchez vs. Fitch will take place live from Honda Center in Anaheim Saturday, Sept. 22, 2007.

“Diego is on a mission to prove that he belongs at the top of the food chain in the welterweight division,” said Dana White, UFC President. “He is upset with his last performance and asked to fight the best opponents possible. With thirteen straight wins, Jon Fitch more than fits the bill. I’m expecting an awesome fight”.

Tickets for UFC 76: KNOCKOUT are on sale now and are priced at $450, $300, $200, $100 and $50. Tickets are available through all Ticketmaster outlets, online at ticketmaster.com, hondacenter.com or www.ufc.com, or by phone at 213.480.3232.

UFC 76: KNOCKOUT is available live on pay-per-view at 10 p.m. EST/7 p.m. PST 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) in Standard Definition, and $49.95 ($49.99 CAD) in High Definition.

Diego “Nightmare” Sanchez (19-1), a winner of The Ultimate Fighter® Season 1, was being called the Golden Boy of the UFC with an unblemished record until his most recent fight at UFC 69 where he lost by unanimous decision to Josh Koscheck. The result shocked many fight fans, but with a change of scenery for his training camp, which is now based in San Diego, and a determination to regain lost ground, the 25-year old – who owns UFC victories over Karo Parisyan, Joe Riggs, Nick Diaz, and Kenny Florian – is back and better than ever.

“I took this fight as soon as it was offered to me. Jon is a great challenge but I want to face the best and I want to get back into the elite group so I can get back in line for the title,” said Sanchez. “I was momentarily derailed but now I am back stronger than ever with more focus and intensity. After a lot of praying I feel that my power is back again. I cannot wait to step back into the Octagon, where I will show everyone that the new win streak has begun and that I do not need a warm up fight, which is why I am facing a really good fighter like Fitch. I will take care of business and then proceed down the line,” said Sanchez.

Jon Fitch (19-2, 1 NC) is one of the most feared welterweights in the world. A former Division I wrestler for Purdue University, Jon is undefeated in the UFC with six consecutive victories to his name. In his last two fights, Fitch has also shown his submission game, beating Luigi Fioravanti at UFC 68: THE UPRISING, and then defeating Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt Roan Carneiro at UFC® Fight Night™, both wins came via rear naked choke. Jon has sacrificed a lot in order to make it to the UFC, moving 2,000 miles away from his friends, his family, and many job offers to train in California. On September 22, he is a win away from seeing all that sacrifice pay off.

“I’m excited to be fighting Diego at UFC 76. It is a great opportunity to fight a great opponent and to truly test myself. I look forward to the challenge,” said Fitch. He added, “People ask me what my hobbies are, what I do when I’m not fighting, and my hobbies are jiu-jitsu and boxing. When I want to get away from MMA fighting, I go do some jiu-jitsu or some boxing. That’s my fun. That’s what I enjoy, that’s what I love doing. I’ve immersed myself 100% in this sport. I’m living my hobby, and I think that’s one of the reasons I’m so successful.”

Also, UFC Fight fans can get a sneak peak at extremely popular “Shogun”, Maurico Rua. UFC.com is presenting two of Mauricio “Shogun” Rua’s previous fights in the PRIDE organization through UFC® On Demand™, a service that makes UFC archives, previously unaired fights as well as exclusive UFC programming and the classic “Legendary Fights™” series available to fight fans. Shogun vs. Overeem from PRIDE 33 and Shogun vs. Arona from PRIDE Final Conflict 2005 can be accessed through http://video.ufc.com/. Pricing for individual videos is $1.99 and monthly subscriptions are available for $9.99.

For more information about UFC 76 or any upcoming UFC event, visit www.ufc.com, uk.ufc.com, www.ufcespanol.com. All bouts are live and subject to change.