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Tuesday, January 8, 2008


Courtesy of the Ultimate Fighting Championship:

For Immediate Release:
January 8, 2008



Las Vegas, NV (USA) – The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC®) organization today announced the remaining fights on the main card for the upcoming UFC 80: RAPID FIRE which features “The Prodigy” BJ Penn as he finally gets his chance for redemption when he challenges Joe “Daddy” Stevenson for the World Lightweight Championship and a heavyweight showdown between top contenders Gabriel “Napao” Gonzaga and Fabricio Werdum.

Also on the main card are exciting match-ups between Wilson Gouveia vs. Jason Lambert; Jess Liaudin vs. Marcus Davis; and Jorge Rivera vs. Kendall Grove. The UFC presents UFC 80: RAPID FIRE Saturday, January 19, live from Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle, England.

Tickets for UFC 80: RAPID FIRE are on sale now and are priced at £35, £50, £100, £150 and £200. Tickets will be available through ticketmaster.co.uk and www.metroradioarena.co.uk.

UFC 80: RAPID FIRE is available live on pay-per-view in the United States at 3 pm EST/Noon PST and on replay at 10 pm EST/7 pm 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) and $49.95 for HD where available.

Wilson Gouveia (9-4-0) 6’1”/205 lbs., fighting out of Coconut Creek, Fla. and Jason “The Punisher” Lambert have battled successfully on the fringe of the top ten rankings, with seven impressive UFC wins between them, and one of these light heavyweights will make the move from prospect to contender. Gouveia has been around the MMA block a few times in his career, fighting everyone from Jon Fitch to Keith Jardine. But through it all, Gouveia kept his eyes on the prize, knowing that his day would eventually come. After three straight submission wins in the UFC over Wes Combs, Seth Petruzelli, and Carmelo Marrero, the ever-improving Gouveia gets his big shot to move up when he takes on Lambert (23-6-0). “The Punisher” 5’10”/205 lbs., has lived up to his nickname over the course of his UFC career, pounding out wins over Terry Martin and Branden Lee Hinkle. It wasn’t until his spectacular knockout of “Babalu” Sobral that Lambert’s name started popping up in talks of the light heavyweight title picture. The North County Fight Club light heavyweight will look to again prove himself worthy for a shot at the elite when he takes on Gouveia.

Jess “The Joker” Liaudin (12-8-0) 5’9”/170 lbs., fighting out of London, is a lifelong martial artist who has competed in a host of disciplines since the age of eight. Liaudin learned on the job as a pro MMA fighter, and his early record reflected it. Since hitting his stride in 2006, the French born fighter has been unstoppable, and if his spectacular UFC wins over Dennis Siver and Anthony Torres are any indication, the elite welterweights better watch out for “The Joker” in 2008. Marcus “The Irish Hand Grenade” Davis (18-4-0) 5’10/170 lbs., fighting out of Bangor, ME, is a member of the cast of The Ultimate Fighter® second season. He has established himself in the United States with big UFC wins over Forrest Petz, Shonie Carter, and Pete Spratt. In the second half of 2007, Davis went international with victories over Jason Tan and Paul Taylor in the UK that built him a whole new fan base. Davis returns to his home away from home to face Liaudin. At the end of this fight the loser’s unbeaten streak will be broken, while the winner moves one step closer to a world title shot.

Jorge “El Conquistador” Rivera (14-6-0) 6’1”/185 lbs., a diehard member of Red Sox nation, and resident of Milford, Massachusetts, Rivera has survived ups and downs like his favorite baseball team and is still standing and swinging for the fences. Winner of five of his last seven bouts, including UFC victories over Edwin Dewees and Dennis Hallman, “El Conquistador” has faced the best over the course of his six year career. Now he’s ready to show that he is one of the best at 185 pounds as he takes on Kendall “Da Spyder” Grove. Before his stint on season three of The Ultimate Fighter, Grove (10-4-0) 6’6”/185 lbs., was viewed as a talented but erratic fighter. Yet after six weeks on the show, which he won by defeating Ed Herman, “Da Spyder” was a new man, in and out of the Octagon. Two more UFC wins have followed, and though he fell short against Patrick Cote in August, Grove has shown that he has the skill and resolve to get back on track. The Ultimate Fighter reality show launched the career of Grove and saved the career of Rivera. Now they meet at the crossroads in what may very well be the most important bout of their careers.

For more information about UFC 80 or any upcoming UFC event, visit www.ufc.com or uk.ufc.com. All bouts are live and subject to change.

About The Ultimate Fighting Championship

The Ultimate Fighting Championship® is the world’s leading professional mixed martial arts organization and offers the premier series of MMA sports events. Owned and operated by Zuffa, LLC, and headquartered in Las Vegas, Nev., UFC® produces over twelve live pay-per-view events annually that are distributed residentially through various cable and satellite providers including InDemand and DirecTV, and commercially through Joe Hand Promotions. In addition to its U.S. distribution, UFC programming is distributed in over 100 countries and territories throughout the world. For more information, or current UFC fight news, visit www.ufc.com or uk.ufc.com or www.ufcespanol.com.

Ultimate Fighting Championship®, Ultimate Fighting®, UFC®, The Ultimate Fighter®, Submission®, As Real As It Gets®, Zuffa™, The Octagon™ and the eight-sided competition mat and cage design are registered trademarks, trademarks, trade dress or service marks owned exclusively by Zuffa, LLC in the United States and other jurisdictions. All other marks referenced herein may be the property of Zuffa, LLC or other respective owners.