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Friday, January 11, 2008


Courtesy of the Ultimate Fighting Championship:

For Immediate Release:
January 11, 2008



Las Vegas, NV (USA) – The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC®) organization announced today the last four bouts on the UFC 80: RAPID FIRE fight card. The action-packed event features the World Lightweight Championship match-up between BJ “The Prodigy” Penn and Joe “Daddy” Stevenson, and the not-to-be missed fight between top heavyweight contenders Gabriel “Napao” Gonzaga and Fabricio Werdum. Also on the card are impressive showdowns between Antoni Hardonk vs. Colin Robinson; Paul Kelly vs. Paul Taylor; James Lee vs. Alessio Sakara; and Sam Stout vs. Per Eklund. 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 are also 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.

Antoni Hardonk (5-4-0) 6’4”/245 lbs., fighting out of Amsterdam, Holland is a heavyweight known for his size and power. Surrounded by world class kickboxing and jiu-jitsu trainers, Hardonk has mastered his stand up and ground game. While Hardonk had a rough 2007, with losses to Frank Mir and Justin McCully, the refreshed heavyweight is a powerhouse on the edge of returning to the winners circle. Hardonk will undoubtedly use the experience he gained from his last two defeats to his advantage when he dukes it out with Colin Robinson. “Big C” Robinson (9-3-0) 6’4”/242 lbs., fighting out of Antrim, Northern Ireland comes off his first loss in his UFC debut at UFC 72 last June. With a TKO loss to Eddie Sanchez, the Irish heavyweight has much to prove in his return to the Octagon™ at UFC 80. Robinson’s strong striking ability and ferocious ground and pound has established him in the MMA world, but it is up to Robinson to keep his name in the mouths of fight fans. On January 19, Hardonk and Robinson will attempt to redeem themselves and will battle to victory in hopes of gaining a point in the win column.

Paul “Tellys” Kelly (7-0-0) 5’9”/170 lbs., fighting out of Liverpool, England is a teammate of light heavyweight star Michael “The Count” Bisping. In addition to training with Bisping, this welterweight has a mean ground and pound and a reputation for being a tough, no-nonsense fighter. Having won all but one of his last fights in the first round, Kelly makes his UFC debut with a flawless record. This is set to be a fight to remember when Kelly meets his fellow Englishman at UFC 80. “Relentless” Paul Taylor (8-2-1) 6’0”/170 lbs., fighting out of Walsall, England returns this year after exciting fight fans in 2007. Taylor burst into the Octagon at UFC 70 with a decisive third round TKO of Edilberto Crocota, and while he lost to Marcus Davis by submission at his last fight, it earned him fight of the night. Deserving the nickname “Relentless,” Taylor takes this fight against the 22-year old newcomer from Liverpool to show the world a true welterweight rumble.

James Lee (25-2) 5’11’/205 lbs., fighting out of Detroit, Michigan will be in the spotlight at his UFC debut in Newcastle. No rookie to the sport of MMA, Lee is a submission master with bragging rights to a terror streak of 11 straight wins including a 39 second submission win over one opponent. Lee’s accolades include All-American in freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling on top of his comprehensive experience in jiu-jitsu. This 34-year old Michigan native is a seasoned fighter out to prove he deserves to be in the ranks of the UFC and will have his chance when he takes on light heavyweight veteran Sakara. Alessio “Legionarius” Sakara (15-6, 1 No Contest) 6’0”/205 lbs., fighting out of Miami, Florida is known for his boxing skills and powerful strikes. With a number of dominating wins under Sakara’s belt, including victories over Elvis Sinosic and Victor Valimaki, as well as his fair share of losses, Sakara is well aware that this particular match-up is a make or break fight for his career. The Italian native claims he was born a fighter and plans to show the world his fighting spirit when he goes toe-to-toe with the experienced submission specialist Lee.

Sam “Hands of Stone” Stout (13-3-1) 5’9”/155 lbs., fighting out of London, Ontario, Canada is a fierce striker with extensive training in muay thai. A truly dedicated fighter with a strong focus in cardio, Stout is one of Canada’s premiere mixed martial artists. Stout lives up to his heavy-handed nickname as seen in his UFC debut when he defeated Spencer Fisher in a split decision. Although, the 23-year old fighter comes off a unanimous decision loss from the same Spencer Fisher, Stout has no intentions of losing again when he meets Eklund in the Octagon. Per Eklund (12-2-1) 5’10”/155 lbs., fighting out of Stockholm, Sweden will make his UFC debut in Newcastle and promises a true lightweight clash. A well rounded fighter known for his mental strength, Eklund has a distinct boxing and jui-jitsu style which has proven successful as he comes off a four win streak. This Swede’s six years of MMA experience will no doubt be challenged when he goes to blows with “Hands of Stone” Stout.

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.