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Thank You, Axl Rotten (And R.I.P.)

Friday, January 25, 2008


Courtesy of the Ultimate Fighting Championship:

For Immediate Release:
January 25, 2008



Las Vegas, NV (USA) – The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC®) organization today announced the remaining fights on the main card for the upcoming UFC 81: BREAKING POINT which features former UFC Heavyweight Champion Frank Mir taking on former WWE Champion and world-renowned superstar Brock Lesnar. UFC fans will also witness the crowning of a new King of the Heavyweights when two-time champion Tim “The Maine-iac” Sylvia battles former PRIDE® champion Antonio Rodrigo “Minotauro” Nogueira for the Interim UFC Heavyweight Championship of the world in the main event of UFC 81: BREAKING POINT.

Also on the main card are exciting match-ups between Jeremy Horn vs. Nate Marquardt; Ricardo Almeida vs. Alan Belcher; Gleison Tibau vs. Tyson Griffin; Kyle Bradley vs. Chris Lytle; Tim Boetsch vs. David Heath; Marvin Eastman vs. Terry Martin; and Keita Nakamura vs. Robert Emerson. The UFC presents UFC 81: BREAKING POINT Saturday, February 2, live from Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.

Tickets for UFC 81: BREAKING POINT are on sale and are priced at $800, $500, $300, $200, $100 and $50. Tickets are sold at the Mandalay Bay box office and all Las Vegas Ticketmaster locations (select Smith’s Food and Drug Centers, Macy’s West at the Fashion Show Mall and Ritmo Latino). To charge by phone with a major credit card, call the Mandalay Bay box office at (702) 632-7580 or Ticketmaster at (702) 474-4000. Tickets also are available for purchase at www.ufc.com, www.mandalaybay.com or www.ticketmaster.com.

UFC 81: BREAKING POINT 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 $44.95 for standard definition or high-definition broadcasts (where available).

Nate “The Great” Marquardt (28-6-1) 6’0”/185 lbs., fighting out of Denver, Colo., is a well respected fighter. There are plenty of class acts in the world of mixed martial arts, definitely more than you’ll find in practically any professional sport today, and one of those people you will never hear a bad word about is UFC middleweight contender Nate Marquardt. That type of class is a great attribute to have in an era where it’s sorely lacking, but when you’re a fighter in a business where the squeaky wheel is often the one that gets oiled, it can be a problem. It’s been a particular issue with Marquardt, whose talent in the sport is matched by his previous accomplishments, which include recognition as a seven-time King of Pancrase while competing in Japan. He’s continued his run of success in the UFC though, finally getting some overdue praise for his wins over Ivan Salaverry, Joe Doerksen, Crafton Wallace, and Dean Lister, with his only loss coming to current UFC Middleweight champion Anderson Silva. Nate “The Great” looks to get back in the win column against Jeremy Horn (87-14-6). What more can you say about Jeremy Horn other than to give him his respect as one of the most experienced and talented fighters in the game? With over 100 professional fights to his name, the Utah resident has earned his accolades the hard way, and he’s still standing and still relevant in the UFC’s middleweight division. The 32-year-old 6’1”/185 lb., Horn returns to face Marquardt in what should be an exciting battle of wits between two of the best fighters the 185-pound division has to offer.

Alan “The Talent” Belcher (11-3-0) 6’2”/185 lbs. fighting out of Biloxi, Miss., is a fierce competitor who has shown the ability to end fights by submission or spectacular knockout. “The Talent” has showed his warrior’s heart by jumping up to light heavyweight on short notice last May to submit Sean Salmon in less than a minute. Moving back to middleweight, Belcher made it two in a row with an impressive TKO win over Kalib Starnes, and in this fight against world-class veteran Ricardo “Big Dog” Almeida, he wants to keep pushing the envelope. Almeida (8-2-0) 6’0”/185 lbs., fighting out of Hamilton, NJ was a typical child. Much like kids in the United States who gravitate to baseball or football, most Brazilian children wind up on the mat. Almeida was one such child. Not many take it as far as Almeida has though, and as a decorated grappler and Black Belt, he is one of the top jiu-jitsu practitioners in the world. In MMA, he has had the same success, compiling a record of 8-2 that includes wins over Nate Marquardt, Ryo Chonan, and Kazuo Misaki. But after putting together a six fight winning streak from 2002-2004, Almeida walked away from the game to focus on his Jiu-Jitsu school in New Jersey. The 31-year old “Big Dog” returns to MMA for the first time since 2004, and to the Octagon™ for the first time in over six years to take on rising star Belcher.

Gleison Tibau (26-3-0) 5’10”/155 lbs., fighting out of Coconut Creek, Fla., is a member of the respected American Top Team. Tibau showed he belonged in the Octagon in November of 2006 as he put forth a courageous effort against UFC veteran Nick Diaz at UFC 65. Displaying stellar jiu-jitsu techniques that had Diaz in trouble early on, Tibau was eventually overpowered by the bigger fighter and stopped in the second round. With the knowledge gained from the loss and a drop to the 155 pound weight class, the 23-year old native of Rio Grande Norte, Brazil got back in the Octagon and showed what he can truly do when he’s on a level playing field. Tibau decisioned hard-nosed Jason Dent at UFC 68 in March, submitted Jeff Cox with a beautiful arm triangle choke at UFC® Fight Night™ in June, and then decisioned Terry Etim at UFC 75 last September. He will face his toughest battle yet in the UFC when he takes on lightweight contender Tyson Griffin. Fighting out of Las Vegas, Nev., Griffin (10-1-0) 5’6”/155 lbs., has only been in the UFC for a little over a year. In that short time he has quickly established himself as the Octagon’s Dominique Wilkins. In other words, a human highlight film. Whether it was his quick submission of David Lee, his back and forth battle with Frankie Edgar, or his stirring wars with Clay Guida and Thiago Tavares, Griffin finds it impossible to be in a boring fight. With wins in three of his four UFC appearances, opponents are finding it hard to beat the Las Vegas resident, who credits a lot of his success to having a short-term memory. Griffin hopes that this short term memory keeps kicking in as he and Tibau go head to head at UFC 81.

Kyle Bradley (13-4, 1 no contest) 5’9”/170 lbs., fighting out of Baton Rouge, LA is a true welterweight force. Trained by veteran UFC fighter Rich Clementi, Bradley has learned from the best and plans on showing the world what he’s got when he enters the Octagon for the first time on February, 2. Known for his fast hands, punching power and athleticism, this 25-year old Southern stud comes off a seven fight winning streak and poses a serious threat to the experienced Lytle. Chris “Lights Out” Lytle (34-15-4) 5’11”/170 lbs., fighting out of Indianapolis, IN is a crowd favorite in spite of only one win in his last four fights including losses to champion Matt Serra and Matt Hughes. A finalist in The Ultimate Fighter® 4, Lytle has undoubtedly proven himself a warrior in the MMA world. Although Lytle is a skilled striker, he is most known as a submission artist taking out fighters Jason Gilliam and Pete Spratt. Lytle’s determination to keep his name in the UFC world will prove a challenge for newcomer Bradley who hopes to make an impression at his UFC debut.

David Heath (9-2-0) 5’11”/205 lbs., fighting out of Tulsa, Okla., was always a fan of mixed martial arts, but it wasn’t until he moved to Tulsa and met UFC veteran Mikey Burnett in 2002 that his dream of fighting in the UFC started to become a reality. Since then, he has compiled a 9-2 pro record that includes two impressive wins in the Octagon. In his first Octagon bout, at UFC 62, Heath submitted Cory Walmsley, and he then scored a decision win over Victor Valimaki in December of 2006. Heath, who’s only UFC losses came in 2007 against Lyoto Machida and Renato Sobral, takes on Tim “The Barbarian” Boetsch. Fighting out of Sunbury, Penn., Boetsch (6-1-0) 6’0”/205 lbs., makes his UFC debut against Heath. Having had his first professional mixed martial arts fight in October 2006, “The Barbarian” finished first two opponents in less than two minutes and has since been training specifically for MMA competition. He looks to make a name for himself in the UFC as he steps into the Octagon with Heath.

Marvin “The Beastman” Eastman (14-7-1) 5’9”/185 lbs., fighting out of Las Vegas, Nev., previously fought in the light heavyweight division. While Eastman takes this fight after three straight losses, including a knockout from World Light Heavyweight Champion ‘Rampage’ Jackson, his drop to middleweight will surely stir things up. As a former corrections officer Eastman has handled his fair share of the unruly gaining him the name “Beastman.” It will be this experience in and out of the Octagon that will make him a tough match for Martin. Terry Martin (18-3-0) 5’9”/185 lbs., fighting out of Chicago, IL., has a powerful punch and a fast mouth. Martin’s not afraid to let the world know what he’s all about and has the record to back it up with a 14 second knockout of Jorge Rivera. The 27-year old Chicago native has a strong boxing style mixed with extensive training in wrestling, a dangerous mix for any competitor. Where most fighters’ battle Martin and “The Beastman” will go to war, but only one can claim victory at UFC 81: BREAKING POINT.

Keita “K-Taro” Nakamura (14-2-2) 5’9”/155 lbs., fighting out of Tokyo, Japan trains with hardcore fighter Yushin Okami. A somewhat unknown fighter Nakamura is a regular on the Ultimate Fight Night circuit. A master of submissions who also trains in Judo and a Japanese martial art known as Jujyutsu, Nakamura is fierce and determined to redeem himself after two straight loses. He makes his big time pay-per-view debut against The Ultimate Fighter 5 competitor Emerson. Rob “The Saint” Emerson (8-6, 1 no contest) 5’9”/155 lbs., fighting out of Irvine, Calif., has a rough and tumble fighting style, ready to take on anyone. With this fighting spirit, the ironically named “Saint” burst in to the MMA world in season five of The Ultimate Fighter. After leaving the finale with a “no contest” to the experienced Gray Maynard, Emerson is prepared to make a not-to-be-missed appearance on Super Saturday. With a lot to win and a lot to lose “K-Taro” and “The Saint” will go head-to-head for a lightweight rumble.

For more information about UFC 81 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.