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Thursday, March 6, 2008


Courtesy of the Ultimate Fighting Championship:

For Immediate Release:
March 6, 2008





Tickets on Sale March 7 at 10am GMT

Las Vegas, NV (USA) – This summer, the biggest star in combat sports will travel to London, England to take on his first undefeated opponent in seven years as Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell collides with 16-0-1 “Sugar” Rashad Evans in the Ultimate Fighting Championship® (UFC®) organization main event of UFC 85: LIDDELL vs. EVANS at the O2 Arena on Saturday, June 7.

“Chuck showed in his last fight against Wanderlei Silva that he’s regained the fire he needs to win back the UFC Light Heavyweight title,” said UFC President Dana White, “But to earn that opportunity he now has to do what no one else has been able to do - and that’s defeat Rashad Evans.”

White added, “Chuck was supposed to fight Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at UFC 85 but before the ink was even dry on the contract, Rua hurt his knee and was out. But I’m excited that Rashad jumped all over this when we offered him the fight. Rashad brings a completely different set of problems to Chuck Liddell; he has great wrestling and some of the fastest strikes in the entire division. Both guys know whoever wins in London is right in line for a UFC title shot.”

Tickets for UFC 85: LIDDELL vs. EVANS will go on public sale March 7 at 10am GMT and will be priced at £45, £75, £125, £175, £200 and £295. Tickets are available through www.ticketmaster.co.uk and the 02 Arena Box Office.

“With the confirmation Rashad Evans is in the main event with Chuck, London’s hottest ticket of the summer just got even hotter,” said UFC UK Division President Marshall Zelaznik. “Our British fans have been dying to see Chuck fight live and now they've got the chance to see him take on one of the most dangerous opponents of his career.”

One of the biggest stars in American sports, Liddell, 21-5, is coming off a thrilling three round win over Wanderlei Silva in a fight which easily lived up to over four years of expectations. Now the 38-year-old power-puncher and guest star of hit shows such as HBO’s Entourage continues on his quest to regain his UFC Light Heavyweight Championship from Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.

“I'm real excited about fighting in London,” Liddell said. “Rashad is a difficult challenge for me, he’s getting better with every fight. He’s unbeaten and he doesn't know how to lose - but I always go in expecting a knockout. This is going to be a very exciting fight for the British fans.”

Since winning Season 2 of The Ultimate Fighter® Evans, 28, has ripped his way to the top of the 205lbs rankings. In 2007, he announced his arrived as a top contender for the UFC title with a one-kick knockout of Sean Salmon, followed by a controversial draw with Tito Ortiz and then a career-best victory over the previously undefeated Michael Bisping.

“I had no hesitation taking this fight,” said Evans. “Liddell is a legend but I think I am the best and the only way to prove that is to fight and beat the best. My wrestling is stronger than his, but I can also fight this whole fight striking if I want to.”

Also confirmed for the UFC’s third London card in six years is a crucial heavyweight bout between feared Brazilian submission specialist Fabricio Werdum and heavy-handed Brandon “The Truth” Vera.

Werdum - who will be fighting in England for the third time in 14 months - is coming off a stunning come-from-behind victory over former UFC Heavyweight Title challenger Gabriel Gonzaga in Newcastle in January.

“This is an important fight for me, I want the belt and Brandon Vera is in the way,” said the 10-3-1 Werdum. “I have been up against some of the best strikers in MMA and have never been stopped - I am confident I will get the win. I look forward to fighting in London – it is one of my favourite cities and I also have some family there. All the UFC fans in the UK will see a fight to remember.”

Meanwhile, Vera, 8-1, will be looking to regain some of the breakneck upward momentum he lost last October when a severely broken thumb conspired with Tim Sylvia to snap “The Truth’s” unbeaten record. The hard hitting 30-year-old had stopped all four previous UFC opponents including former champ Frank Mir and has vowed to return to the kind of form which made many experts dub him a future UFC champion.

“I am still disappointed with that last fight and can’t wait to get to London to show the real Brandon Vera,” said the Californian. “Werdum is a fighter who has no fear, he’s like a robot in that he goes about his gameplan until he gets the win. I think this really will be a mixed martial arts fight – you will see it all in this fight.”

The remaining bouts for UFC 85 will be announced in the near future. All bouts are live and subject to change. For further information on the UFC visit www.ufc.com or uk.ufc.com or www.ufcespanol.com.

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 North American cable and satellite providers including iNDEMAND Networks, DIRECTV, DISH Network, TVN Entertainment, Shaw Pay-Per-View, Bell ExpressVU, Viewers Choice and via the Internet worldwide on Yahoo! Sports, and commercially through Joe Hand Promotions. In addition to its North American 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.