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

Saturday, April 19, 2008


Courtesy of the Ultimate Fighting Championship:

For Immediate Release:
April 19, 2008



Tickets Go On Sale Saturday, April 19 at 12 Noon PT

Las Vegas, NV (USA) – Former UFC® middleweight champion and one of the sport’s pioneers, Evan Tanner, takes on rising star and The Ultimate Fighter® Season 3 victor Kendall Grove as the main event of the live The Ultimate Fighter 7 Finale fight card on Saturday, June 21 live from The Pearl at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas. The fight card will be the first ever presented in high definition on Spike TV, beginning at 9pm ET/PT (tape delayed). Doors will open at 2:30pm PT; first bout will begin at 3:30pm PT.

Tickets for The Ultimate Fighter® 7 Finale are $350, $250 and $150, plus any additional box office or service fees, and go on-sale Saturday, April 19 at 12 Noon PT. Please visit any Ticketmaster location, call 702-474-4000 or visit www.ticketmaster.com to purchase tickets.

Before his debut at UFC 18 in January 1999, Tanner (34-7) lived quite an adventurous and often nomadic existence, doing everything from installing cable TV in South Dakota to building beach houses in North Carolina, to laying concrete in Montana. Tanner found his calling in the Octagon™ and after three straight victories earned a shot at the UFC crown. However, then light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz knocked out Tanner less than a minute to retain his title. The determined Tanner won seven of his next eight bouts including a first round TKO over David Terrell in February 2005 at UFC 51, to claim the vacant UFC middleweight title. However, his reign was short-lived as he lost to Rich Franklin in June 2005 at UFC 53 via TKO (stoppage due to cuts). Most recently, he lost to heralded Japanese contender Yushin Okami at UFC 82 this past March.

The 6’6” Grove (10-5) is a Hawaiian native who honed his skills as a competitor on The Ultimate Fighter 3. Two recent defeats at the hands of veterans Patrick Cote (UFC 74 in August of 2007) and Jorge Rivera (UFC 80 in January of 2008) after an auspicious 3-0 start in the UFC makes this battle with Tanner a must-win for the 25-year old Grove.

As the night’s special feature, Diego “The Nightmare” Sanchez takes on hard-hitting Luigi Fioravanti.

Sanchez (20-2), fighting out of Albuquerque, NM, burst onto the UFC scene with incredible fanfare after winning The Ultimate Fighter 1 crown against Kenny Florian. After six consecutive wins over such notable opponents as Karo Parisyan, John Alessio, and Nick Diaz, it seemed Sanchez was clearly destined to wear the UFC welterweight crown. However, Sanchez’s lofty title hopes were derailed by two consecutive losses including a three-round decision to bitter foe and The Ultimate Fighter 1 castmate, Josh Koschek, at UFC 69 last April and a split decision loss to Jon Fitch last September at UFC 76. Now, the Gaidojuijitsu black belt is back on the winning track after submitting Brazilian native David Bielkheden in March at UFC 82.

Fioravanti (12-2), from Orlando, FL, is coming off an impressive victory in March over Luke Cummo at UFC 82. As tough as his opponent Sanchez will be, the 27 year-old has most certainly been in more perilous situations. Fioravanti is a decorated Marine who was part of the first wave of troops to arrive in the Middle East for the ongoing Iraq War. After seeing dangerous action during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Fioravanti returned to the U.S. in 2004 to begin training for a professional MMA career.

For more information about The Ultimate Fighter Season 7 Finale, UFC 84, UFC 85 or any upcoming UFC event, visit www.ufc.com or uk.ufc.com. All bouts are live and subject to change.

Spike TV is available in 96.1 million homes and is a division of MTV Networks. MTV Networks is a division of Viacom International Inc. (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B).

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.