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

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Courtesy of the Ultimate Fighting Championship:

For Immediate Release:
July 29, 2008



Las Vegas, NV (USA) – The Ultimate Fighting Championship® (UFC®) organization today announced the remaining fights for the upcoming UFC 87: SEEK AND DESTROY card, which features the UFC® Welterweight Title bout between Champion Georges St-Pierre and number one contender Jon Fitch, Live from Target Center in Minneapolis , Minnesota.

Just confirmed for the UFC 87 main card and undercard are exciting matchups between Robert Emerson vs. Manvel Gamburyan; Demian Maia vs. Jason MacDonald; Tamden McCrory vs. Luke Cummo; Dan Evensen vs. Cheick Kongo; Jon Jones vs. Andre Gusmao; Steve Bruno vs. Chris Wilson; and Ben Saunders vs. Ryan Thomas.

Tickets for UFC 87: SEEK AND DESTROY are on sale now and priced at $600, $400, $250, $125, $75 and $50. They are available at Target Center's Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, online at ticketmaster.com or by calling 651.989.5151.

UFC 87: SEEK AND DESTROY 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).

Robert Emerson (9-6, 1 NC) 5’9”/155 lbs., fighting out of Irvine, Calif. is known for being a hard hitting striker. A pro since 2002, who made his debut against former UFC lightweight champion Jens Pulver, Emerson undoubtedly paid his dues in mixed martial arts, not only with that bout, but by squaring off against the likes of Melvin Guillard, Javier Vasquez, and Dokonjonosuke Mishima in his formative years as a fighter. In 2007, he burst on the world scene with his stint on season five of The Ultimate Fighter®. Emerson engaged in an exciting battle with Gray Maynard in the season finale before the bout was ruled a no contest. Following his big win in February over Keita Nakamura, Emerson returns to face Manvel Gamburyan (10-3). What started as a dream run to the finals of The Ultimate Fighter’s fifth season for Gamburyan soon turned into a nightmare when a severe shoulder injury forced him to submit in the second round of his final bout against Nate Diaz. It was a disappointing finish for the 5’5”/155 lb. sparkplug, who thrilled fans with his aggressive style and charisma and let opponents know that size didn’t matter. Living up to his nickname of “Pitbull” after the injury, Gamburyan healed up, got back in the gym, and scored big wins over Nate Mohr and Jeff Cox in successive bouts. Now he just wants to fight as often as possible and he gets his chance once again as he takes on Emerson.

Jason “The Athlete” MacDonald (21-9) 6’3”/185 lbs., fighting out of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, took close to seven years to get to the UFC. Once he got here with a first round win over Ed Herman in October of 2006, he made it clear that he was not going to be leaving anytime soon. Since then, “The Athlete” has won three of five fights in the Octagon™, defeating Chris Leben, Rory Singer, and old nemesis Joe Doerksen. He will be pushed to the limit once again by Jiu-Jitsu master Demian Maia, and MacDonald promises fireworks. But when a world-class grappler enters the MMA world, there is always a little skepticism. Sao Paulo, Brazil’s Maia (8-0) 6’0”/185 lb., winner of a seemingly endless array of grappling tournaments, including the world championships, Abu Dhabi, and Pan Ams, may be the exception to the rule. He is without question one of the premier Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioners in the world today, even owning a grappling win over UFC heavyweight contender Gabriel Gonzaga. From the first time he put the gloves on in pro mixed martial arts, Maia has continued to impress. His transition to the pro game being smooth enough to garner him eight victories without a loss, with only one fight going the three round distance. Last October, he made his UFC debut with a first round submission win over Ryan Jensen, and in April he was even more impressive in submitting Ed Herman. Now Maia will go to battle with MacDonald.

Luke “The Silent Assassin” Cummo (9-5) 6’0”/170 lbs., fighting out of Long Island, NY first entered the consciousness of fight fans during the second season of The Ultimate Fighter series. The consensus was that this 28-year-old wasn’t your typical fighter. Despite his quirky behavior outside the Octagon, once Cummo stepped inside of it, it was clear that with his crisp standup game and knockout power, he was a fighter to be reckoned with. Since losing a close decision to Joe Stevenson in The Ultimate Fighter Season 2 finale in 2005, Cummo, a protégé of former welterweight champion Matt Serra, has continued to put on exciting fights. He pounded out a decision win over Jason Von Flue, and scored knockouts over Josh Haynes and Edilberto Crocota, all the while accelerating his development as a complete mixed martial artist. “The Silent Assassin” looks to get back in the win column after a hard fought decision loss to Luigi Fioravanti in March when he takes on fellow New Yorker Tamdan “The Barn Cat” McCrory (10-1). Cortland, New York’s McCrory may not look like your stereotypical fighter, but when the bell rings, all bets are off as the 6’4”/170 lb. banger immediately garners respect from his opponents for his size, power, and underrated ground game. Winner of his first UFC fight by submission over Pete Spratt in June of 2007, the 20-year old “Barn Cat” may have fallen short in an exciting bout against former PRIDE star Akihiro Gono last November. He plans on rebounding in style against Luke Cummo.

Cheick Kongo (21-4-1) 6’4”/240 lbs., fighting out of Paris, France was relatively unknown when he made his UFC debut in July of 2006 against Gilbert Aldana. He answered that question quickly and emphatically as he halted his rugged foe in a little over four minutes of the first round. Not everyone was sold on the dynamic striker, so Kongo jumped back in the Octagon a month later to defeat Christian Wellisch. After a temporary setback against Carmelo Marrero, he impressively defeated Assuerio Silva and PRIDE superstar Mirko Cro Cop in successive bouts. Even though he fell short via split decision against Heath Herring in March, he knows that if he gets by Dan Evensen, he will move one step closer to challenging for the title he has longed for since he began training. Dan “The Viking” Evensen (10-2-0) 6’5”/260 lbs., fighting out of Norway, is an imposing new force in the heavyweight division. Norway native Evensen won’t be looking for takedowns against Kongo, instead he’s searching for the knockout, something that has come naturally to him since his pro debut in 2002. Since his first fight, six of his ten wins have come by TKO or KO. With a four fight winning streak under his belt, he’s right on time to make his first trip to the UFC Octagon.

Andre Gusmao (5-0) 6’2”/205 lbs., fighting out of Goiania, Brazil is a former law student. This highly-touted light heavyweight prospect has incorporated a unique mix of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Capoeira into his fight game. The results have been perfect so far for the Brazilian who has put together an undefeated record that includes two knockout wins over always tough Mike Ciesnolevicz and only one decision victory. The 31-year old Gusmao, a protégé of Renzo Gracie, puts that unbeaten slate on the line against Jon Jones (6-0) 6’4”/205 lbs. A newcomer to the UFC Jones is a member of the Northeast-based Team BombSquad. At just 20 years old, Jones was a stand-out high school wrestler and state champion. He also recently won a national JUCO championship at Iowa Central Community College before applying his trade to MMA. Despite his strong base in wrestling, though, Jones has finished five of his six victories via knockout (with one submission win). He will now face the toughest test of his young career in Gusmao.

Chris “The Professor” Wilson (12-4, 1 NC) 6’1”/170 lbs., is a well rounded battler from Portland, Ore. Wilson made his UFC debut in March after four years of building a reputation as one of the most talented welterweights in the game today. After his spirited effort in losing a hard-fought three round decision to top welterweight contender Jon Fitch, “The Professor” has staked his claim as a legitimate contender in the Octagon. Owner of victories over UFC veterans Brandon Melendez, Jay Hieron, Rory Markham and Derrick Noble, the confident Wilson is back to square off against newcomer Steve Bruno. A retired Naval air crewman, Brooklyn’s Bruno 5’10”/170 lbs., relocated to Florida to train. The results for the talented 26-year old have been evident as he has compiled a 12-3 record that includes four straight wins that have all come by TKO, KO, or submission. For this jiu-jitsu fighter with the knockout punch, his previous success doesn’t mean a thing until he makes his mark in the Octagon. Now, American Top Team’s Bruno gets a tough assignment for his first UFC bout, as he takes on welterweight contender Wilson.

Ben “Killa B” Saunders (5-0-2) 6’3”/170 lbs., fighting out of Orlando, Fla., is unbeaten in seven pro fights. The 25-year old Saunders established himself as a fighter to watch with his stint on season six of The Ultimate Fighter. More importantly, he showed the heart of a champion by rising from a first round knockdown to beat Dan Barrera in their memorable war on the show. Saunders wouldn’t be able to move on with his promising career until he settled all his business with Barrera, something “Killa B” did with a dominating three round unanimous decision win over his rival at The Ultimate Fighter 6 finale last December. Even though he didn’t get the finish he wanted, Saunders did earn another shot to get into the UFC Octagon, this time against newcomer Ryan “The Tank Engine” Thomas (9-1). Fighting out of Danville, Ill., Thomas 6”0/170 lbs. is a division I wrestler from Eastern Illinois University and is well versed in jui jitsu. “The Tank Engine” is looking to push the pace against Saunders and come out with a win in his UFC debut.

For more information about UFC 87, UFC 88, UFC Fight Night, UFC 89, UFC 90 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 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.