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

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Courtesy of the Ultimate Fighting Championship:

For Immediate Release:
February 12, 2009


Live from the Nationwide Arena, Saturday March 7, 2009 – Tickets on Sale Now

Las Vegas, NV (USA) –The Ultimate Fighting Championship® (UFC®) proudly confirms the remaining bouts for UFC 96: JACKSON vs. JARDINE, live from the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio on Saturday, March 7, 2009.

Tickets for UFC 96 are on sale and are priced at $350, $250, $150, $100, $60 and $35. Tickets are available at all Ticketmaster locations, and by telephone at 800-929-1111 or 800-745-3000. Tickets also are available for purchase at ufc.com or www.ticketmaster.com.

UFC 96 will be available live on pay-per-view 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).

With a blockbuster main event already inked, nine more top-tier bouts are set to highlight the UFC’s third trip to Columbus.

Just minutes before former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson mixes it up with Keith Jardine in the main event, Matt Hamill (fighting out of Utica, N.Y.) will touch gloves with former WEC light heavyweight Mark Munoz (fighting out of Sacramento, Calif.). The last time Loveland’s Hamill returned to his native Ohio for a fight, he TKO’d Rex Holman in the first round at UFC 68. Now the decorated college wrestler faces another grappler with the credentials to give the UFC’s only deaf fighter a true test on the mat. Munoz, an NCAA Division I national wrestling champion at Oklahoma State, stopped both of his WEC opponents within a round and brings a 5-0 professional mixed martial arts record into the Octagon™ for his UFC debut.

It was a successful drop down to welterweight for Long Island’s Pete Sell (fighting out of Westbury, N.Y.). The 26-year-old, six-fight veteran of the UFC made his 170-pound debut against talented Josh Burkman. The West Islip, N.Y. native secured a unanimous decision victory and now turns his focus to The Ultimate Fighter® Season 7 alumnus Matt Brown (fighting out of Cincinnati, Ohio). The 28-year-old Xenia, Ohio native submitted Ryan Thomas at UFC 91 in his last match has won two of his three UFC matches leading into this pivotal bout in front of his hometown fans.

Highly regarded heavyweight contender Gabriel Gonzaga (fighting out of Ludlow, Mass.) has rattled off consecutive first-round wins against Justin McCully and Josh Hendricks in recent months. Now “Napao” looks to make it three in a row against undefeated 34-year-old Shane Carwin (fighting out of Denver, Colo.) The 10-0 Greeley, Colorado native has impressed UFC fans with two consecutive first-round stoppages against Christian Wellisch and Neil Wain.

It’s been difficult for UFC fighters in the lightweight division to take down three-time NCAA Division I All-American wrestler Gray Maynard (fighting out of Las Vegas, Nev.) on the mat or in the loss column. The undefeated Phoenix, Arizona native has four consecutive UFC wins after one no contest and will now meet his greatest test in the Octagon when he faces Jim Miller (fighting out of Whippany, N.J.). The Sparta, New Jersey born fighter submitted David Baron in his UFC debut at UFC 89 and earned a unanimous decision victory against Matt Wiman less than two months later.

The 22-year-old Tamdan McCrory (Cortland, N.Y.) already has two wins in his young UFC career and now the Ithaca, N.Y. born fighter faces former kickboxing champion Ryan Madigan (fighting out of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio). With a 5-0 professional mixed martial arts mark, the skilled striker has actually won his last two MMA matches via triangle choke.

Kendall “Da Spyder” Grove (fighting out of Maui, Hawaii) scored the biggest win of his UFC career last June when he decisioned former UFC middleweight champion Evan Tanner. Now the 6-foot-6 battler is back in the Octagon and ready to take on Jason Day (fighting out of Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada). The 29-year-old middleweight blasted onto the UFC scene with a blazing first-round TKO victory against UFC talent Alan Belcher at UFC 83, and he’s looking to match that explosive performance against Grove on March 7th.

When he’s at his best, 28-year-old Jeet Kune Do specialist Tim Boetsch (fighting out of Sunbury, Pa.) is known to overwhelm his opponents. With first-round TKO victories against David Heath and Michael Patt, the Camden, Maine native’s unorthodox attack can truly be disarming. One man that is up for the challenge is Jason Brilz (fighting out of Omaha, Neb.). The 16-1-1 fighter is currently on a 12-fight win streak, continuing that dominance with a TKO win against Brad Morris in his UFC debut last September.

Coming off a tough split decision loss to UFC light heavyweight contender Keith Jardine, former heavyweight Brandon Vera (fighting out of San Diego, Calif.) is eager to get back to the form that had him pegged as one of the UFC’s new breed of stars. On March 7th, the 31-year-old former Air Force serviceman takes on Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Michael Patt (fighting out of Dayton, Ohio), who has 11 first-round submission victories on his resume.

After earning a unanimous decision victory against respected MMA veteran Jorge Gurgel, Aaron Riley (fighting out of Seattle, Wash.) hopes to continue his winning ways at 155 pounds. The 28-year-old from Tell City, Indiana is a veteran of 38 professional mixed martial arts fights, going 27-10-1. Now Riley begins the night of action in Columbus against 25-year-old Shane Nelson (fighting out of Hilo, Hawaii). A training partner of UFC lightweight champion BJ Penn, Nelson impressed in his UFC debut with a split decision victory against George Roop last December.

The UFC first arrived in Columbus for one historic night in March 2007 as Randy Couture beat Tim Sylvia and won the heavyweight crown for an unprecedented third time in the main event of UFC 68. The show’s gate, which surpassed $3 million, set a Nationwide Arena record; and the 19,000 fans who saw the fights live helped set a record for the highest North American attendance figure for a mixed martial arts event.

Last March, the UFC returned to Columbus as 15,300 people watched Anderson Silva successfully defend his middleweight title against then PRIDE® champion Dan Henderson. The star-studded matchup grossed a gate of $2.2 million at Nationwide.

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, Bell ExpressVU, SaskTel Max™, Shaw Pay-Per-View, Viewers Choice, and WOWOW in Japan, and via the Internet worldwide on Yahoo! Sports, and commercially through Joe Hand Promotions in the U.S. and Canadastar in Canada. 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 ufc.com or uk.ufc.com or 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.