This year, the Ultimate Fighting Championship provides another reason to look forward to the Fourth of July weekend as the remaining bouts of UFC 116: LESNAR vs. CARWIN, presented by Bud Light, is now confirmed. UFC 116, which will consolidate the heavyweight titles held by Brock Lesnar and Shane Carwin, will be accentuated by some of the most notable fighters in the UFC. The undercard bouts feature the following matchups:
- Yoshihiro Akiyama vs. Wanderlei Silva,
- Matt Brown vs. Chris Lytle,
- Stephan Bonnar vs. Krzysztof Soszynski,
- Kurt Pellegrino vs. George Sotiropoulous,
- Chris Tuchscherer vs. Brendan Schaub,
- Goran Reljic vs. Kendall Grove,
- Ricardo Romero vs. Seth Petruzelli,
- Dave Branch vs. Gerald Harris,
- Daniel Roberts vs. Forrest Petz
- Karlos Vemola vs. Jon Madsen
Tickets for UFC 116 are on sale now for $1000, $750, $500, $300, $200 and $100, not including applicable service charges, and go on sale Thursday, May 13, at 10 a.m. PT at all Las Vegas Ticketmaster locations (select Smith’s Food and Drug Centers and Ritmo Latino). Ticket sales are limited to eight (8) per person. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Tickets also are available for purchase at UFC.com, www.mgmgrand.com or http://www.ticketmaster.com/.
UFC 116 is available live on Pay-Per-View at 10pm ET/7pm PT on iN DEMAND, DIRECTV, DISH Network, TVN, BellTV, Shaw Communications, Sasktel, and Viewer’s Choice Canada for a suggested retail price of $44.99 US/$49.99 CAN for standard definition or high-definition broadcasts (where available).
After a spectacular UFC debut a year ago, Yoshihiro Akiyama (fighting out of Osaka, Japan/13-1, 2 NC professional record) is set to make his long-awaited return to the Octagon. In his first fight, Akiyama won a split decision over Alan Belcher, while also taking home “Fight of the Night” honors in the middleweight contest. Throughout his mixed martial arts career, Akiyama has been known for his submissions and knockout power. While Akiyama is a relative newcomer to the UFC, his opponent Wanderlei “The Axe Murderer” Silva (fighting out of Las Vegas, Nev./33-10-1,1 NC) is a veteran of the sport and a legend to his fan base. Having fought in 45 matches, Silva has defeated some of the most notable names in MMA such as Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Dan Henderson and Michael Bisping. Silva is known for his power, as 23 of his 33 victories have come by way of knockout.
Featured in the “swing” bout of UFC 116, Matt “The Immortal” Brown (fighting out of Cincinnati, Ohio/13-8) has been victorious in three of his last four fights, including a TKO of James Wilks. Brown has excelled in his striking ability and conditioning, however his tenacity will be tested when he battles Chris “Lights Out” Lytle (fighting out of Indianapolis, Ind./38-17-4). Lytle, a former professional boxer and a very experienced welterweight, is coming off two consecutive wins over Kevin Burns and Brian Foster. This fight should be very entertaining as both fighters do not fear exchanging blows for three rounds.
In a highly anticipated light heavyweight rematch, “The American Psycho” Stephan Bonnar (fighting out of Las Vegas, Nev./14-7) looks to avenge his TKO loss at UFC 110, which came due to a cut. Bonnar has been a highly recognized fighter in the UFC since 2005 after his battle with Forrest Griffin in the finale of the first season of The Ultimate Fighter. This fight is important for Bonnar to gain some much needed momentum. Krzysztof “The Polish Experiement” Soszynski (fighting out of Temecula, Calif. via Winnipeg, MB, Canada/20-10-1) is not only coming off the victory over Bonnar, but he has also won four of his five fights in the UFC. Not only does he possess the power that he displayed against Bonnar, but he also has an impressive set of submission skills, as two of his four UFC victories have come by way of arm-lock submissions.
Riding a four fight win streak that dates back to September of 2008, Kurt “Batman” Pellegrino (fighting out of Point Pleasant, N.J./21-4) has been a very successful fighter in the UFC. Pellegrino’s background in wrestling and Brazilian jiu-jitsu have enabled him to become a highly technical fighter, with four of his seven UFC wins coming by way of submission. His opponent George Sotiropoulos (fighting out of Vancouver, Wash./12-2) has also proved to be an Octagon standout, as he has defeated all five opponents he has faced. Making his debut at The Ultimate Fighter Finale 6, The Australian-born lightweight has shown to be a well-rounded fighter who can win through striking or submissions.
Chris “The Crowbar” Tuchscherer (fighting out of Fargo, N.D./18-2, 1 NC) has been able to translate a successful collegiate wrestling background into an impressive MMA record. A two-time Division II All-American and current training partner to UFC heavyweight champ Brock Lesnar, Tuchscherer is coming off a victory over Tim Hague at UFC 109. With only two fights under his belt in the UFC, Tuchscherer hopes a win over the up-and-coming Brendan “The Hybrid” Schaub (fighting out of Denver, Colo./6-1) could be a stepping stone to future successes. In his short career, Schaub has impressed many after being the runner-up on the 10th season of The Ultimate Fighter. Schaub is coming off a TKO of Chase Gormley, who he defeated in just 47 seconds. This fight between these two prospects will be an intriguing heavyweight matchup.
After an intense battle with CB Dollaway at UFC 110, Goran Reljic (fighting out of Zadar, Croatia/8-1) is up against another tough fighter at UFC 116. Reljic has an impressive overall record, with two bouts in the UFC. The Croatian fighter is a counter striker, with knockout power from his hands and feet, which is a dangerous combination for his opponent Kendall “Da Spyder” Grove (fighting out of Maui, HI/13-7, 1 NC). At 6-foot-6, Grove has a reach that makes him a tough matchup for most middleweights. The veteran Hawaiian fighter has shown to be well-rounded, as his last three wins have come from three different methods (decision, TKO, submission).
Ricardo Romero (fighting out of North Brunswick, N.J./10-1) will be making his Ultimate Fighting Championship debut at UFC 116 in an attempt to take his MMA career to another level. Romero has accumulated 10 wins in his career and has shown he is not fond of leaving his fate in the hands of the judges, as nine of those wins have come by way of knockout or submission. “The Silverback” Seth Petruzelli (fighting out of Orlando, Fla./14-5) is a training partner of UFC veteran Tom Lawlor and makes his return back to the UFC. With a notable win over Kimbo Slice, Petruzelli’s first fight back has garnered plenty of buzz among fight fans.
Another fighter making his UFC debut is Dave Branch (fighting out of Brooklyn, N.Y./6-0), who is undefeated in his short MMA career. He has a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and is a member of the Renzo Gracie fight team. His opponent Gerald “Hurricane” Harris (fighting out of Tulsa, Okla./15-2) has a wrestling background and uses powerful slams. Harris has defeated his last two opponents by TKO, most recently taking down Mario Miranda at UFC Fight Night in March.
Daniel “Ninja” Roberts (fighting out of Tulsa, Okla./9-1) is a very athletic fighter who is a former college wrestler. He has combined his wrestling background with jiu-jitsu to post an impressive record, with most of his victories coming via submission. Now the Oklahoma product looks to get his 10th professional win against a very experienced opponent. Forrest Petz (fighting out of Cleveland, Ohio/24-7) will be making his return to the UFC. “The Meat Cleaver” has won five out of seven fights since 2007 and the Cleveland native looks to continue his winning ways back in the UFC.
With only seven professional fights under his belt, Karlos “The Terminator” Vemola (fighting out of Prague, Czech Republic/7-0) is not only a newcomer to the UFC, but also to the sport itself. Vemola has won all of his fights in his career, with three by knockout and four by submission. Jon Madsen (fighting out of Granite City, Ill./5-0) is another fighter who is undefeated through his short career. A former Division II National wrestling champion, Madsen has two victories in the UFC, most recently a unanimous decision win over Mostapha Al Turk at UFC 112.
For more information, or current UFC fight news, visit www.UFC.com.