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- FINALIZED LINE-UP FOR UFC 73: STACKED

Posted on by MMAWeekly.com Staff

Press Release (Courtesy of UFC)
ULTIMATE FIGHTING CHAMPIONSHIP® ANNOUNCES FULL CARD LINE UP FOR UFC 73: STACKED

ANDERSON SILVA vs. NATE MARQUARDT
SEAN SHERK vs. HERMES FRANCA
TITO ORTIZ vs. RASHAD EVANS
HEATH HERRING vs. “MINOTAURO” NOGUEIRA
KENNY FLORIAN vs. ALVIN ROBINSON
STEPHAN BONNAR vs. MIKE NICKELS
JORGE GURGEL vs. DIEGO SARAIVA
CHRIS LYTLE vs. JASON GILLIAM
FRANKIE EDGAR vs. MARK BOCEK

SATURDAY, JULY 7 LIVE FROM ARCO ARENA

Las Vegas, Nev. (USA) – The Ultimate Fighting Championship® (UFC®) today announced the full line-up of fights for UFC 73: STACKED including two intense championship bouts and a heated grudge match between two light heavyweight rivals. UFC 73: STACKED features UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson “The Spider” Silva in his first title defense vs. Nate “The Great” Marquardt. UFC Lightweight Champion Sean “The Muscle Shark” Sherk puts his newly-won belt on the line vs. Brazil’s Hermes Franca. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira steps into the Octagon™ for the first time for a heavyweight war with Heath Herring – and Tito Ortiz intends to put a painful end to Rashad Evans’ perfect 15-0 record. Let the fireworks begin. UFC 73, loaded with UFC superstars, takes place LIVE from ARCO Arena in Sacramento, Calif. Saturday, July 7, 2007.

UFC 73: STACKED features a solid undercard with Kenny Florian vs. Alvin Robinson; Stephan Bonnar vs. Mike Nickels; Jorge Gurgel vs. Diego Saraiva; Chris Lytle vs. Jason Gilliam; and Frankie Edgar vs. Mark Bocek.

Silva (18-4-0) 6’2″/185 lbs., fighting out of Curitiba, Brazil, defeated Rich Franklin by first round TKO at UFC 64 to become the new UFC Middleweight Champion. He is an extremely well-rounded fighter with phenomenal striking skills. “The Spider” is looking forward to fighting Marquardt and nabbing his first successful title defense in the UFC. Marquardt (28-6-1) 6’0″/185lbs., fighting out of Denver, Colo., has yet to disappoint in mixed martial arts competition. Marquardt holds wins over Ivan Salaverry, Joe Doerksen, Crafton Wallace and Dean Lister. Marquardt has earned this shot at UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva, and plans to take out the Brazilian champion and take home his middleweight crown.

In a second championship bout, UFC Lightweight Champion Sean Sherk will take on Hermes Franca in his first title defense since defeating Kenny Florian in October of last year.

Sean “The Muscle Shark” Sherk (35-2-1) 5’11″/155 lbs., fighting out of Oak Grove, Minn., holds an incredible MMA record, with only two losses. The first came to Matt Hughes for the UFC World Welterweight title. Sherk went on to win 12 straight fights before losing by TKO in the second round to Georges St-Pierre. Sherk is an excellent wrestler and is one of the pound-for-pound strongest competitors in the sport. He defeated Kenny Florian in a battle for the vacant UFC lightweight title last October at UFC 64 to become champion in the newly restored weight division. “The Muscle Shark’s” opponent, Hermes Franca (19-5-0) 5’6″/155lbs., has won his last eight fights – all by knockout or submission. Included in this amazing streak are UFC wins over Joe Jordan, Jamie Varner, and most recently a TKO over Spencer Fisher. This 32-year old ground ace from Fortaleza, Brazil wants to win the lightweight crown by finishing the fight Hermes-style.

“Huntington Beach Bad Boy” Tito Ortiz (16-5-0) 6’2″/204 lbs., is a charismatic native of Huntington Beach, Calif., 32-year old Ortiz has felt the highs and lows of competing at the elite level for much of his ten year career. To his credit, he is not only still standing, but he’s a win or two away for challenging for the UFC light heavyweight championship belt he once held. Owner of impressive victories over a Who’s Who of mixed martial arts such as Wanderlei Silva, Guy Mezger, Ken Shamrock (three times), Vitor Belfort, and Forrest Griffin, Ortiz – who also holds the UFC record for most successful light heavyweight title defenses at five – has at times seemed unstoppable when unleashing his ground and pound attack. Losses to Randy “The Natural” Couture and Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell (twice) have shown that Ortiz is human just like everyone else. He knows that if he is to get back to the top of the division to challenge new champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, he needs to beat Rashad Evans in a crossroads bout between the experienced former champion and the young star on the rise. Ortiz expects to rise to the occasion against Rashad “Sugar” Evans. The undefeated Michigan native (15-0-0) 5’11″/205 lbs., is a highly regarded star on the rise and hasn’t lost in competition since his days as a Division I wrestler at Michigan State University. Since leaving college, Evans has compiled a solid pro mixed martial arts record that includes winning season two of The Ultimate Fighter®, and post-The Ultimate Fighter victories over Stephan Bonnar, Jason Lambert, and Sean Salmon. His wins over Lambert and Salmon were particularly revealing, as they showed that the 27-year old was more than just a takedown artist as he pounded out Lambert on the mat and knocked out Salmon with a single leg kick. His road to the title goes through Ortiz – his toughest foe to date.

Antonio Rodrigo “Minotauro” Nogueira (29-4-1) 6’1″/240 lbs., fighting out of Rio De Janeiro, Brazil is one of mixed martial arts’ premier heavyweights. “Minotauro” returns to fight in the United States for the first time since 2000 and will make his UFC debut against one of his toughest foes in Heath “The Texas Crazy Horse” Herring. A premier ground fighter with a Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Nogueira is known for his varied offensive attack and his habit of never being in a boring fight. The former PRIDE heavyweight champion, Nogueira holds wins over Herring, Mirko “Cro Cop”, Dan Henderson, Ricco Rodriguez, Josh Barnett, Mark Coleman, and Fabricio Werdum. On July 7th, fight fans will be in for a treat when Nogueira enters the Octagon to face “The Texas Crazy Horse.” Herring (27-12-1) 6’4″/250 lbs., hailing from the Lone Star State but fighting out of Las Vegas, Nev., is a perennial heavyweight contender and a tough out for anyone in the game. He is coming off a unanimous decision over 6 foot 7 giant Brad Imes at UFC 69, and is looking to ascend further up the UFC ranks with a payback win over “Minotauro” at UFC 73.

Florian (8-3-0) 5’10″/155 lbs., fights out of Boston, Mass. “KenFlo’s” road to respect has taken him from the first season finale of The Ultimate Fighter and the 185-pound weight class down to the reinstated lightweight division and a series of convincing wins that earned him a shot at the vacant 155-pound title last October against perennial contender Sean Sherk. In a torrid five round war with “The Muscle Shark,” Florian would show the heart and skill of a champion, and though he would fall short via a decision, his place among the elite in the UFC’s most exciting division was secure. Florian began on the road back to a title shot with a submission win over Dokonjonosuke Mishima in April, and he looks to take out Alvin “The Kid” Robinson. “The Kid” (9-1-0) 5’8″/155 lbs., fighting out of Denver, Colo., is an up and coming lightweight prospect with a solid record. Robinson counts the rear naked choke as his favorite fighting technique, and he’s shown an unwavering affection for the finisher throughout his two year pro MMA career, as he’s ended five of his nine wins with the hold. In his fight at UFC 73 he’ll try to catch former world title challenger Florian with it, and if he does, the 24-year old Denver product will announce his arrival in the UFC with an emphatic roar.

Bonnar (12-4-0) 6’4″/205 lbs., fighting out of Chicago Ill., has had an up and down journey in his MMA career. Bonnar burst on the scene with his razor-thin decision loss to Forrest Griffin in the finals of the first season of The Ultimate Fighter. Three wins in a row followed before back-to-back losses to Rashad Evans and a rematch with Griffin. Now the comeback begins, and Mike Nickels is in his way. Nickels (5-1-0) 6’4″/205 lbs., fighting out of Denver, Colo., may not have the experience of some of his peers, but this member of the season three cast of The Ultimate Fighter has been improving with each outing. That was never more evident than on the night of The Ultimate Fighter 3 finale, when he impressively submitted highly touted and previously unbeaten Wes Combs with a rear naked choke in the first round. Now at UFC 73 Nickels, a custom tattoo artist who has been chomping at the bit to return to the Octagon, takes another step up in class when he faces comeback star Bonnar.

Gurgel (13-2-0) 5’9″/155 lbs., fighting out of Cincinnati, Ohio, is a native of Fortaleza, Brazil. He abandoned a comfortable life back home to strike out on his own here in the United States. After years of blood, sweat, and tears, he has arrived, not only as the owner of numerous martial arts schools, but as a UFC fighter. The veteran of The Ultimate Fighter’s second season will look to not only win, but to get some hometown bragging rights when he takes on childhood friend Diego “The Octopus” Saraiva. “The Octopus” (9-4-1) 5’6″/155 lbs., is a proud Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt who has been studying his art since the age of 12. Fortaleza’s Saraiva came to fighting by chance at age 17 after being ousted from the Jiu-Jitsu World Championships. Angered at what he felt was poor officiating, Saraiva asked his coach to fight in a local MMA event two days later. In his first competition without a gi, “The Octopus” was soundly beaten before losing a decision to his more experienced opponent. That’s all that was needed to hook the teenager, and seven years later, Saraiva is a promising up and comer with an impressive record. He takes the next step in his career against fellow Fortaleza native Gurgel.

Chris “Lights Out” Lytle (32-14-4) 5’11″/170 lbs., fighting out of Indianapolis, Ind., has become a favorite of the hardcore MMA fans who appreciate a guy who brings his hardhat and lunch pail to work and does his job with little fanfare. Despite recent setbacks to Matt Serra and Matt Hughes, Lytle keeps persevering and plans on getting back in the win column against Jason “The Gizzard”Gilliam. “Lights Out,” who in addition to his fight career, has to juggle his roles as a husband, father, and fireman back home in Indiana. A veteran of season 4 of The Ultimate Fighter, Lytle is ready to take on fellow Indianan Gilliam. “The Gizzard” (11-1-0) 6’0″/170 lbs., fighting out of Muncie, Ind., is on a comeback of his own as his first fight in the UFC at UFC 68, Gilliam was submitted by Jamie Varner via rear naked choke at 1:34 of the first round. Gilliam is a firm believer in the adage that the sooner you can take an opponent out in a fight, the better. Winner of 11 pro bouts that have never seen the final bell, this junior college teammate of UFC great Matt Hughes is on his way to establishing his own reputation in the world famous Octagon with his wrestling, knockout power and a style that he only describes as Giz-Jitsu. At UFC 73 he will step up to the plate in a battle for Hoosier state bragging rights.

Frank “The Answer” Edgar (6-0-0) 5’6″/155 lbs., fights out of Toms River, N.J. While many fighters are forced to toil for years in obscurity before getting their shot in the UFC, New Jersey’s Edgar saw his talent and hard work pay off after just five fights. Getting a UFC fight is one thing, winning it is another. Edgar, a highly decorated wrestler who turned to mixed martial arts in 2005, delivered at UFC 67 in February by out pointing unbeaten rising star Tyson Griffin over three rounds in a bout awarded the Fight of the Night. This freestyle fighter, who is known for his skill on the ground, a seemingly endless well of endurance, a warrior’s heart, and some slick standup attacks, looks to win his seventh fight in a row and continue his lightning fast rise up the ranks when he takes on Canadian Mark Bocek (4-0-0) 5’8″/ 155 lbs. Once 12 year old Bocek from Woodbridge, Ontario saw UFC 2 in 1994, he was hooked, and as he put it recently, “I knew that I had to be a fighter, so I started seeking out BJJ training right away.” Thirteen years later, Bocek is not only a decorated grappler with numerous accolades to his name, but he is unbeaten in four mixed martial arts fights (all by submission or TKO) and is poised to take the next step in his career when he battles Edgar, UFC 73.

Tickets for UFC 73: STACKED are on sale now with prices $550, $350, $250, $150 and $50. The fastest and most convenient way to purchase tickets is by visiting the Ticketmaster Web site at Ticketmaster.com. Tickets may be purchased by calling Ticketmaster Charge-By-Phone at (916) 649-TIXS, (530) 528-TIXS and (209) 551-TIXS. Tickets are also available at the ARCO Arena Box Office, which is open Monday thru Saturday from 10am to 6pm and at all Sacramento-area Ticketmaster locations and at www.ufc.com.
UFC 73: STACKED is available live on pay-per-view at 10:00pm. ET/7 p.m. PT on iN DEMAND, DIRECTV, DISH Network, TVN, Bell ExpressVu, Shaw Communications and Viewer’s Choice Canada for a suggested retail price of $39.95 ($39.99 CAD).

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