The Ultimate Fighting Championship has officially announced the main portion of the UFC 73 event scheduled for July 7th at the Arco Arena in Sacramento, Calif. Entitled “Stacked” the moniker couldn’t be more appropriate.
UFC 73 is the most talent-laden fight card in recent memory, not only for the UFC, but any promotion. Not only does UFC 73 feature two title fights – Anderson Silva defending his UFC Middleweight Championship against Nate Marquardt and Sean Sherk defending his lightweight belt from Hermes Franca – but UFC drawing card Tito Ortiz and light heavyweight contender Rashad Evans will battle it out and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira will make his UFC debut against Heath Herring in a heavyweight contest.
Many mainstream fans new to the sport may not realize the importance of Nogueira’s addition to the card, but as the #2 ranked heavyweight fighter in the world on MMAWeekly.com, Nogueira is a prime addition to the UFC’s stable of heavyweight fighters.
The fight between Ortiz and Evans also carries a lot of weight. This is a pivotal point in the careers of both fighters. A win for Ortiz turns his fortunes around and gets him started back on the road towards contender status. For Evans, a win over the iconic Tito Ortiz would help to solidify his perception as a true contender to the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship currently held by Chuck Liddell and add to his unbeaten record.
“We have five UFC events lined up now through July in the US and UK, and every one of them is stacked with great fights,” said UFC President Dana White. “UFC 73 is one of the best cards we’ve put together this year. It’s going to deliver the one-two punch fight fans want – it has Tito Ortiz and Rashad Evans, two all-state college wrestlers, both who dislike each other, settling their differences in the Octagon, as well as title defenses by our two champions Anderson Silva and Sean Sherk. We’re working on more fights right now to pack this card even heavier from top to bottom.”
Although not yet made official by the UFC, rumored undercard bouts for UFC 73 include the return of Stephan Bonnar – following a suspension for steroid-related charges in Nevada – against fellow Ultimate Fighter veteran Mike Nickels, UFC veterans Chris Lytle and Jeff Joslin squaring off, and Jorge Gurgel making his return against Diego Saraiva, who recently lost to Gurgel-trained fighter Dustin Hazlett.
About his upcoming fight versus Rashad Evans, “Huntington Beach Bad Boy” Tito Ortiz stated, “Everybody should expect fireworks. Rashad is standing in the way of my getting another title shot.”
Evans countered, “Tito needs to learn the meaning of respect. On July 7, I’m going to teach him what that’s all about. I’m focused and on a mission, and my goal is to knock him out.”