The Ultimate Fighting Championship hasn’t promoted a pay-per-view event in Denver since “Ultimate Ultimate” in 1995. That will change with the first Zuffa-owned UFC pay-per-view event in the Mile High City on Sept. 24 with UFC 135: Jones vs. Rampage at the Pepsi Center.
The promotion is going top heavy on the UFC 135 fight card with a title bout and a marquee match-up.
UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones will defend his belt against Quinton “Rampage” Jackson in the main event, while UFC Hall of Famer Matt Hughes faces “Ultimate Fighter” Season 1 middleweight winner Diego Sanchez in a welterweight clash.
The Hughes vs. Sanchez clash has long been rumored, but the UFC finally made it official, adding the bout to the UFC 135 fight card on its web site.
Sanchez, who has fought most of his Octagon career at welterweight, flirted with the lightweight division, but bounced back up to 170 pounds after losing in his title bid against B.J. Penn at UFC 107.
He has since gone 2-1 at welterweight, losing to John Hathaway before reeling off back-to-back wins over Paulo Thiago and Martin Kampmann.
Following a tough skid, losing three out of four fights a couple years ago, Hughes has constantly been besieged with questions about retirement. He bounced back in 2009, however, stringing together three consecutive victories, before losing via a quick knockout to B.J. Penn late last year.
Not ready to hang up the gloves just yet, Hughes takes on a Top 10 opponent in Sanchez. A victory would likely put him in more marquee fights, while a loss would only increase the pressure on the 37-year-old to call it a career.