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- UFC 68 CARD OFFICIALLY ANNOUNCED

Posted on by MMAWeekly.com Staff

Press Release
The UFC® has released the full lineup of fights for the upcoming UFC 68: THE UPRISING featuring UFC Heavyweight Champion Tim “The Maine-iac” Sylvia vs. Randy “The Natural” Couture; Rich “Ace” Franklin vs. Jason “The Athlete” MacDonald and Matt Hughes vs. Chris “Lights Out” Lytle. Also on the card are exciting match-ups Drew McFedries vs. Martin Kampmann; Jason Lambert vs. Renato Sobral; Columbus native Rex Holman vs. Matt Hamill; Luigi Fioravanti vs. Jon Fitch; Gleison Tibau vs. Jason Dent and Jason Gilliam vs. Jamie Varner. The Ultimate Fighting Championship® organization presents UFC 68: THE UPRISING live from Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio Saturday, March 3.

UFC 68: THE UPRISING is available live on pay-per-view in Standard or High-Definition (HD) where available at 10 p.m. EST/7 p.m. PST on iN DEMAND, DIRECTV, DISH Network, TVN, Bell ExpressVu, Shaw Communications and Viewer’s Choice Canada. The suggested retail price for Standard Definition is $39.95 ($39.99 CAD) and $49.95 for HD.

Select tickets for UFC 68: THE UPRISING are available at Nationwide Arena Ticket Office, at all Ticketmaster ticket centers, online at www.ticketmaster.com or www.ufc.com and by phone at (614) 431-3600. Tickets may also be purchased at the Blue Jackets Zones at the Chiller Dublin, Chiller Easton and Chiller North. All tickets are subject to facility fee and service charges.

UFC 68: THE UPRISING features UFC Heavyweight Champion Tim “The Maine-iac” Sylvia vs. Randy “The Natural” Couture; Rich “Ace” Franklin vs. Jason “The Athlete” MacDonald and Matt Hughes vs. Chris “Lights Out” Lytle.

Tim Sylvia (25-2-0), fighting out of Davenport, Iowa, is the two-time UFC heavyweight champion. He faced UFC World Heavyweight Champion Andrei Arlovski at UFC 59 and defeated him by a devastating first round knockout. He followed that up with another win, a decision over Arlovski at UFC 61 (7/8/06), and a unanimous decision over the dangerous contender Jeff Monson at UFC 65. Now faced with fighting Couture, a mentor and a legend, Sylvia is ready to put on the best fight of his career and show the world exactly why he is the champion.

Fighting out of Cincinnati, Ohio, Rich Franklin (22-2-0) is an extremely well-rounded fighter possessing great striking and submission skills. He fought most of his career as a light heavyweight before moving to the middleweight division. At UFC 53, he knocked out UFC champion Evan Tanner to capture the middleweight crown. He made his first title defense against Nate Quarry at UFC 56 winning by first round KO and his second defense against Canadian David Loiseau at UFC 58, winning by decision after dominating “The Crow” through all five championship rounds. He faced Anderson Silva in his third UFC title defense, but was KOd by the Brazilian in the first round. Eager to get back into the Octagon, and in front of a home state crowd, Franklin is hot on the trail to taking back the middleweight crown

Matt Hughes, with an incredible 42-5 record, is a two-time welterweight champion. He held the title from November 2001 to January 2004, then captured the welterweight crown again at UFC 50 (10/22/04) by stopping Georges St. Pierre with an arm bar at 4:59 of the first round, and defended his title at UFC 52 (4/16/06) against Frank Trigg, winning by a rear naked choke. He fought Joe Riggs at UFC 56 (11/19/05) in a non-championship bout and submitted him by Kimura at 3:28 of the first round, then followed that up with a third round TKO over BJ Penn at UFC 63. Hughes met St. Pierre again at UFC 65, this time falling to the Canadian contender by a second round TKO. He is determined to get back in the Octagon and make the first step toward reclaiming his title and his reign in the UFC welterweight division.

Also on the card is an exciting lineup of undercard bouts including: Drew McFedries vs. Martin Kampmann, Jason Lambert vs. Renato Sobral, Rex Holman vs. Matt Hamill, Luigi Fioravanti vs. Jon Fitch, Gleison Tibau vs. Jason Dent, and Jason Gilliam vs. Jamie Varner.

Drew Mc Fedries (5-1-0) 6′/185 lbs., fighting out of Bettendorf, Iowa made his Octagon™ debut in UFC 65 against former pro boxer Alessio Sakara. After absorbing Sakara’s thunder early, McFedries showed the dynamite in his own hands and stopped the Italian at 4:07 of the first round. Now back at middleweight, this 28 year old banger will look to show even
more of his arsenal when he faces fellow striker Martin “The Hitman” Kampmann in what many fight insiders believe
may be the fight of the night. Fighting out of Aarhus, Denmark, Kampmann (11-1-0) 6′/185 lbs. came to the UFC in 2006
with a reputation as a fierce standup fighter, something reflected by his ownership of the Danish Thai Boxing championship. In Kampmann’s first bout against kickboxer Crafton Wallace, “The Hitman” displayed his all-around mixed martial arts game as he quickly took Wallace down and submitted him in the first round with a rear naked choke.
In his second fight though, Kampmann showed what he could do while standing as he pounded out an impressive three round unanimous decision over Thales Leites last November. The 24-year old native of Aarhus, Denmark will try to make it three for three in the Octagon when he faces McFedries.

Jason “The Punisher” Lambert (22-6-0) 5’10″/205 lbs., fighting out of North County, Calif. was summoned to the UFC in 2006, where he unleashed his frustration on his opponents and drilled out three devastating wins in a row over Rob MacDonald, Terry Martin, and Branden Lee Hinkle, with no fight getting past the second round. And though Lambert’s hot streak ended at UFC 63 when he was halted in the second round by Rashad Evans, the 29-year old battler is eager to get back in the win column at the expense of former world title challenger Renato ‘Babalu’ Sobral (27-6-0) 6’1″/205 lbs. After losing to future UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Chuck Liddell in 2002, Sobral did the only thing he knew – he went back to the gym, trained harder, and came back to the Octagon with a single-minded determination to win. That attitude, coupled with his well-rounded ability and warrior’s heart – led him to a ten fight win streak that included victories over Jeremy Horn, Trevor Prangley, and Mike Van Arsdale. And though ‘Babalu’ would fall short in his rematch with Liddell at UFC 62 last August, he begins another comeback as he makes his return to action against Lambert.

Rex “Big Dog” Holman (4-1-0) 6’2″/205 lbs., fighting out of Columbus, Ohio will battle fellow Ohioan Matt “The Hammer” Hamill (4-0-0) 6’1″/205. This fight isn’t just a battle for local Ohio bragging rights, but a meeting between two of the nation’s most decorated wrestlers, with Holman winning a NCAA National Championship for Ohio State and Hamill earning three National titles for the Division III Rochester Institute of Technology. But while the 37-year old Holman moved into coaching after college, the 30-year old Hamill entered the world of mixed martial arts and impressed fight fans with his talent on season three of ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ with consecutive victories over Jesse Forbes and Seth Petruzelli. Holman eventually got the itch to compete again, making his pro MMA debut in 2005 and winning four of five pro fights. In his UFC debut “The Big Dog” takes a step up to the Octagon in a crossroads battle against a fellow wrestler in the much different world of mixed martial arts.

Luigi Fioravanti (11-1-0) 5’8″/170 lbs., fighting out of Orlando, Fla. debuted in the UFC with a lackluster decision defeat to Chris Leben in his UFC debut and an emphatic knockout victory over Solomon Hutcherson in his second Octagon bout, fight fans were left wondering who the real Fioravanti was. When the retired United States Marine fought before 5,000 of his fellow Leathernecks last December against former world champion Dave Menne, the heavy handed Fioravanti handed Menne a thorough beating before stopping him late in the first round. The 25-year old faces his sternest test to date in Jon Fitch, and he’s bringing the big guns. Fighting out of San Jose, Calif. Jon Fitch (17-2-0) 6′/170 lbs. has a simple philosophy when it comes to fighting, stating, “I fight like a thief. If you leave a window open I will crawl through it and make you pay.” So far, that approach has worked like a charm as the former Division I wrestler from Purdue has compiled four straight wins in the UFC without a loss, the most recent being a three round decision win over well-respected Japanese star Kuniyoshi Hironaka at UFC 64. To continue his upward climb in the sport’s most competitive division, the 28-year old Fitch must get by the hard-hitting Fioravanti.

Gleison Tibau (23-3-0) 5’10″/155 lbs., fighting out of Coconut Creek, Fla. is a member of the respected American Top Team. Tibau showed he belonged in the Octagon last November as he put forth a courageous effort against UFC veteran Nick Diaz at UFC 65. Displaying stellar jiu-jitsu techniques that had Diaz in trouble early on, Tibau was eventually overpowered by the bigger fighter and stopped in the second round. But with the knowledge gained from the loss and a drop to the 155 pound weight class, where he can compete more evenly on a physical level, the 23-year old native of Rio Grande Norte, Brazil is planning on a successful run in the lightweight division beginning with Jason “Dynamite” Dent. Fighting out of Mentor, Ohio, Dent (12-7-0) 5’9″/155 lbs. is an exciting Muay Thai fighter with an impressive ground
game that it has allowed him to take nine of his 12 victories by submission. Despite losing against highly regarded Roger Huerta in his UFC debut, “Dynamite” showed the heart of a champion as he rarely took a backwards step as he chased after the victory. That attitude garnered the Ohio native a call back to the world famous Octagon, as he gets to perform for his hometown fans against Tibau.

Jason “The Gizzard” Gilliam (11-0-0) 6′/155 lbs., fighting out of Muncie, Indiana is a newcomer to the UFC. Gilliam wrestled on the same junior college team as welterweight great Matt Hughes, and now at 34, the Indiana native is ready to launch an all-out assault on the 155-pound weight class in order to add a UFC championship belt to his trophy case as well. Unbeaten in 11 pro bouts, the heavy-handed Gilliam has developed his own style of fighting, one which wraps all aspects of MMA in an unorthodox package he likes to call Giz-Jitsu. Gilliam, who has never allowed an opponent to hear the final bell, will bring his unique style to the Octagon when he takes on up and comer Jamie “The Worm” Varner. Fighting out of Phoenix, Ariz., Varner (9-1-0) 5’8″/155 lbs. is a Vale Tudo fighter. At 22, Varner has quickly garnered a reputation in the fight community as a young fighter with the potential to one day become a world champion – a rep that may come from ‘The Worm’s tendency to ‘sleep people’, either by submission or knockout. Last August at UFC 62, Varner stepped up in competition to face top contender Hermes Franca and was leading on the scorecards after two rounds before being submitted in the final round. Varner looks to finish strong and get his first UFC win against Jason Gilliam.

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