UFC® ANNOUNCES WELTERWEIGHT TITLE FIGHT CHANGE
KARO PARISYAN INJURED, JOE RIGGS STEPS UP FOR TITLE SHOT
RIGGS READY TO BATTLE UFC CHAMPION MATT HUGHES
AT UFC: 56 FULL FORCE SATURDAY, NOV. 19 AT MGM GRAND
Las Vegas, NV (Nov. 1, 2005) – The Ultimate Fighting Championship® (UFC®) today announced that due to a leg injury, Karo Parisyan has had to pull out of his title fight against UFC® Welterweight Champion Matt Hughes at UFC 56: FULL FORCE Saturday, Nov. 19, 2005 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Parisyan’s physician has stated he will recover from the injury, but not in time to compete against Hughes.
Stepping up for a shot at the title is Joe “Diesel” Riggs, a former heavyweight, who in dropping down to welterweight has gained speed and conditioning, but has kept much of that heavyweight power. Riggs (26-6-0) 6’0″/170 lbs., fighting out of Phoenix, Ariz., just defeated Chris Lytle at UFC 55: FURY (10/7/05) by TKO at 2:00 of the second round, becoming the first man ever to finish the veteran fighter. Riggs is excited about his upcoming opportunity and is ready to battle Hughes for the welterweight crown.
“I was nervous, excited, and flattered,” said Riggs when asked his initial reaction to getting the fight with Hughes. “There were a plethora of emotions I went through, but I was just real excited mostly.”
UFC 56: FULL FORCE is also available live on pay-per-view at 10:00pm ET/7:00pm PT, on iN DEMAND, DIRECTV, DISH Network and TVN for a suggested retail price of $34.95, and Bell ExpressVu and Viewer’s Choice Canada for a suggested retail price of $39.95.
Tickets priced at $400, $300, $200, $100 and $50, not including applicable service charges and taxes, are on sale now and are available through any MGM Grand box office outlet. Tickets also are sold at all Las Vegas Ticketmaster locations (Tower Records/WOW!, Smith’s Food and Drug Centers, Robinsons-May stores and Ritmo Latino) and ticket sales are limited to eight (8) per person. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (702) 474-4000. Tickets also are available for purchase at www.mgmgrand.com, www.ufc.tv or www.ticketmaster.com.
UFC Welterweight Champion Matt Hughes (39-4-0) 5’9″/170 lbs., Hughes is pound for pound one of the strongest men to ever compete in the sport. He is renowned for his devastating slams and brutal ground and pound. Hughes brought his tough, hard-nosed style of coaching to The Ultimate Fighter™ Season 2 and is now eager to get back to doing what he does best: dominate opponents in the Octagon™. He is confident he’ll handle Riggs and continue his winning streak.
“Joe is a strong, tough kid,” says Hughes, “But I don’t see me giving up my title anytime soon.”
Hailing from Hillsboro, Ill., Hughes will be making his second consecutive UFC title defense against Riggs. He re-gained the welterweight crown at UFC 50 (10/22/04) in Atlantic City by stopping Georges St. Pierre with an arm bar at 4:59 of the first round, and then defended his title at UFC 52 in Las Vegas (4/16/05) against Frank Trigg, winning by a rear naked choke.
More fighters and bouts for UFC 56: FULL FORCE will be announced in the near future.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship
The Ultimate Fighting Championship® brand is the world’s leading professional mixed martial arts organization and offers the premier series of MMA sports events. Owned and operated by Zuffa, LLC, and headquartered in Las Vegas, Nev., UFC® fight programs feature six live pay-per-view events annually through cable and satellite providers. In addition to its U.S. distribution, UFC fight programs are distributed throughout the world including broadcast on WOWOW, Inc. in Japan, Globosat in Brazil and Bravo in the United Kingdom. Zuffa, LLC licenses the distribution of its fight show DVDs through Studioworks Entertainment, a Ventura Distribution company. For more information, or current UFC fight news, visit www.ufc.tv.
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For room packages and availability at MGM Grand, along with event ticket information, call (800) 929-1111 or (702) 891-7777 or log onto the World Wide Web at www.mgmgrand.com.
The MGM Grand Garden Arena is home to concerts, championship boxing and premier sporting and special events. The Arena offers comfortable seating for as many as 16,800 with excellent sightlines and state-of-the-art acoustics, lighting and sound. Prominent events to date have included world championship fights between Evander Holyfield and Mike Tyson as well as Oscar De La Hoya vs. Bernard Hopkins and George Foreman vs. Michael Moorer; and concerts by The Rolling Stones, Madonna, Elton John, Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, Bette Midler, Gloria Estefan, Janet Jackson, Phil Collins, Billy Joel, Backstreet Boys, ‘N Sync, Sting, Jimmy Buffett and the Barbra Streisand Millennium Concert. The MGM Grand Garden Arena is also home to the annual FOX Billboard Music Awards, the annual Andre Agassi Grand Slam for Children Benefit and the VH1 Divas Las Vegas shows.