by Ken Pishna – MMAWeekly.com
It’s been more than a year and a half since the Ultimate Fighting Championship held an event in Colorado, the promotion’s launching pad in 1993.
Initial reports provided conflicting information over when the UFC would return to the Centennial State, but MMAWeekly.com has confirmed March 21 at The Odeum Colorado as the date and venue.
It is expected to be the first UFC event to air on Versus as part of a new agreement between the network and Zuffa, LLC, the parent company to both the UFC and World Extreme Cagefighting. Sherdog.com was the first to report that the event would air on Versus.
A bout between light heavyweights Brandon Vera and Jon Jones is expected to headline. Vera on Tuesday night posted a bulletin via his Twitter account confirming the fight.
UFC president Dana White, on a Wednesday conference call announcing the new agreement with Versus, hinted at the event.
“This will be like a Fight Night card. We’ve got some plans right now, the fight we’re talking about putting on the first fight on Versus, (it’s) gonna be a good one, really good.”
Vera (11-4) was originally scheduled to face Antonio Rogerio Nogueira at UFC 109. Nogueira, however, suffered an ankle injury prior to his UFC 106 victory over Luiz Cane on Nov. 21, and has been slow to recover, forcing him to withdraw from the bout.
Jones (9-1) enters the bout following a disqualification loss to Matt Hamill at the recent Ultimate Fighter season 10 finale. Jones’ camp is challenging the disqualification, asking for a reversal of the referee’s decision.
The last time the UFC was in Colorado was on April 2, 2008, when Kenny Florian defeated Joe Lauzon in the main event of UFC Fight Night 13 at the Broomfield Event Center.
The Broomfield Event Center has been dark since September due to a change in management. It will re-open on March 5, rechristened The Odeum Colorado, just in time to welcome the UFC.