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26 Feb 2008

UFC® Fight Night Features Beantown Brawl in the Mile-high City

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UFC® FIGHT NIGHT™ FEATURES BEANTOWN BRAWL IN THE MILE-HIGH CITY

New Englanders Kenny Florian And Joe Lauzon To Battle LIVE On Spike TV
Wednesday, April 2

Karo Parisyan, Thiago Alves, Matt Hamill, Houston Alexander, And
Nate Diaz Also Scheduled To Appear On Spike TV’s Three-Hour
UFC Fight Night LIVE from Denver, Colorado

New York, NY, February 26, 2008 — Fellow New Englanders and rising stars in the UFC® lightweight division, The Ultimate Fighter® alumni Kenny “Ken Flo” Florian and Joe “J-Lau” Lauzon will meet each other where the Ultimate Fighting Championship® all began, and headline the first UFC fight in the state of Colorado in thirteen years live on Spike TV Wednesday, April 2 at 7:00 PM. The televised fight-card has been expanded to three hours for the first time in three years for a “UFC Fight Night” on Spike TV because of the number of prominent fighters scheduled.

The live fight card will take place at the Broomfield Events Center just outside of Denver in Broomfield, CO.  The 6,700-seat arena is sold out.  The first-ever UFC event, UFC 1, took place on November 12, 1993 in Denver.  The last UFC bout in Colorado, featuring UFC Hall-of-Famer Dan Severin, took place in December of 1995.

Boston native Kenny Florian (9-3) made his UFC debut on Season 1 of The Ultimate Fighter, advancing to the finals before losing to Diego Sanchez.  The 31-year old Florian used the sting of defeat as ample motivation to take his mixed martial arts training to another level, and he has dropped just one fight since, an epic five-round battle against Sean Sherk for the vacant UFC lightweight title at UFC 64 in October, 2006.  Florian has rebounded by posting impressive victories over Dokonjonosuke Mishima, Alvin Robinson, and Din Thomas since then, and is hoping to continue his string of dominance in the division and earn another shot at the lightweight championship.

Standing in Florian’s way is fellow New Englander Joe Lauzon (14-3), a 23-year-old who burst onto the scene with a thrilling TKO upset of Jens Pulver in his UFC debut at UFC 63.  Lauzon gained national recognition as a member of Team Penn on Season 5 of The Ultimate Fighter last year, and the East Bridgewater native has kept training with Penn since the show’s end, notching impressive submission wins against Brandon Melendez at The Ultimate Fighter 5 Finale and the previously undefeated Jason Reinhardt at UFC 78.  In Florian, Lauzon will face his toughest task to date, and a win would further cement his place in the upper echelon of the extremely competitive lightweight division. 

The night’s co-feature fight will be a battle of top UFC welterweight contenders, Karo Parisyan (25-4) and Thiago Alves (18-4).  Parisyan, fighting out of North Hollywood, CA, has won seven of his last eight UFC bouts including a recent unanimous decision over the dangerous Japanese fighter Ryo Chonan at UFC 78 last November.  A victory for Parisyan would draw him closer to a title shot and a potential rematch with either Matt Serra whom he beat in June of 2005 or Georges St-Pierre, to whom he lost in January of 2004.  Hard-hitting Brazilian native Alves is also among the hottest welterweight fighters in the UFC, winning six of his last seven, including a hard-fought matchup against Chris “Lights Out” Lytle at UFC 78. 

Acclaimed grapplers go head-to-head on the undercard as The Ultimate Fighter alumnus Matt Hamill (Season 3) squares off against dangerous UFC newcomer and former high school All-American wrestler, Tim Boetsch (7-1). Hamill (5-1) is a world class wrestling talent whose ground and pound style resulted in three straight wins upon entering the UFC before dropping a controversial decision against Michael Bisping at UFC 75.  Boetsch, a native of Camden, ME and graduate of NCAA wrestling powerhouse Lock Haven University, made his UFC debut at UFC 81 in February with an impressive 1st round TKO over David Heath. 

Omaha native Houston Alexander (8-1) was a relative unknown in the MMA world before making a resounding statement in his debut at UFC 71 last May by knocking out heralded light heavyweight Keith Jardine in 48 seconds.  At UFC 75, Alexander continued his assault on the light heavyweight division by knocking out Alessio Sakara one minute into their bout.  His meteoric rise was curtailed by a loss to undefeated Thiago Silva at UFC 87 in November.  The power-punching Alexander looks to prove his recent success was no fluke against former World Extreme Cagefighting™ champ James Irvin (13-4-1) fighting out of Sacramento, CA.

The Ultimate Fighter 5 victor, Nate Diaz (8-2), fighting out of Stockton, CA with the renowned Cesar Gracie Fight Team, has emerged as one of the top young guns in the 155lb division.  Standing in his way of a fourth straight victory in the UFC is former Pan American gold medal winning wrestler, Kurt Pellegrino.  Raised in Point Pleasant, NJ and fighting out of Jupiter, FL, Pellegrino has won three of his last four UFC fights, including a TKO over Alberto Crane in January.

The action-packed card also features bouts that will air on Spike only if time allows.  Those fights include:

Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard
Spencer “The King” Fisher vs. Marcus Aurelio
Roman Mitichiyan vs. George Sotiropoulos
Din Thomas vs. Josh Neer
Clay Guida vs. Samy Schiavo
Tommy Speer vs. Anthony Johnson
Manny Gamburyan vs. Jeff Cox

About The Ultimate Fighting Championship
The Ultimate Fighting Championship® 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® produces over twelve live pay-per-view events annually that are distributed residentially through North American cable and satellite providers including iNDEMAND Networks, DIRECTV, DISH Network, TVN Entertainment, Shaw Pay-Per-View, Bell ExpressVU, and Viewers Choice, and commercially through Joe Hand Promotions.  In addition to its North American distribution, UFC programming is distributed in over 100 countries and territories throughout the world.  For more information, or current UFC fight news, visit www.ufc.com or uk.ufc.com or www.ufcespanol.com.

Ultimate Fighting Championship®, Ultimate Fighting®, UFC®, The Ultimate Fighter®, Submission®, As Real As It Gets®, Zuffa™, The Octagon™ and the eight-sided competition mat and cage design are registered trademarks, trademarks, trade dress or service marks owned exclusively by Zuffa, LLC in the United States and other jurisdictions. All other marks referenced herein may be the property of Zuffa, LLC or other respective owners.

About Spike TV
Spike TV is available in 96.1 million homes and is a division of MTV Networks.  A unit of Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), MTV Networks is one of the world’s leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms. Spike TV’s Internet address is www.spike.com.

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Press Contacts:   David Schwarz                Spike TV                 212-767-8639
                           Jennifer Wenk          UFC/Las Vegas          702-221-4790
           Salil Gulati                      Spike TV            212-767-8705     
              Rachel Trontel          UFC/Las Vegas          702-588-5516