Ultimate Fighting Championship
Saturday 19th January 2008
- Doors Open:
£35, £50, £100, £150, £200
UFC 80 RAPID FIRE TO FEATURE DOUBLE MAIN EVENT
INTERIM LIGHTWEIGHT TITLE: 'The Prodigy' BJ PENN v JOE 'Daddy' STEVENSON
HEAVYWEIGHT ELMINATOR: GABRIEL 'Napao' GONZAGA V FABRICO WERDUM
Plus seven other exciting match-ups
The Ultimate Fighting Championship(R) organisation has confirmed the first super-show of the New Year, UFC 80, will kick off from the Metro Radio Arena on Saturday January 19th 2008.
The nine-fight card will feature not one but two main events: in a hotly anticipated bout mixed martial arts legend BJ Penn collides with the Ultimate Fighter(TM) season two winner Joe Stevenson for the interim UFC Lightweight World Championship.
The second half of the double main event is a rematch which has huge implications for the heavyweight division as former UFC heavyweight title challenger Gabriel Gonzaga looks to avenge his September 2003 loss against fellow Brazilian ju-jitsu specialist Fabricio Werdum.
UFC UK Division President Marshall Zelaznik added: "We're thrilled to bring two incredible main events to our UK fans. BJ Penn is already a legend in mixed martial arts and is considered by just about everyone to be one of the best fighters in the world, and Joe Stevenson, the season 2 Ultimate Fighter winner, is one of the most explosive young talents in the division.
"Plus, Gonzaga v Werdum is a 50/50 clash between two of the best fighters in the heavyweight division and both men will be highly motivated to win.
"These bouts, along with seven other great fights, will rock Newcastle to its foundations. UFC 80 is going to be the hottest ticket of the winter."
Former welterweight champion Penn is thrilled with his chance to become a two-division champion. He said: "I'm very excited to be fighting for the UFC lightweight interim title and to be matched up against Stevenson. Our styles are very similar, and we both want the interim title, so I think it will be a good fight and an excellent fight for the fans."
Since moving down to lightweight (11stone 1lbs) Joe "Daddy" Stevenson has looked unstoppable.
"I'm really excited to fight BJ, and I'm happy to have the chance to fight for the interim title," said Stevenson. "I think BJ is an awesome fighter. He has a dangerous ground game, but I don't think it will be too big of a factor. And he's not going to knock me out, so I'm confident that it will be my hand that's raised at the end of the night."
Also confirmed for UFC 80 is a welterweight battle of the adoptive Brits as Irish-American Marcus Davis clashes with Anglo-Frenchman Jess Liaudin.
Former pro boxer Davis is on an incredible 10 fight winning streak and is coming off two hugely impressive wins in Belfast and London. Likewise London based Liaudin, a 19 fight MMA veteran, is in the form of his life and has won both his previous UFC fights in the very first round.
Zelaznik said: "Fans have been anticipating this fight since Marcus and Jess both scored such impressive wins in September at UFC 75 in London. Both of them are dangerous strikers and there's already an enormous buzz about this welterweight battle.
"Marcus just loves fighting over here and this will be his third fight in the UK in seven months. He loves the atmosphere at our UK shows and the British fans have adopted Marcus much in the same way they have adopted Jess, who has lived in England for 12 years and considers himself a British fighter."
Further fights for UFC 80 will be announced shortly.
Tickets costing £35, £50, £100, £150 and £200 on sale now with additional seats been released available now.