Wednesday, December 21, 2011

UFC Returns To Sydney, Australia In 2012


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The brutal mixed martial arts based sport of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has announced its return to Sydney for 3rd March 2012.

Your main event will be a welterweight match-up between Thiago Alves and Martin Kampmann inside the cage (octagon) at a hopefully jam packed Allphones Arena.

The exciting MMA card will also feature the debut of the UFC’s flyweight division with a two-bout tourny to decide the top contenders at 125-pounds (56.7kg).

Tickets are now on sale, and we understand, selling fast, but not quite as quick as the past two Australian tours we've been leaked.

UFC Managing Director of International Development Marshall Zelaznik advised the UFC was wrapt to return to Sydney for its third live event in as many years.

"We’ve had tremendous success with our two previous events, with last year’s UFC 127 remaining the equal fastest sell-out in the organisation’s history," he said.

"I’ve got no doubt that our Aussie fans will be just as excited about our March event, especially as they’ll witness UFC history with the introduction of the flyweight division. The 125-pound contenders will absolutely put everything on the line is Sydney, knowing that the winners of those two bouts will then have a shot at the inaugural flyweight title. It’s going to be a great show."

Zelaznik said on the upcoming Australian tour: “Thiago Alves and Martin Kampmann are two seasoned mixed martial artists who are sure to go to war in the octagon. Both athletes are coming off recent wins and will be looking to continue their streak to climb the welterweight ladder.”

Insiders will already know that just off his first round beat-up of UFC newcomer Papy Abedi at UFC 139, Thiago ‘Pitbull’ Alves (24-7) has returned once again in strong form that has previously seen him rampage through the welterweight division with wins over UFC greats such as Chris Lytle, Matt Hughes and Josh Koschek, before challenging for the welterweight title in July 2009.

Martin ‘The Hitman’ Kampmann (18-5) is looking to reinforce his unanimous decision win at UFC 139 over up-and-coming welterweight Rick ‘The Horror’ Story when he faces of against Alves in the Octagon on Australian soil. Whose face gets rubbed in the dirt er soil, remains to be seen.

The Dane has formidable knock-out power and an underrated ground attack that has seen him snatch victory in 9 of his 12 fights in the Octagon, including bests over Carlos Condit, Jorge Rivera and Paulo Thiago.

In the flyweight division, ex No.1 WEC bantamweight contender Demetrious ‘Mighty Mouse’ Johnson (14-2) will go agains the recently crowned Tachi Palace Fights flyweight champion, Ian ‘Uncle Creepy’ McCall (11-2), while Joseph Benavidez (15-2) will challenge Japanese fighter and Shooto champ Yasuhiro Urushitani (19-4-6) in the weight division’s two semi-finals.

UFC Scoops...

Brock Lesnar To Return At UFC 141

Brock Lesnar returns to the UFC on American soil for UFC 141 (December 30) for the virgin time since losing his UFC Heavyweight Championship to Cain Velasquez in October of last year. Since that last match, he's coached a season of The Ultimate Fighter, and also had a match with now-champion Junior dos Santos fall through when his diverticulitis returned.

With his second bout with the disease affecting his career once again, Lesnar decided to undergo surgery to treat the matter. It was an option the first time the problem came up, but when he felt like he could get through the ordeal without an invasive procedure, he attempted to work through it. It was a key reason for mixed results in his fights with Shane Carwin and Velasquez, but he's not focussing with dwelling on the past.

"Looking back, hindsight, you could do things differently," Lesnar advised during a news media teleconference. "But I accomplished a lot in that year, and you have to take the good with the bad. That's where we were, we were trying to figure out what we should do, and you have to live with your decisions."

"Under all the circumstances that I've gone through, this is an opportunity that not many people get. I'm very excited."

Foregoing surgery and trying to convince himself he was 100% in 2010 saw him at less than his best in both of those match ups, and entering this bout with Overeem he states he's feeling better than ever.

However, while his health is no longer a concern into this bout, his 14-month layoff due to the illness certainly could be. But Lesnar says there were also some positives to the layoff, as it allowed him to work on some of the issues he had in the Carwin and Velasquez matches.

"I've had plenty of time to train, and being healthy and once again motivated (has allowed me to] work on a lot of things," Lesnar went on record with. "This is a sport that you have to evolve in if you're going [be successful]. We've put a lot of hours into the Octagon in training. Lots of sparring, lots of jiu jitsu sessions... There's definitely no lack of trying here [for this fight]."

"This is a dog-eat-dog division. It's definitely getting more competitive, so I've got to be more competitive. I'm going to go out and try my best to win this fight, and that's really all I can try to control."

MMA fans, that's a wrapt.

It certainly appears that the UFC is going to finish the year on a high note, and that fans should expect more of the same next year, as the UFC machine continues its world domination.

As per usual, Australian fans who don't attend the matches in person can tune into Main Event TV on Foxtel.

Saturday 3 March - Allphones Arena, Sydney Olympic Park



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