Las Vegas, NV (USA) – For the first time in 15 years, the Ultimate Fighting Championship® (UFC®) is on its way back to Oklahoma. Not since UFC 4 saw the legendary Royce Gracie defeat fellow Hall of Famer Dan Severn in 1994 has the world’s greatest mixed martial arts organization put on a show in the Sooner State, and now the premier athletes in the sport will be featured in a nationally televised UFC® Fight Night™ event live on Spike TV Wednesday, September 16 at 8:00p.m. CT from the Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City.
Headlining this event will be a lightweight doubleheader that is guaranteed to shake up the 155-pound weight class. In the main event, The Ultimate Fighter season five winner Nate Diaz will square off against Louisiana knockout artist Melvin Guillard, while the highly-anticipated co-feature sees the return of Roger “El Matador” Huerta against unbeaten contender Gray “The Bully” Maynard.
“This is a monumental event for both our facility and our community,” said Gary Desjardins, General Manager of the Cox Convention Center. “The amount of excitement and energy surrounding this UFC event is astounding and we are honored to host it at the Cox Convention Center.”
Tickets for this event will go on sale Saturday, July 11 at 10 a.m. CT and will be priced at $200, $125, $95, $75, $50 and $35. Tickets are available at the U.S. Army Box Office at Ford Center and all Ticketmaster outlets including participating Suncoast, FYE and Homeland stores, charge by phone at 1-800-745-3000 or online at www.okfordcenter.com.
UFC® Fight Club™ members will have the opportunity to purchase tickets to this event Thursday, July 9 at 10 a.m. CT via the website ufc.com. A special Internet ticket pre-sale will be available to UFC newsletter subscribers Friday, July 10 starting at 10 a.m. CT. To access this presale, users must register for the UFC newsletter through ufc.com.
Coming off an exciting three-round battle against Joe Stevenson in June, Nate Diaz (fighting out of Stockton, Calif.) always puts on a show when it’s his turn to fight. The 24-year-old lightweight was the season five winner of The Ultimate Fighter® and already has five wins in the UFC, four via submission. But the Cesar Gracie trained Brazilian jiu-jitsu brown belt will need all of his skills when he faces the very dangerous striking of Melvin Guillard (fighting out of New Orleans, La.).
“Finally I’m fighting someone that’s not afraid to stand up with me,” Diaz said. “Melvin’s a tough guy and I know that he’ll want to stand and trade with me. I don’t think the fans want to see two guys holding each other.”
Winner of his last three fights, Guillard already has 41 professional mixed martial arts wins – and he’s only 26 years old. His knockout win over Dennis Siver was followed by an impressive split-decision victory against the seasoned Gleison Tibau in June. “The Young Assassin,” who is known for his lightning quick hand speed and damaging punching power, has five wins in the UFC with four coming by knockout.
“He’s a worthy and tough opponent,” Guillard said. “I am looking forward to a good match and finishing Diaz. We are on different paths but I know this will be a great fight for the UFC and the fans. It will be another big win for me in the Octagon.”
In the ultra-competitive UFC lightweight division, there are no easy matchups. But former three-time NCAA All-American Michigan State wrestler Gray Maynard (fighting out of Las Vegas, Nev.) has reeled off five consecutive wins in possibly the UFC’s toughest weight class. His unanimous decision win against up-and-coming star Jim Miller at UFC 96 has vaulted the Phoenix, Arizona native into the upper reaches of the division – and now the undefeated 30-year-old takes on his toughest test in Roger Huerta (fighting out of Minneapolis, Minnesota).
“El Matador” brings a 22-2-1, 1 NC professional mixed martial arts record to the Octagon™ as well as a fiery pace that is matched by very few fighters. Winner of six straight UFC fights before a classic three-round rumble against Kenny Florian in August 2008, the Los Angeles-born Huerta makes his long-awaited return to the Octagon and is in search of a title shot.
The remaining fights will be announced shortly.