PROMMA.INFO was notified by the Ultimate Fighting Championship today via press release of three confirmed fights for “UFC 107: Penn vs. Sanchez” in Memphis, Tenn.
On Saturday, Dec. 12, the UFC will bring their very special brand of sports entertainment to the FedEx Forum featuring a main event lightweight title fight between B.J. Penn and Diego Sanchez.
After previously jumping up to welterweight in a failed attempt to test his skill against UFC 170-pound champ Georges St. Pierre and proving to the MMA world once again that indeed size does matter, Penn has seemingly settled on the weight class that will potentially make him a legend.
UFC President Dana White commented on Penn’s home at lightweight and the match-up with Sanchez who has also seemingly found a home at 155 lbs:
“In this sport it sometimes takes years for fighters to find the weight class where they’re at their best. I don’t think there’s any question that BJ Penn and Diego Sanchez have finally found their homes at 155 pounds, making the UFC 107 main event a fight between the best Penn and Sanchez we’ve ever seen. BJ hasn’t lost in this weight class in years, and Diego has looked unstoppable in his lightweight fights, and when these two meet in the center of the Octagon, it’s going to make our first trip to Memphis one fight fans will never forget.”
This will be the UFC’s second show in the state of Tennessee in 2009. “UFC Fight Night 18” took place in Nashville on April 1. Tennessee MMA fans showed their support by making it the highest selling Fight Night gate in UFC history. It was a no-brainer to return to the Volunteer State.
Steve Zito, Senior Vice President, Arena Operations and Entertainment for FedEx Forum spoke about bringing mixed martial arts’ premiere organization to his town:
“Thanks to the vision of our owner, Michael Heisley and the diligence and hard work of our staff, the help of state legislators and the UFC, we have cleared a path for UFC to make its way to the state of Tennessee and the city of Memphis. By helping to bring UFC to the state of Tennessee we will have the opportunity to continue to showcase the city of Memphis and FedEx Forum as a world-class arena.”
In the co-main event, two-time UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir returns to the Octagon to face dangerous striker Cheick Kongo. Mir is coming off a loss to heavyweight champ Brock Lesnar. He commented on the match-up with Kongo:
“Cheick Kongo is one of the best strikers in the UFC,” Mir said. “I’m coming off a loss and I definitely want to get back on the road to the title. I think this will be a difficult challenge.”
A native of Paris, France, 6-foot-4, 240-pound Cheick Kongo will have his hands full with the grappling expertise of Mir. Mir does often like to stand and trade strikes and if he chooses to do that with Kongo it could make for an entertaining fight. However, if Mir takes Kongo to the ground, it could be a short night for the Frenchman.
Kongo is coming off a unanimous decision loss to Cain Velasquez at UFC 99. He spoke about the tough challenge that Mir will present:
“In the UFC, you can’t take any opponents lightly,” Kongo said. “But when you face a former champion such as Frank Mir, you’re expecting one of the toughest fights of your career. It’s going to be a classic.”
Also added to the UFC 107 main card is a welterweight showdown between fellow Brazilians Thiago “Pitbull” Alves and Paulo Thiago, two of the division’s top competitors.
Fighting out of Coconut Creek, Florida, the 26 year old Alves will look to rebound from his five round loss against champion Georges St-Pierre in July. He had been on a seven fight win streak and would like to get back to his winning ways.
His opponent Paulo Thiago, is also coming off a loss, the first of his career. The BJJ Black Belt had been on a 12 fight win streak when he met Jon Fitch at UFC 100 in July. And just like Alves, he lost via unanimous decision.
When these two Brazilians hungry to make a statement clash at UFC 107, there is no telling what might happen. Stay tuned to PROMMA.INFO for more fights to be confirmed for this card in the upcoming weeks.
Here is the rumored fight card thus far:
- Champ B.J. Penn vs. Diego Sanchez (LW Title Fight)*
- Kenny Florian vs. Clay Guida
- Cheick Kongo vs. Frank Mir*
- Thiago Alves vs. Paulo Thiago*
- Paul Buentello vs. Todd Duffee
- Alan Belcher vs. Wilson Gouveia
- Kevin Burns vs. T.J. Grant
- Ricardo Funch vs. Johny Hendricks
- Houston Alexander vs. Kimbo Slice
*These are the only confirmed bouts at time of publishing.
Tickets for UFC 107: PENN vs. SANCHEZ, priced at $350, $250, $150 $100, $75 and $50, go on sale Saturday, October 24 at 10 a.m. CT and are available online at ticketmaster.com or UFC.com, at all Ticketmaster locations, the FedEx Forum Box Office or by phone at (800)745-3000. Tickets are subject to additional fees and service charges.