The following is an official press release from the UFC:
ULTIMATE FIGHTING CHAMPIONSHIP® RETURNS TO COLUMBUS
UFC 82: PRIDE OF A CHAMPION SATURDAY, MARCH 1, 2008 LIVE FROM NATIONWIDE ARENA
UFC® WORLD MIDDLEWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP ANDERSON SILVA vs. DAN HENDERSON
Tickets Go on Sale Sunday, Dec. 30 at 10am ET
In a long-awaited super-fight to determine the undisputed king of the middleweight division, Anderson “The Spider” Silva, UFC Middleweight Champion, will take on PRIDE 183-lb. Champion Dan Henderson when the Ultimate Fighting Championship® (UFC®) makes its third trip to the state of Ohio on Saturday, March 1, 2008 for UFC 82: PRIDE OF A CHAMPION, live from Nationwide Arena in Columbus.
“Anderson Silva has been so dominant as UFC Middleweight Champion that people are starting to wonder if there is anyone out there who can dethrone him,” said Dana White, UFC President. “Now Pride champion Dan Henderson has stepped up to the challenge. Anderson Silva may be the best pound-for-pound fighter in the sport and Dan Henderson may be the strongest, toughest guy in the middleweight division so there is no doubt in my mind that this will be a battle that goes down in the history books.”
The UFC visited Columbus, Ohio last year when it held UFC 68: THE UPRISING at Nationwide Arena on March 3. More than 19,000 people attended the sold-out event, which grossed a gate of more than $3 million. The event set a new record for the highest North American attendance figure for a mixed martial arts event, and still stands as the largest gate in Nationwide Arena history.
Tickets for UFC 82: PRIDE OF A CHAMPION go on sale Sunday, Dec. 30 at 10am ET and are priced at $400, $300, $200, $100 and $50 and are available at the Nationwide Arena Ticket Office, at all Ticketmaster ticket centers, online at www.ticketmaster.com or www.ufc.com and by phone at (614) 431-3600. Tickets may also be purchased at the FSN Ohio Blue Line locations at the Chiller Ice Rinks and The Mall at Tuttle Crossing. All tickets are subject to facility fee and service charges.
UFC® Fight Club™ members will have the opportunity to purchase tickets to this event Thursday, Dec. 27 at 10am ET. A special Internet ticket pre-sale will be available to UFC newsletter subscribers Saturday, Dec. 29 starting at 10am ET. To access this presale, users must register for the UFC newsletter through www.ufc.com.
UFC 82: PRIDE OF A CHAMPION is available live on pay-per-view at 10pm EST/7pm PST on iN DEMAND, DIRECTV, DISH Network, TVN, Bell ExpressVu, Shaw Communications and Viewer’s Choice Canada for a suggested retail price of $44.95 for standard definition or high-definition broadcasts (where available).
Silva (20-4), fighting out of Curitiba, Brazil, is an extremely well-rounded fighter with phenomenal striking skills as well as a Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He became the UFC 185 lb. Champion when he defeated Rich Franklin at UFC 64 via a first round KO. “The Spider” then took on Travis Lutter in February non-title bout, with Silva finishing Lutter by submission at 2:11 of the second round. Silva defended his title for the first time against Nathan Marquardt at UFC 73 in July and scored an impressive first round TKO. In October, the Brazilian firmly established himself on top of the pound for pound list when he knocked out Franklin a second time in their highly-anticipated rematch at UFC 77, and on March 1st, Silva will look to add a third UFC title defense to his record, as well as a new accolade as the undisputed 185 lb. world champion by defeating PRIDE 185 lb. Champion Dan Henderson at UFC 82.
“I’m really motivated and I’m looking forward to this fight because it’s going to be the two best middleweights in the world putting their belt on the line – winner takes all,” said Silva. “These are the fights everyone wants to see. I will put on a great performance and a good show for all the UFC fans in the world, the United States, and especially in Ohio the people there treated me with so much respect the last time I was there, I can’t wait to go back.”
Fighting out of Temecula, California, Dan Henderson (22-6) is one of the most decorated wrestlers in United States history, and the two-time Olympian has a truckload of amateur championships to his name. He has matched that success in the world of mixed martial arts, beating Wanderlei Silva, Vitor Belfort, Murilo Bustamante, and Ryo Chonan en route to becoming the only man in PRIDE history to hold both the 183-pound and 205-pound championships at the same time. In September, Henderson returned to the Octagon for the first time since 1998 and engaged in a torrid five round war with UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton Jackson before losing a close decision. Now dropping back to 185 pounds, Henderson has his sights firmly set on Silva.
“I know that I can beat everyone at 185 pounds, and that’s what I’m gonna do on March 1st,” said Henderson. “I think style-wise, I’m a bad matchup for Anderson Silva, whereas his previous opponents have been good matchups. So I don’t think it will be a problem to beat him. I’ll take a knockout or a submission — I’m just excited to fight him and to fight in Ohio, I know it has a big wrestling community, and with my wrestling background, I think I’ll have a lot of support.”
For more information about UFC 79, UFC 80, UFC® Fight Night™ on Jan. 23, UFC 81, UFC 82 or any upcoming UFC event, visit www.ufc.com or uk.ufc.com. All bouts are live and subject to change.