As the old adage proclaims, everything is bigger and better in Texas. On Saturday, September 19th, the Ultimate Fighting Championship will prove it as the organization brings one of the most talent-rich events of the year to the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas for UFC 103. Featuring four pivotal bouts with world title implications as well as a main event still to be announced, the star power on the UFC card, which includes Mike Swick vs. Martin Kampmann, Efrain Escudero vs. Cole Miller, Josh Koscheck vs. Frank Trigg and Tyson Griffin vs. Hermes Franca, will more than light up the Texas night.
“I’m excited the UFC is heading back to Texas,” UFC President Dana White said. “Our event in Houston was a great success. Wherever we go, fans know UFC delivers great fights. Mike Swick vs. Martin Kampmann could be fight of the night at UFC 103 because the winner takes on Georges St-Pierre for the welterweight title.”
“The UFC is the most successful organization in mixed martial arts,” Ken Kuhl, Assistant Vice President of Events and Booking at American Airlines Center said. “American Airlines Center is excited to give Dallas the opportunity to see this amazing roster of mixed martial arts live.”
Welterweight contender and Houston native Mike Swick (fighting out of San Jose, Calif.) is sure to have the hometown fans in his corner when he takes on the dangerous Martin Kampmann (fighting out of Las Vegas, Nev.). Since making the move to welterweight, Swick has been a perfect 4-0 with two knockouts, the most recent coming against Ben Saunders at UFC 99 in June. The 30-year-old with a 14-2 professional mixed martial arts record has nine UFC wins and he is amped up to be finally fighting for the opportunity to challenge for a title shot. Martin Kampmann turned many heads in the MMA community with an impressive split-decision victory over former WEC welterweight champion Carlos Condit in April. With two straight wins since moving down to welterweight and six overall in the UFC, the 15-2 Kampmann is beginning to hit his stride.
Winner of Season 8 of The Ultimate Fighter, lightweight Efrain Escudero (fighting out of Tempe, Ariz.) remained undefeated in his mixed martial arts career with a unanimous decision win over Phillipe Nover at the TUF8 season finale in December. The 23-year-old Mexico native and former All-American collegiate wrestler has possibly found his match on the ground when he faces submission specialist Cole Miller (fighting out of Coconut Creek, Fla.). The 25-year-old Augusta, Georgia native has won his last two matches via submission with one of those victories coming against Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt and MMA veteran Jorge Gurgel.
With 10 UFC wins already on his resume, 31-year-old Josh Koscheck (fighting out of Fresno, Calif.) has the experience and the skill to mix it up with anyone in the welterweight division. For his next match, the former NCAA Division I national wrestling champion will need every bit of that experience when he faces one of the toughest tests in his career in Frank Trigg (fighting out of Las Vegas, Nev.). A veteran of 25 mixed martial arts fights, the Rochester, New York product is no stranger to the Octagon, taking on fighters such as Matt Hughes, Georges St-Pierre, Dennis Hallman and Renato Verissimo. Now the experienced wrestlers square off as Trigg fights for the first time in the UFC since 2005.
Already a fight of the night candidate, lightweights Tyson Griffin (fighting out of Las Vegas, Nev.) and Hermes Franca (fighting out of Jupiter, Fla.) are sure to give the Dallas fans a great show. With wins over Clay Guida, Gleison Tibau and most recently Rafael Dos Anjos, the 25-year-old Griffin has already compiled 13 wins in his pro MMA career. Now the Sacramento native will face his toughest test on the ground against Franca, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt. The 34-year-old UFC and WEC veteran already has nine wins total in both organizations against names that include Nate Diaz, Jamie Varner, Spencer Fisher and Caol Uno. His most recent grudge match victory against Marcus Aurelio at UFC 90 has propelled the former world title challenger back into the spotlight.