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UFC 135 Announced, Dana White Talks Main Event Between Jones & Rampage

The UFC officially announced that UFC light heavyweight champion Jon “Bones” Jones will make his first title defense against former UFC and PRIDE champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson at UFC 135 on Saturday, Sept. 24, at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado.

“Many people think that Jon Jones should be considered one of the pound-for-pound best fighters in the world, but I wouldn’t make that claim too fast,” UFC President Dana White said. “The 205-pound division is and always has been the most stacked division in MMA. Rampage Jackson has been one of the top five light heavyweights in the world since 2003. A win over Rampage Jackson will definitely put Jon Jones on the right track for becoming the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world.”

In addition to the championship 205-pound bout, the organization made official a 170-pound clash between former welterweight champion and UFC Hall of Famer Matt Hughes and The Ultimate Fighter season one winner Diego Sanchez. The UFC’s return to the Mile High City will also feature a tremendous heavyweight battle pitting knockout artist Travis Browne against British finisher Rob Broughton, as well as an electric lightweight bout between The Ultimate Fighter season five winner Nate Diaz and Japanese standout Tanakori “The Fireball Kid” Gomi.

After capturing the UFC light heavyweight crown by stopping Mauricio “Shogun” Rua in March, Jon Jones (fighting out of Endicott, N.Y.) makes his first title defense in Denver when he meets Rampage Jackson. At 13-1, the 23-year-old Team Jackson fighter owns wins over the likes of Stephan Bonnar, Vladimir Matyushenko and Ryan Bader. Despite his impressive resume, “Bones” believes a win over Jackson would truly cement his place as one of the world’s most dominant fighters.

With his bone-crushing power and seek-and-destroy mentality, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (fighting out of Irvine, Calif.) owns victories over some of the sport’s all-time greats, including Wanderlei Silva, Dan Henderson and Chuck Liddell. While his opponent on Sept. 24 appears to be heading toward a similarly historic career, Jackson (32-8) looks to end Jones’ surge when the two battle for the title at Pepsi Center. Simply put, Jackson believes it’s his time to once again reign over arguably the most stacked division in the UFC.

UFC Hall of Famer and welterweight great Matt Hughes (fighting out of Hillsboro, Ill.) steps inside the Octagon this fall in search of another signature win to add to his storied career. The 37-year-old former champion gets that opportunity when he meets the hard-charging Diego Sanchez (fighting out of Albuquerque, N.M.). Winner of season one of The Ultimate Fighter, the 29-year-old Sanchez has developed a reputation for being a gritty, hard-nosed fighter with deceiving power and high-level grappling. Riding back-to-back wins since returning to the welterweight division Sanchez (25-4) looks for his third consecutive victory when he meets the legendary Hughes (46-8).

Fresh off a Knockout of the Night performance at UFC 130 in May, undefeated heavyweight Travis “Hapa” Browne (fighting out of San Diego, Calif.) looks for his third victory in the UFC when he meets versatile English fighter Rob Broughton (fighting out of Liverpool, England). The 6’7” Browne (11-0-1) trains alongside UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz and rising light heavyweight Phil Davis in San Diego and is considered a future heavyweight contender. He’ll face a stern test in Broughton (15-5-1), a Wolfslair product with 11 wins by way of stoppage.

UFC 135 features a sure-fire barnburner when The Ultimate Fighter® season five winner Nate Diaz (fighting out of Stockton, Calif.) takes on Japanese standout Tanakori “The Fireball Kid” Gomi (fighting out of Tokyo, Japan) in lightweight action. The 26-year-old Diaz (13-7), younger brother of welterweight standout Nick Diaz, has scored victories over Marcus Davis, Melvin Guillard and Kurt Pellegrino in his career. His opponent, former PRIDE star Gomi (32-7, 1 NC), is known for his stunning power and holds notable wins over the likes of Tyson Griffin, Tatsuya Kawijiri and Marcus Aurelio.

Tickets for UFC 135: Jones vs. Ramapage go on sale on Friday, July 22 at 10 a.m. MT and are priced at $400, $300, $225, $150, $100, $75 and $50. Tickets will be available at the Pepsi Center Box Office, or by calling Ticket Horse at 303-53-HORSE or online at TicketHorse.com.

UFC Fight Club members will have the opportunity to purchase tickets to this event Wednesday, July 20 at 10 a.m. MT via ufcfightclub.com. A special Internet ticket pre-sale will be available to UFC newsletter subscribers Thursday, July 21, starting at 10 a.m. MT. To access this presale, users must register for the UFC newsletter through UFC.com.