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UFC 52:Couture vs. Liddell II & Trigg vs Hughes II
HUGHES TO FIGHT TRIGG FOR UFC
WELTERWEIGHT TITLE APRIL 16
Light Heavyweight Belt On Line In Main Event Of UFC 52:
Couture vs. Liddell 2 Live On Pay-Per-View From MGM Grand
6 Additional Fights On All-Star Card In Las Vegas
LAS VEGAS, NEV., March 10, 2005…Randy Couture and
Chuck Liddell won’t be the only championship re-match on the Ultimate Fighting Championship ?52: Couture vs. Liddell 2 card Saturday, April 16, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
UFC? World Welterweight Champion Matt Hughes will also fight a previous nemesis when he and Frank Trigg hook up again with Hughes’ title on the line. In their first meeting, Hughes kept the welterweight belt submitting Trigg with a rear naked choke in November 2003 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.
Tickets priced at $400, $300, $200, $100 and $50 for the all-star, eight-fight card are now on sale at the MGM Grand Garden Arena box office in Las Vegas, all Ticketmaster locations, www.ticketmaster.com, www.mgmgrand.com and by telephone at 800-929-1111 or 702-891-7777. Ticket purchases are subject to transaction fees. UFC 52: Couture vs. Liddell 2 also will be available LIVE on pay-per-view at 10 p.m. EDT on iNDemand, DirecTV, Dish Network, TVN, Echostar, Bell ExpressVu and Viewers Choice Canada. The suggested retail price is $34.95.
“This fight will be completely different than the first one. I know I am the underdog, and it will be one of the few re-matches where you can count on the underdog winning. He completely surprised me with the choke last time. Now, I know how to better train for him and I know his flaws. I am already in a better place both mentally and physically than I was for the last fight,” Trigg said. Hughes said he sees this re-match “pretty much the same as the first fight.” “I think I am a better submission fighter than he is, a better wrestler and just as good a striker. He’s a tough guy and deserves a title shot. But, I don’t see him winning,” Hughes said.
Hughes (38-4-0 in mixed martial arts) from Hillsboro, Ill., re-gained the UFC world welterweight crown last October in Atlantic City, N.J., by stopping Georges St. Pierre by tap out with an arm bar at 4:59 of the first round. Previously one of the longest-reigning UFC champions, Hughes lost the title on January 31, 2004 when BJ Penn surprised him with a rear naked choke at UFC 46. But, Hughes quickly returned to the title hunt with a devastating ground and pound unanimous decision victory June 19 over Renato Verissimo at UFC 48. In the interim, Penn violated his contract with the UFC and was stripped of the welterweight crown.
Trigg (14-2-0) from El Segundo, Calif., recovered from his title loss to Hughes with a first-round knockout of Dennis Hallman, a longtime Hughes nemesis who had twice defeated him, at UFC 48, and a second-round, technical knock out win over Verissimo at UFC 50.
Hughes relies on his extensive wrestling experience to take down opponents and finish them with a devastating ground and pound game. Trigg also is an excellent wrestler but has greatly improved his standing and striking skills. Who will have the most surprises ready for April 16? Couture and Liddell compete against each other weekly as the coaches of Team Couture and Team Liddell in the new, exciting The Ultimate Fighter? reality show on Spike TV. But they will clash for Couture’s light heavyweight belt in the main event.
It’s the re-match everyone has wanted since Couture (13-6-0) from Portland, Ore., made a dramatic impact on the light heavyweight division with a third-round TKO of Liddell (14-3-0) from San Luis Obispo, Calif., to win the interim light heavyweight title June 6, 2003 in Las Vegas. Couture, the former two-time heavyweight champion, then defeated Tito Ortiz September 26, 2003 for the undisputed title; lost the belt to Vitor Belfort on January 31, 2004 when a glancing left hook sliced his left eye only 48 seconds into the fight forcing its stoppage, then won it back from Belfort on August 21 with a dominating ground and pound performance.
Liddell didn’t allow the loss to Couture affect his game. He rebounded April 2 with a second round knockout of Ortiz, then followed in August with a first-round KO of Vernon “Tiger” White on the same Couture-Belfort card. “It’s going to be different this time,” Liddell predicts. “I’m going to win by a knockout and be the light heavyweight champ.” But Couture is just as adamant.
“This fight will end just like the last one. At the end of the night, I’m still going home with the belt.”
Three middleweight fights, a heavyweight bout, a light heavyweight match and a welterweight bout will complete the card.
In middleweight action, Couture’s fellow Team Quest mate Matt Lindland will fight Travis Lutter; Ivan Salaverry will meet Joe Riggs and England’s Lee Murray returns to face Canadian Patrick Cote. In the heavyweight fight, Mike Van Arsdale will take on John Marsh; thelight heavyweight match will have Brazilian Renato “Babalu” Sobral fighting Travis Wiuff and in the welterweight battle, Cote’s teammate Georges St. Pierre will meet Jason Miller.
Lindland (11-3-0) from Eagle Creek, Ore., is looking to get back in the middleweight title hunt against Lutter (7-1-0) from Ft. Worth, Tex. An Olympic Silver medalist in Greco-Roman wrestling, Lindland says his career won’t be complete until he adds UFC gold to his list of credentials. Meanwhile, Lutter made an impressive UFC debut in the light heavyweight division at UFC 50: War Of ’04 with a knockout of Marvin Eastman at the 33-second mark of the second round. Lindland’s forte is a patented Team Quest ground and pound attack while Lutter is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu fighter with good striking skills, who is dropping down a weight division.
Salaverry (9-3-1) from Seattle, Wash., and Riggs (24-4-0), from Phoenix, Ariz., are both recent UFC winners. Salaverry, one of MMA’s most well-rounded fighters made quick work of Tony Fryklund at UFC 50 in Atlantic City, N.J., with a tap out victory in just 1:36 in the first round. A right hand strike followed by a left kick left Fryklund reeling and Salaverry applied a body lock. Riggs, a heavy-handed striker, made an impressive debut at UFC 49 in Las Vegas when he defeated Joe Doerksen by submission due to strikes at 2:39 of the second round.
Murray (8-2-1) from London, England, is one of the U.K.’s top-ranked middleweights and is known as a powerful striker, but in his debut at UFC 46, he quickly defeated highly rated Jorge Rivera with a triangle arm bar in just 1:46 of the first round. Cote (6-1-0) from Montreal, Quebec, Canada, is also a knockout puncher with a great chin. At UFC 50, Cote switched opponents when Guy Mezger sustained a late training injury and fought as a light heavyweight against former champion Tito Ortiz. Although he lost a unanimous decision, Cote said he “got a lot of experience from the fight” and proved he will not back down from anyone.
In heavyweight action, Marsh (12-4-0) from Redondo Beach, Calif., will match his submission and striking skills against Van Arsdale (9-1-0) from San Jose, Calif., whose well-known wrestling prowess includes powerful takedowns. Marsh will make his debut after scratching from the UFC 50 card when he sustained a hip injury in training and could not fight Tra Telligman. In his last UFC fight, Van Arsdale defeated Gracie Jiu Jitsu fighter Joe Pardo with an arm lock at UFC 17.
The light heavyweight fight matches Sobral (24-5-0) from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, a Gracie Jiu Jitsu specialist, against Wiuff (34-3-0) from Rochester, Minn., who is a strong wrestler with improved submission and Jiu Jitsu weapons. Sobral has won his last seven consecutive fights and Wiuff has won 18 fights in a row.
St. Pierre (8-1-0) from Montreal will pit his takedown and ground and pound skills against Miller’s (24-4-0) from Las Vegas, Nev., Jiu Jitsu and Thai kickboxing. Miller will make his UFC debut while St. Pierre is coming off a welterweight title loss to Hughes at UFC 50. St. Pierre is one of MMA’s most well-rounded athletes. “I know he is very skilled,” Miller said. “But, I don’t think his chin has been tested.”
The Ultimate Fighter, which premiered last month continues to wow audiences each Monday at 11 p.m. EST/PST on Spike TV. Viewers can follow the remaining fighters each Monday night for nine more episodes as they train, work out and live together before the final show on Saturday, April 9. At the end of each week, one fighter from each of the two teams must fight in the Octagon to avoid being kicked out of the UFC training center until only two remain in each of two weight divisions. In the end, The Ultimate Fighter will be determined by a live competition match – a head-to-head fight to the finish in the Octagon.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship, based in Las Vegas, Nev., is the world’s premier mixed martial arts sports association. Owned and operated by Zuffa, LLC, the UFC programs six live pay-per-view events yearly through cable and satellite providers.
In addition, UFC programs are distributed on iNDemand, DirecTV, Dish Network, TVN, Fox Sports Net, Bell ExpressVu and internationally through Viewers Choice Canada, WOWOW, Inc.,in Japan and Globosat in Brazil. Zuffa, LLC, licenses the distribution of UFC video games through Crave Entertainment and Take Two TDK Mediactive, its fight show DVDs through Studioworks Entertainment, a Ventura Distribution company and its music CDs are published by Nitrus Records/DRT Entertainment, the official publisher of UFC music. “Ultimate Fighting Championship,” “Ultimate Fighting,” “UFC,” “Submission,” “As Real As It Gets” and the Octagon cage design are registered trademarks or trademarks owned exclusively by Zuffa, LLC, in the U.S., Japan and other jurisdictions. All other marks that may be referenced herein belong to their respective holders. Locate the UFC on the internet at www.ufc.tv.
RE:UFC 52:Couture vs. Liddell II & Trigg vs Hughes II
Lets hear it Oddessa, who do you like on this card? Should be a very entertaining.
I think Couture wins and if you put a gun to my head I would take Trigg. I think Trigg/Hughes will be a great match up. Hard to go against Hughes, but I am leaning Trigg.
What are your thoughts?