For Immediate Release:
ULTIMATE FIGHTING CHAMPIONSHIP
UFC 69: SHOOTOUT MAIN CARD LINE-UP
GEORGES ST-PIERRE vs. MATT SERRA
DIEGO SANCHEZ vs. JOSH KOSCHECK
ROGER HUERTA vs. LEONARD GARCIA
MIKE SWICK vs. YUSHIN OKAMI
ALAN BELCHER vs. KENDALL GROVE
SATURDAY, APRIL 7 LIVE FROM TOYOTA CENTER IN HOUSTON
Las Vegas, NV — In just a few weeks the Toyota Center in Houston will be a sight to see when Ultimate Fighting Championship fans from all around the world pack the house to watch as UFC World Welterweight Champion Georges “Rush” St-Pierre attempts his first title defense when he faces The Ultimate Fighter 4 “The Comeback” winner Matt “The Terror” Serra in a heated battle for the welterweight crown. The UFC organization will present UFC 69: SHOOTOUT live from Houston at the Toyota Center Saturday, April 7, 2007.
UFC 69: SHOOTOUT main card also features exciting match ups with Josh Koscheck vs. Diego Sanchez, Roger Huerta vs. Leonard Garcia, Mike Swick vs. Yushin Okami, and Alan Belcher vs. Kendall Grove.
Georges “Rush” St-Pierre (13-1-0), fighting out of Montreal, Quebec, Canada makes his first welterweight championship title defense against his former The Ultimate Fighter 4 team member Matt “The Terror” Serra. St-Pierre capitalized on his chance for a title at UFC 65: BAD INTENTIONS when he obtained the title with a second round stoppage of welterweight champion Matt Hughes. St-Pierre aggressively fought to put himself back in line for the title, also defeating former champion BJ Penn, Jason “Mayhem” Miller, Frank Trigg and Sean Sherk. This fight with Serra will be no different as they go head to head in the Octagon. Serra, fighting out of Long Island, New York is a UFC veteran and winner of The Ultimate Fighter 4. He carries a 15-4-0 record including victories over the highly touted Yves Edwards and Ivan Menjivar. Serra reached The Ultimate Fighter 4 semifinals by defeating Pete Spratt via tapout due to strikes, and then avenged his previous loss to Shonie Carter by defeating him with a series of takedowns and scoring a unanimous decision with the judges. He faced Chris Lytle in The Ultimate Fighter 4 finale and defeated him by split-decision, thus earning a chance at a title shot in the process. Now he takes on the toughest fight of his career in an attempt to make a true comeback when he squares off against St-Pierre April 7.
To many fight fans, ground fighting ace Diego “The Nightmare” Sanchez (19-0-0) is the future when it comes to the UFC’s 170-pound weight class, especially after his August win over Karo Parisyan in one of the most exciting fights of 2006. Undefeated, and the winner of bouts against John Alessio, Nick Diaz, Brian Gassaway and Kenny Florian, the 24-year-old has blitzed his competition thus far, and he and middleweight contender Mike Swick remain the only fighters from the first season of The Ultimate Fighter reality series to retain an unbeaten UFC record once the show ended. In December, the Albuquerque, New Mexico native scored a stunning first round knockout over the always dangerous Joe Riggs to earn his 19th win without a loss. Josh “Kos” Koscheck (10-1-0) fighting out of Fresno, Calif. is one of the most athletically gifted fighters in the sport of MMA today. A former NCAA Division I National wrestling champion, Koscheck is rapidly developing the type of mixed martial arts game that will make him a force to be reckoned with in the years to come. Winner of ten pro MMA fights, with his only loss coming in the final seconds of a bout he was winning against Drew Fickett in 2005. Koscheck’s improvement was evident by his August clash with Jonathan Goulet, where he rocked the Canadian vet early with an overhand right and then finished him off with strikes at 4:10 of the first round. In his last bout, at UFC Fight Night, Koscheck ran his UFC winning streak to four with a clear cut three round unanimous decision over Jeff Joslin.
Leonard “Bad Boy” Garcia (13-1-0), fighting out of Lubbock, Texas is a UFC newcomer. Over the course of a seven year career, the “Bad Boy” has trained in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu since he was 16, and he has used that experience to put together an eight fight winning streak leading up to this fight. Garcia knows that a win over Huerta would not only make it nine, but would herald the beginning of an exciting new chapter in his mixed martial arts story. Lightweight Roger “El Matador” Huerta survived a harrowing upbringing in Mexico, El Salvador, and Texas before finding wrestling in high school and setting his life on a positive path that would eventually lead him to the UFC. Now 2-0 in the Octagon, with a convincing decision victory over Jason Dent and a 19 second destruction of John Halverson, this well-rounded protg of former UFC middleweight champion Dave Menne is not only carving out a niche as one of the most exciting young lightweights in the sport; he has shown that with the right dedication and motivation, a less than ideal past doesn’t have to dictate someone’s future.
Mike “Quick” Swick (10-1-0), fighting out of San Jose, Calif. is a middleweight contender that has certainly lived up to his nickname `Quick.’ In his first four UFC bouts, it only took him a combined five minutes and 10 seconds to take out Alex Schoenauer, Gideon Ray, Steve Vigneault, and Joe Riggs. In bout number five, Swick also showed he had the right stuff to survive and thrive in a three round war of attrition as he pounded out a unanimous decision over former world title challenger David Loiseau. On the fast track to a shot at UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva, Swick will be counting on the support of his hometown Houston fans when he squares off against Yushin Okami (20-3-0). Fighting out of Kanagawa, Japan, Okami is a patient warrior with a well-rounded attack that includes deceptively punishing power. Okami followed up a decision win over Alan Belcher at UFC 62 with clear cut third round stoppages of Kalib Starnes and Rory Singer, and with his stamina and late round ability to take opponents out, his bout against fast-starter Mike Swick is one of the most intriguing on the UFC 69 card. A win over the hometown hero may put the 25-year old Okami in line for a shot at a man he already holds a win over, UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva.
Alan “The Talent” Belcher (9-2-0) fighting out of Biloxi, Miss. is one to watch out for. With one swift and powerful kick to the head at UFC Fight Night, Belcher delivered one of the most stunning knockouts of 2006 and also earned his first Octagon win over tough Brazilian Jorge Santiago. The exciting 22-year old is far from a one-dimensional striker, as he recently received his blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu from Helio Soneca. Defeating a high-profile opponent like The Ultimate Fighter 3 winner Kendall “Da Spyder” Grove, Belcher’s mission is clear to get the victory by any means necessary, whether taking it to the mat or banging it out while standing. Grove (9-3-0) on the other hand, has made a seamless transition from reality television star to the big league MMA of the UFC due to talent, size, and hard work. This 6″6″ middleweight with the range to give anyone a rough night of work, followed up his memorable The Ultimate Fighter 3 finale win over Ed Herman last June with a just as memorable one-sided beat down of Chris `The Exorcist’ Price in October. With Grove’s charisma and talent, the future continues to look bright for this proud Hawaiian. “Da Spyder” looks to continue on his positive development as a fighter when he takes on Belcher,
Tickets for UFC 69: SHOOTOUT are on sale now for $450, $350, $250, $150 and $50 and will be available online at www.toyotacentertix.com, by phone at 1-866-4HOUTIX, at the Toyota Center Box Office or select Houston area Randall's locations. As of 1:00PM CST today, more than 6,400 tickets have already been sold for UFC 69.
UFC 69: SHOOTOUT is available live on pay-per-view in Standard or High-Definition (HD) where available at 10 p.m. EST/7 p.m. PST on iN DEMAND, DIRECTV, DISH Network, TVN, Bell ExpressVu, Shaw Communications and Viewer’s Choice Canada. The suggested retail price for Standard Definition is $39.95 ($39.99 CAD) and $49.95 for HD.
The undercard bouts for UFC 69: SHOOTOUT will be announced in the near future. All bouts are subject to change.
About The Ultimate Fighting Championship
The Ultimate Fighting Championship brand is the world’s leading professional mixed martial arts organization and offers the premier series of MMA sports events. Owned and operated by Zuffa, LLC, and headquartered in Las Vegas, Nev., the UFC organization produces approximately twelve to fourteen live pay-per-view events annually that are distributed through cable and satellite providers. In addition to its U.S. distribution, UFC fight programs are distributed throughout the world including broadcast on WOWOW, Inc. in Japan, Globosat in Brazil and Bravo in the United Kingdom. For more information, or current UFC fight news, visit www.ufc.com.
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