Salil Gulati sent along the following:
New York, NY, February 3, 2009 – Music City has never seen hard-hitting action like this as many of the rising stars in the sport of mixed martial arts will be featured in a nationally televised event live on Spike TV Wednesday, April 1 at 9:00pm ET/PT. The first-ever UFC event in Nashville, TN will be headlined by welterweight contenders Carlos Condit and Martin Kampmann and will emanate from the Sommet Center. Spike TV’s “UFC Fight Night” will also include “The Ultimate Fighter 8” champs Ryan Bader and Efrain Escudero, “The Ultimate Fighter 5” standout Cole Miller, and the controversial “The Ultimate Fighter 8” contestant Junie Browning.
Winner of his last eight MMA bouts, Carlos Condit (23-4) currently holds the welterweight title in the UFC’s sister organization, the WEC. The 24 year-old, making his UFC debut, is a native of Albuquerque, NM, and has an impressive fighting resume with victories over Frank Trigg, Brock Larson, Carl Prater, and John Alessio.
Kampmann (14-2), a former Thai boxing champion in his native Netherlands, won his first four bouts in the Octagon as a middleweight before suffering a TKO loss to Nate Marquardt at UFC 88 last September. After dropping down in weight class to welterweight, Kampamann defeated Alexandre Barros via TKO in January at UFC 93. Fighting out of Las Vegas with Xtreme Couture, Kampmann will face his toughest test at 170 lbs against Condit.
The co-features include the first fights for “The Ultimate Fighter 8” champions Efrain Escudero and Ryan Bader. The 25 year-old resident of Tempe, AZ, Bader (8-0) attended Arizona State University where he was a 2-time All-American and 3-time All-Pac-10 wrestler. He is coming off an impressive first-round TKO over Vinny Magalhaes in December 2008 to be crowned “The Ultimate Fighter” in the light heavyweight division. However, his next big test in the Octagon is a tough one, Carmelo Marrero, who trains with the renowned American Top Team out of Coconut Creek, Fl. Marrero (10-2-1) made a big splash in his Octagon debut in October 2006 at UFC 64 by winning a split decision over the dangerous Cheick Kongo. After losses to Gabriel Gonzaga and Wilson Gouveia, he won his last fight against Steve Steinbeiss last November and looks to continue his winning ways against Bader.
Undefeated Efrain Escudero (12-0) makes his first appearance in the Octagon since his three-round decision victory Phillipe Nover in December 2008 to capture “The Ultimate Fighter” crown in the 155lb division. Born in Mexico and raised in Tuscon, AZ, the former All-American collegiate wrestler currently fights out of Tempe, AZ. His opponent will be announced shortly.
Spike TV will open the two-hour televised fight card at 9:00pm with a lightweight battle between two very different “The Ultimate Fighter” contestants. Browning (3-1) is a Kentucky-native currently training in Las Vegas who reached the semifinals in the lightweight division for “The Ultimate Fighter 8.” He scored an impressive victory via submission over Dave Kaplan on the show’s live finale undercard in December 2008. However, it’s his outspoken and pugnacious attitude that made him a polarizing figure on the show. His opponent is Cole Miller (14-3), the affable veteran of “The Ultimate Fighter 5” fighting out of Coconut Creek, Fl has won three of his last four fights including a third-round TKO via submission over Jorge Gurgel at UFC 86 last July.
The remaining fights will be announced shortly.
Spike TV is available in 97.7 million homes and is a division of MTV Networks. A unit of Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), MTV Networks is one of the world's leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms. Spike TV's Internet address is www.spike.com