Ultimate Fighting Championship organization’s historic UFC 100 event on Saturday, July 11 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas will three bouts that individually would be main events anywhere else in the world.
In the main event, the undisputed UFC heavyweight championship of the world is on the line when reigning titleholder Brock Lesnar faces interim champion Frank Mir in one of the most highly anticipated rematches in heavyweight history.
“Brock Lesnar and Frank Mir put on one of the most intense one-round fights I’ve ever seen at UFC 81,” said UFC President Dana White, referring to Mir’s submission victory over Lesnar in February 2008. “But when it was over, both guys saw things very differently. Lesnar blamed his loss on inexperience and being too aggressive while Mir saw his win as a triumph of his technique, something he says will happen every time they fight. On July 11, these guys have their chance to do it again and while a lot has happened for these two since that first fight, I know the rematch is going to be just as intense as the first one; especially considering that the winner walks away as the UFC Heavyweight Champion.”
The co-featured bout of the evening will see UFC Welterweight Champion Georges “Rush” St-Pierre risk his title against feared striker Thiago “Pitbull” Alves, a man many believe has the style and size to dethrone the seemingly unbeatable champion.
“Georges St-Pierre may be the most athletically gifted welterweight champion in UFC history, but at UFC 100 he will face his toughest challenge yet,” said White. “Thiago Alves is a Muay Thai wrecking machine who, like St-Pierre, is huge for a welterweight. He trains with the world-famous American Top Team and is on a seven-fight win streak including victories over top contenders Karo Parisyan and Josh Koscheck, as well as former world champion Matt Hughes. Alves has improved with every fight and I am expecting an explosive fight from the two top welterweights in the world.”
Rounding out this trio of superfights is a pivotal middleweight matchup pitting the coaches of the current season of The Ultimate Fighter, Dan Henderson and Michael “The Count” Bisping, against each other in a bout that will push the winner closer to a 185-pound title shot.
“Michael Bisping has always been a talented fighter, but he’s gotten even scarier once he dropped down to the middleweight division,” said White. “He’s getting better and better with each fight, but the true test for him will be Dan Henderson. Henderson is one of the best fighters of this era, he’s dangerous wherever the fight goes and he’s got more world-class experience than almost anyone out there. I’m really looking forward to this and I think the winner will be the guy who fights the perfect fight on July 11.”
A gifted athlete with the size, speed and power to impose his will on any opponent, Brock Lesnar (3-1) stands 6 feet 3 ½ inches tall and weighs 265 pounds. He made an immediate impact in the UFC with his debut fight in February 2008. A four-time All-American, two-time Big 10 Champion and 2000 NCAA Division I National Champion in wrestling, Lesnar made a name for himself internationally after college as a professional wrestler, but soon found his calling in mixed martial arts in 2006. After a 69-second win in his professional debut one year later, Lesnar entered the UFC in 2008. He was seconds away from victory against former heavyweight champion Mir, before a stoppage in the action for a point deduction allowed Mir to come back and submit the newcomer moments afterwards. In August, at UFC 87, Lesnar once again showed why he was a force to be reckoned with by dominating Heath Herring. He went on to shock the world on November 15 with a TKO against one of the greatest heavyweights of all time, Randy “The Natural” Couture. Now firmly entrenched on top of the heavyweight division, Lesnar wants to even the score with Mir.
Lesnar said, “I was disappointed the fight was postponed from May because I can’t wait to get my revenge against Frank, but now I get to fight him on the biggest show the UFC has ever put on. On July 11, I’m going to finish this fight on the ground the way it should have been finished last time and walk out with my UFC heavyweight championship belt around my waist.”
Many believe that 29-year-old Las Vegas resident Frank Mir (12-3) was destined for stardom the moment he stepped in the UFC Octagon. He lived up to those expectations when he submitted Tim Sylvia in 50 seconds in 2004 to win the UFC Heavyweight Championship. Unfortunately, Mir’s career came to a halt later that year when a serious motorcycle accident forced him to the sidelines for nearly two years. His eagerness to return forced him into some unsuccessful performances when he stepped back into the Octagon in 2006, but at UFC 74 in August 2007, Mir was back in top-notch form when he submitted Antoni Hardonk in 77 seconds. He followed that pivotal win with a come-from-behind victory over Lesnar at UFC 81. It wasn’t until UFC 92 on December 27 that Mir was completely back, when he became the first man to stop the legendary Antonio “Minotauro” Nogueira en route to regaining the championship he never lost in the Octagon. On May 23, the 6-foot-3 inch, 240-pound Mir will have the opportunity to once again reign as the undisputed title holder.
Mir said, “He’s a very powerful guy. I think I’m going to see a different fighter from our first fight. This fight has all the makings of an historic matchup.”
One of the most dynamic fighters in mixed martial arts history, UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St-Pierre (18-2) can do it all in the Octagon, and his resume speaks for itself. A gifted striker and grappler, the 27-year-old from Montreal is a two-time welterweight title holder who owns wins over the likes of Hughes, Matt Serra, BJ Penn, Sean Sherk, Koscheck, Jon Fitch and Frank Trigg. St-Pierre is a tireless force in and out of the Octagon and he’s training harder than ever for a fight against the greatest threat to his throne, Thiago Alves.
St-Pierre said, “A fight is not only a question of strength, it’s a mix of skill and a variety of techniques and strategy. For me, I’m very glad to be part of such a historic event like UFC 100. I also think of it as another fight – I’ll be as well-prepared as I can be. I think he’s gonna try to hurt me really bad standing up, or it’s possible that he also might try to surprise me and take me down. So I need to be prepared for the possibility of both.”
An aggressive Muay Thai practitioner with dynamite in his fists, feet and knees, Thiago Alves (22-4) is coming off a 2008 campaign that had many outlets proclaiming him as ‘Fighter of the Year.’ It was with good reason as the 25-year-old native of Fortaleza, Brazil scored spectacular knockouts over top contender Parisyan and welterweight legend Hughes before finishing off the year with a dominant three-round win over Koscheck. Now hitting his peak as a mixed martial artist, “The Pitbull” is not about to let this opportunity to fight for the world title slip through his hands.
Alves said, “I was born ready for this fight. I’m training hard for this one and this is the biggest fight of my career. I’m really excited to fight the baddest man on the earth and I can’t wait to knock him out. I’ve gotten so much better. I feel like the luckiest man in the world – fighting GSP, the toughest man on the planet, and fighting at UFC 100 is an honor.”
Manchester, England’s Michael “The Count” Bisping (18-1), the finest mixed martial artist to ever hail from the United Kingdom, has come a long way from his days as the winner of season three of The Ultimate Fighter in 2006. Bisping has scored victories over Eric Schafer, Elvis Sinosic and Matt Hamill, but it wasn’t until he dropped to the middleweight division that his stock truly rose as he is unbeaten at 185 pounds with wins over Chris Leben, Jason Day, and Charles McCarthy. His truest test will come on July 11 when he faces Dan Henderson, the man he is currently coaching against on season nine of The Ultimate Fighter.
Bisping said, “This is the biggest fight of my career. I watched Dan Henderson and followed his career long before I even came to the UFC. It is an honor and great challenge to go up against an Olympian and two-time world champion. I tried to get under his skin during the filming of TUF, but he is a gentleman and not easily riled up. But in this fight I don’t need to play psychological games. To win, I have to come in with the right game plan and take the fight to Henderson. That’s exactly what I am going to do on this huge stage of UFC 100.”
A two-time U.S. Olympian in Greco-Roman wrestling, Dan Henderson (24-7) turned his sights to mixed martial arts in 1997 and has since put together a hall of fame worthy career. He has become the first and only fighter to hold PRIDE championships simultaneously in two divisions while beating such standouts as Wanderlei Silva, Vitor Belfort, Murilo Bustamante, Renzo Gracie, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and ‘Babalu’ Sobral. Fresh off back-to-back wins over Rousimar Palhares and Rich Franklin, “Hendo” is eager to beat Bisping and get back to the top of the list for a shot at the title.
Henderson said, “Bisping is going to be a good fight for me, and I’m looking forward to it. He does a lot of things well, but I don’t think he has an edge over me in anything, and my experience is going to be too much for him on July 11.”
Tickets for UFC 100 priced at $1,000, $750, $500, $300, $200 and $100, not including applicable service charges, go on sale Saturday, April 11 at 10 a.m. at all Las Vegas Ticketmaster locations (select Smith’s Food and Drug Centers and Ritmo Latino). Ticket sales are limited to eight (8) per person. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Tickets also are available for purchase at www.UFC.com, www.mandalaybay.com or www.ticketmaster.com.
UFC Fight Club members now have the opportunity to purchase tickets by visiting www.ufc.com. A special Internet ticket pre-sale also will be available to UFC newsletter subscribers Friday, April 10 at 10 a.m. PST. To access the pre-sale, users must register for the UFC newsletter at www.ufc.com.
UFC 100 will be available live on pay-per-view on iN DEMAND, DIRECTV, DISH Network, TVN, BellTV, Shaw Communications and Viewer’s Choice Canada for a suggested retail price of $44.95 for standard definition or high-definition broadcasts (where available).