UFC 77 in Cincinnati, Ohio, is dubbed "Hostile Territory" for a reason: Former middleweight champion and hometown hero, Rich Franklin, will look to reclaim his 185-pound title from current titleholder, Anderson Silva.
The October 20 showdown at the U.S. Bank Arena will be almost exactly one year to the day that "The Spider" crushed "Ace" en route to championship glory at UFC 64: "Unstoppable" on October 14, 2006.
So how does the Brazilian and reigning division kingpin feel about fighting Franklin in his own backyard?
It doesn't seem to phase him, according to a recent article in the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Here's a snip:
"As a fighter, I always get very motivated for new challenges. I can't think of a greater challenge than fighting Rich Franklin in his hometown. I will deal with [the crowd] it like I always do - with a big smile on my face."
One might make the case that there is more pressure on Franklin coming into this rematch, fighting in front of thousands of supporters and coming off of a devastating loss in their first encounter.
I wouldn't call that much of an advantage. That could all change, however, if the fight goes deeper into the later rounds.
For the latest UFC 77: "Hostile Territory" fight card click here.
In other news, also from the Cincinnati Enquirer, tickets for UFC 77 are going fast.
Here's an update:
"The UFC announced Monday afternoon, one day after tickets went on sale to the public, that 2,000 tickets remained for the event.... The UFC sold 5,000 tickets in a presale through its online fan club Fight Club, where tickets went on sale Wednesday. As of late Monday afternoon, 11,000 total tickets had been sold, according to the UFC public relations department."
It's possible that the UFC will make more tickets available closer to showtime. Remember to also check out StubHub.com, which often has seats even if events appear to be sold out.