Nine fights are official for the UFC 80: "Rapid Fire" pay-per-view (PPV) event from The Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle, England, on Saturday, January 19, 2008, according to UFC.com.
The lightweight showdown between BJ Penn and Joe Stevenson for the vacant 155-pound title will headline the first UFC show of the New Year. It's expected that the winner of the bout will then defend the belt against former champion Sean Sherk later in 2008.
Here is how the rest of the UFC 80 fight card shakes up:
Main card (televised):
Hvywt.: Gabriel Gonzaga (8-2) vs. Fabricio Werdum (9-3-1)
170 lbs.: Marcus Davis (13-3) vs. Jess Liaudin (12-8)
205 lbs.: Jason Lambert (23-6) vs. Wilson Gouveia (9-4)
185 lbs.: Kendall Grove (8-4) vs. Jorge Rivera (14-6)
Under card (may not be broadcast):
Hvywt.: Antoni Hardonk (5-4) vs. Colin Robinson (8-3)
170 lbs.: Paul Taylor (8-2-1) vs. Paul Kelly (6-0)
205 lbs.: Alessio Sakara (11-6) vs. James Lee (12-2)
155 lbs.: Sam Stout (12-3-1) vs. Per Eklund (12-2-1)
As it stands now the PPV broadcast will air in the United States LIVE at 3 p.m. ET.
This is a curious decision after the UFC 72: "Victory" debacle earlier this year, which also aired in mid-afternoon and performed poorly. However, the starpower and significance of that card are nowhere near that of "Rapid Fire."
It should be an entertaining afternoon of mixed martial arts action -- much better than catching it seven hours later via tape delay. Of course we'll have everything you need before, during and after UFC 80.
In the meantime hit up out UFC 80 archive for more information right here.