London, December 22 – The Ultimate Fighting Championship organization is proud to announce two of the most significant British wins in UFC history – Dan Hardy’s points victory over Mike Swick, and Michael Bisping’s second round TKO over Denis Kang – will be screened on terrestrial network television this holiday season.
Both bouts, which took place at UFC 105 on November 14, will be broadcast at midnight on Sunday January 3 on channel FIVE as UFC: Main Event returns.
UFC 105 was the biggest British fight night of 2009, cramming nearly 17,000 fans into Manchester’s MEN Arena for what was one of the most memorable evenings in the history of British Mixed Martial Arts.
First, Michael ‘the Count’ Bisping recovered from an early knockdown to stop highly regarded Denis Kang in a hugely significant middleweight victory. Then, Dan ‘the Outlaw’ Hardy earned the first ever title shot for a British fighter when he punched his way past top welterweight Mike ‘Quick’ Swick.
Marshall Zelaznik, the UFC’s UK Division President, said: "We are delighted to give FIVE viewers the chance to see these two incredible performances by Dan and Mike. Their victories at UFC 105 are quite possibly the two biggest wins for British fighters in the history of the UFC. These two performances are easily in the top five by any British fighter since the UFC’s inception in 1993."
Indeed, ‘the Count’ was dropped in the opening seconds of the very first round and spent much of the opening stanza on his back defending against his Canadian opponent’s attacks. But the Manchester fighter roared back in the second round, unleashing a relentless ground and pound assault which Kang had no answer for.
"It was a defining fight for ‘the Count,’" Zelaznik said. "It re-established him as a serious contender at middleweight and proved the kind of fighting heart he has. The support he received from the Manchester fans was deafening."
And in the featured bout of UFC: Main Event, Nottingham’s Dan ‘the Outlaw’ Hardy outpoints top welterweight Mike ‘Quick’ Swick over three exciting rounds. With the win, Hardy became the first Briton to earn a shot at a UFC World Championship. Hardy will challenge welterweight king George St-Pierre in early 2010.
Zelaznik said: "Dan started as a big underdog in this fight against Swick, but, like he has in all four of his UFC bouts to date, the Outlaw proved the doubters wrong. He hurt Swick early on in the bout with a huge right hand and dictated the pace from there. Hardy clearly carries thunderous power in his hands but what surprised a lot of people is that he could match ‘Quick’ Swick for handspeed too.
"Dan’s win was a huge one for all of British MMA and we are excited to give FIVE viewers the chance to watch these two big British victories."
UFC: Main Event hits the FIVE airwaves at midnight on the night of Sunday, January 3.