Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) today confirmed what we have known for some time now:
The 11 fights booked for the UFC 83: "Serra vs. St. Pierre 2" pay-per-view (PPV) event from the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada, on Saturday, April 19, are now all official -- we can remove the "rumor" tag from those that were up until recently unconfirmed.
Here's the complete line up:
UFC Welterweight Champion Matt Serra vs. Interim UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre
Main card (televised):
185 lbs.: Rich Franklin (22-3) vs. Travis Lutter (9-4)
185 lbs.: Kalib Starnes (8-2-1) vs. Nate Quarry (9-2)
185 lbs.: Michael Bisping (15-1) vs. Charles McCarthy (10-4)
155 lbs.: Mac Danzig (17-4-1) vs. Mark Bocek (5-1)
Under card (may not be broadcast):
185 lbs.: Jason MacDonald (19-9) vs. Joe Doerksen (39-11)
185 lbs.: Alan Belcher (12-4) vs. Jason Day (15-5)
185 lbs.: Ed Herman (14-5) vs. Demian Maia (6-0)
155 lbs.: Sam Stout (13-3-1) vs. Rich Clementi (30-12-1)
265 lbs.: Cain Velasquez (2-0) vs. Brad Morris (10-2)
170 lbs.: Jonathan Goulet (21-9) vs. Kuniyoshi Hironaka (11-4)
This marks the first UFC foray into Canada, which has unsurprisingly created quite a buzz north of the United States border. In fact, tickets to the event were essentially sold out to the 20,000-seat arena during the exclusive presale.
That has a lot to do with the participation of local favorite and one of the top mixed martial artists on the planet, Georges St. Pierre. "Rush" will look to reclaim his 170-pound strap when he rematches reigning welterweight champion, Matt Serra, in the marquee match of the evening.
Important middleweight bouts round out the entire main card for the most part, including an intriguing showdown between former 185-pound titleholder, Rich Franklin, and Brazilian jiu-jitsu stylist, Travis Lutter. That's going to be a great fight and an interesting contrast in styles -- Rich prefers to bang, while Travis prefers to roll.
Season three winner of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF), Michael Bisping, will also make his highly anticipated middleweight debut when he takes on "Captain Miserable" himself, Charles McCarthy.
From the opening to closing bell, the atmosphere inside the Bell Centre is going to be absolutely electric for UFC 83. Let's hope the fights live up to the lofty expectations ... if that's even possible.