With a shiny new television deal in place, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) today made its next trip overseas -- and first-ever to the "Fatherland" -- official today.
As expected, former middleweight champion Rich "Ace" Franklin will indeed headline UFC 99: "The Comeback" opposite ex-PRIDE smashing machine Wanderlei Silva in a special 195-pound catchweight bout from the Lanxess Arena in Cologne, Germany, on June 13.
Lightweight champion BJ Penn was expected to defend his 155-pound title against number one division contender, Kenny Florian, before deciding that he preferred more time between fights.
Here's a snip from company president, Dana White, on the announcement:
"We are coming with a stacked card and a unique main event. Rich Franklin v Wanderlei Silva is another of those dream fights fans never thought they’d get to see - but we are making it happen in Germany…. Everyone knows Rich moved up to light heavyweight a couple of fights ago while Wanderlei is planning on fighting at 185 pounds from now on, but this fight is too exciting a match not to happen and both these guys deserve a ton of credit for taking this fight at 195 pounds."
Tickets for UFC 99 are scheduled to go on sale to the general public on Friday, March 13. UFC Fight Club members and UFC Newsletter subscribers, naturally, will be able to scoop up tickets for the big show prior to them being available for public consumption.
Here is the UFC 99 tickets sales schedule:
UFC Fight Club presale: Monday, March 9
UFC Newsletter presale: Wednesday, March 11
General tickets sale: Friday, March 13
UFC 99 tickets can be purchased through StubHub.com (Note: StubHub often has seats available even if the event is "sold out").
For more on UFC 99 be sure to stay dialed in to MMAmania.com and remember to check out our event archive right here. Unofficial UFC 99 bouts at this time include:
265 lbs.: Cain Velasquez vs. Heath Herring
170 lbs.: Mike Swick vs. Ben Saunders
170 lbs.: Marcus Davis vs. Dan Hardy
155 lbs.: Spencer Fisher (22-4) vs. Caol Uno (25-11-4)
265 lbs.: Todd Duffee (4-0) vs. Mustapha Al Turk (6-4)