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MMA Big Show: Gary Goodridge vs Ron Sparks set for 'A New Dawn' on Jan. 9

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Former PRIDE FC and K-1 star Gary Goodridge (23-19-1) will return to mixed martial arts action after more than a year on the sidelines to take on fellow bruiser Ron Sparks (5-0) at the upcoming MMA Big show event "A New Dawn" set for the Belterra Casino in Florence, Indiana, on Saturday, January 9.

"Big Daddy" is perhaps best known to casual MMA fans for his unintentional snuff film against Paul Herrera at UFC 8: "David vs. Goliath." Goodridge secured his helpless foe in a crucifix and proceeded to rain down elbows until the referee intervened -- even after Herrera lost consciousness.

He recovered shortly thereafter, but highlights of the drubbing are frequently used in the anti-MMA crusade.

Between MMA and kickboxing, Goodridge has amassed a staggering 79 fights to his name since 1996. Unfortunately his career has been in a serious decline, as the Canadian has dropped five straight including back-to-back losses at the hands of Paul Buentello and Alistair Overeem.

Still, his experience and heavy hands make him a serious threat to Sparks' undefeated record.

"The Monster" was unsuccessful in his Oct. 23 bid to upset kickboxing legend Alexey "The Red Scorpion" Ignashov at the K-1 ColliZion 2009 Final Elimination show, but he's been unstoppable in five appearances inside the cage.

The six-foot-five-inch menace has four victories by way of (T)KO stoppage in his career and most recently put a beating on Jonathan Ivey at RFL: "Maximum Impact" en route to a unanimous decision win back on June 27.

How he fares against the well-traveled Goodridge remains to be seen.

MMA Big Show: "A New Dawn" will also feature Ultimate Fighter (TUF) veteran Luke Zachrich (10-1) taking on Bryon Sutton (5-0) for the promotion's light heavyweight title.

Stay tuned to MMAmania.com for more information on this still-developing fight card.

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