THIAGO SILVA vs. LYOTO MACHIDA
JON JONES vs. STEPHAN BONNAR
DONG HYUN KIM vs. KARO PARISYAN
CLAY GUIDA vs. NATE DIAZ
AKIHIRO GONO vs. JON FITCH
THIAGO TAVARES vs. MANVEL GAMBURYAN
JOHN HOWARD vs. CHRIS WILSON
CHRISTIAN WELLISCH vs. JAKE O’BRIEN
DAN CRAMER vs. MATT ARROYO
SATURDAY, JANUARY, 31, 2009 LIVE FROM LAS VEGAS AT MGM GRAND GARDEN ARENA
Las Vegas, NV (USA) – It’s one of the most anticipated fights in years; and now the Ultimate Fighting Championship® proudly confirms the remainder of the fight card for UFC 94: ST-PIERRE VS. PENN 2, live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday, January 31, 2009.
Tickets for UFC 94: ST-PIERRE VS. PENN 2 are on sale and are priced at $750, $500, $300, $200, $100 and $50. Tickets are available at the MGM Grand Garden Arena box office, all Ticketmaster locations, and by telephone at 800-929-1111 or 702-891-7777 and all Las Vegas Ticketmaster locations (select Smith’s Food and Drug Centers, Macy’s West at the Fashion Show Mall and Ritmo Latino). To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (702) 474-4000. Tickets also are available for purchase at ufc.com, www.mgmgrand.com or www.ticketmaster.com.
UFC 94: ST-PIERRE VS. PENN 2 will be available live on pay-per-view at 10 p.m. EST/7 p.m. PST on iN DEMAND, DIRECTV, DISH Network, TVN, Bell ExpressVu, Shaw Communications and Viewer’s Choice Canada for a suggested retail price of $44.95 for standard definition or high-definition broadcasts (where available).
UFC® lightweight champion BJ Penn looks to be the first fighter in history to hold two UFC championships at the same time when he faces Georges St-Pierre for the UFC welterweight championship; but the two champions aren’t the only ones with something to lose.
When Thiago Silva (6’1”/205 lbs., fighting out of Sao Paulo, Brazil) meets Lyoto Machida (6’1”/205 lbs., fighting out of Belem, Brazil), both fighters will put their undefeated records and top-contender statuses on the line. Machida, 13-0, outlasted former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz in his last bout and has posted five UFC wins in his career. The two-time Brazilian Karate champion is known for his unorthodox style and counter-striking, and he’ll need all of those skills against the devastating offense of Thiago Silva. The 26-year-old Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt with the 13-0 record has put away every UFC opponent, earning TKO wins against Houston Alexander, Tomasz Drwal and James Irvin along with a submission due to strikes victory against Antonio Mendes.
Las Vegas, Nevada’s Stephan Bonnar (6’4”/205 lbs) will always be remembered for the phenomenal fight he had with Forrest Griffin in the original finale of The Ultimate Fighter®, but more recently the 31-year-old is on a two-fight win streak with a TKO win over Eric Schafer and a submission victory against Mike Nickels. Bonnar will need his all of his Octagon™ experience when he fights the undefeated Jon Jones (6’4”/205 lbs., fighting out of Endicott, N.Y.). The Rochester, N.Y. native is coming off a decision win against Andre Gusmao in his UFC debut and will face his toughest opponent to date in Bonnar. The 21-year-old Jones is a former junior college national wrestling champion and is now 7-0 in his mixed martial arts career.
If a fighter wants to know where he stands in the welterweight division, he should face perennial contender Karo Parisyan (5’10”/170 lbs., fighting out of North Hollywood, Calif.). The 26-year-old dropped his last fight to No. 1 welterweight contender Thiago Alves, but has amassed a 26-5 professional mixed martial arts record and has nine of those wins in the UFC, including victories over Matt Serra, Chris Lytle, Josh Burkman and Ryo Chonan. Korea’s Dong Hyun Kim (6’1”/170 lbs., fighting out of Busan, Korea) will have to be at his best if he wants to defeat the UFC veteran. Like Parisyan, Kim has a strong judo background and the 27-year-old is coming off consecutive wins in his first two UFC matches against Jason Tan and Matt Brown. Now Kim brings in his 11-0-1 record against the Armenian warrior.
Any match that includes Clay Guida (5’7”/155 lbs, fighting out of Johnsburg, Ill.) is sure to be a high-energy fight, and Guida will need all that energy against 23-year-old Ultimate Fighter Season 5 winner Nate Diaz (6’0”/155 lbs., fighting out of Stockton, Calif.). Guida has won his last two fights, earning a TKO victory against Samy Schiavo, and then going the distance in a victory against Mac Danzig. The 27-year-old has compiled a 24-6 MMA record and looks to stop Diaz (10-2), who is riding a five-fight win streak with victories against Josh Neer and Kurt Pellegrino in his last two fights.
With an extensive list of top-tier fighters, the Ultimate Fighting Championship has seen only two competitors start their UFC careers by going 8-0 – one is UFC Hall of Famer Royce Gracie, the second is Ft. Wayne, Indiana’s Jon Fitch (6’0”/170 lbs., fighting out of San Jose, Calif.). Looking to rebound from a loss to St-Pierre, the former Purdue wrestler (21-3, 1 NC) will stare across the Octagon this time at MMA veteran Akihiro Gono (5’9”/170 lbs., fighting out of Nakano, Tokyo, Japan). The 34-year-old with a 28-13-7 record started his UFC career with a win over Tamdan McCrory at UFC 78 but then dropped a split decision to Dan Hardy at UFC 89.
Fighting on the same card as his cousin Karo Parisyan, Manvel Gamburyan (5’5”/155 lbs., fighting out of North Hollywood, Calif.) looks to rebound from his loss against Rob Emerson in his last match. A judo expert like his cousin, the 27-year-old will put his 10-4 record up against Thiago Tavares (5’7”/155 lbs., fighting out of Florianopolis, Brazil). The 24-year-old Brazilian thrilled fight fans in 2008 with his wars against Matt Wiman and Kurt Pellegrino, and he’s looking to kick off 2009 with a big win.
After going the distance but losing to Fitch, 31-year-old Chris Wilson (6’1”/170 lbs., fighting out of Portland, Ore.) defeated Steve Bruno by decision and now “The Professor” turns his attention to John “Doomsday” Howard (5’10”/170 lbs., fighting out of Dorchester, Mass.), who makes his UFC debut.
In heavyweight action, Christian Wellisch (6’3”/237 lbs., fighting out of Sacramento, Calif.) looks to return to the form that saw him win two of his last three UFC fights. To improve on his 9-3 record, Wellisch will have to defeat 24-year-old Jake O’Brien (6’3”/230 lbs., fighting out of Indianapolis, Ind.), who holds a 2007 win over Heath Herring and is ready to make his move on the top ten in 2009.
Making your professional debut can be tough for many fighters, but making it in the Octagon is on a completely different level – and that is exactly what Dan Cramer (6’2”/170 lbs., fighting out of Bethel, Conn.) will be doing. The Ultimate Fighter Season 7 alumnus went 2-1 on the show, and now Cramer will enter the pro ranks officially when he takes on Season 6 contestant and Hackensack, N.J. native Matt Arroyo (6’0”/170 lbs., fighting out of Tampa, Fla.), who is 1-1 in the UFC and is seen as one of the top young ground fighters in the sport.