FIGHTERS NAMED FOR
UFC XXVI: ULTIMATE FIELD OF DREAMS
UFC Heavyweight & Lightweight Champions to Defend Titles
Titans Randleman and Rizzo Clash for Heavyweight Belt
Iowa natives Miletich and Roberts to be showcased
as UFC returns to Iowa
-Card Slated for June 9, 2000 in Cedar Rapids, IA-
NEW YORK CITY – The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has announced its slate of fighters to compete in UFC XXVI: Ultimate Field of Dreams, scheduled for Friday, June 9th, 2000 at the Five Seasons Center in Cedar Rapids, IA. Preliminary bout is scheduled for 7:00 P.M., live action starts at 8:00 P.M.
The main event in the eight-bout exhibition will feature the UFC’s Heavyweight Champion, Kevin "The Monster" Randleman defending his title against the UFC’s top Heavyweight contender Pedro "The Rock" Rizzo. This match-up was originally scheduled for March 10th at UFC XXIV, but was canceled due to an unfortunate backstage injury suffered by Randleman. Both fighters are back and prepared to put it all on the line for the Heavyweight belt.
In addition to the Heavyweight title bout, the exclusive pay-per-view event will feature not one, but two home-grown Iowans competing in the Lightweight and Middleweight divisions. The UFC’s Lightweight Champion and Iowa’s own Pat Milietich "The Croation Sensation", defends his belt for the third time against UFC Newcomer John "The Natural" Alessio. Also, Tyrone Roberts "The Native Warrior", trained by Miletich, will step into the OctagonTM for the first time and showcase his skills in front of his home state crowd. Plus a full night of non-stop action as the finest athletes in the world of mixed martial arts look to make names for themselves in the ultimate proving ground…the OctagonTM.
The fighters, who include both current UFC Champions and Newcomers are:
Heavyweight Championship Bout
At 5’10" 220 lbs., Kevin "The Monster" Randleman is true to his name. Kevin wrestled for Ohio State, winning the Big Ten Championship three times, and the U.S. National Wrestling Championship twice. After taking on such mixed martial arts legends as Bas Rutten and Maurice Smith, Randleman defeated Pete Williams at UFC XXIII in Japan to win the prestigious Heavyweight title. Randleman’s overall MMA record is currently 8-3, and he’s gunning for his ninth win at UFC XXVI.
Pedro "the Rock" Rizzo is a top contender in the heavyweight division. He sports an undefeated record in the UFC and Vale Tudo, has a 31-0 prokickboxing record, with an amazing 30 knockouts. Ranked #1 by both the WMT and MTS kickboxing federations, Rizzo goes into the OctagonTM highly decorated, and is looking to come out the new UFC Heavyweight Champion.
David Dodd has a 4-0 record in submission wrestling, winning all of his matches by submission in less than 2 minutes. He has a 12-3 record in MMA matches with 10 of his wins coming by first round submissions. At 6’2" 199 lbs., this former U.S. Marine is proving the temperature is not the only thing sizzling hot in Phoenix, AZ.
Tyrone Roberts, appropriately nicknamed, "The Native Warrior" will be competing in his home state of Iowa. Brother and biggest supporter of UFC veteran Andre Roberts, Tyrone believes "It’s my time now to show the world what I’m about." Tyrone, 5’9" and 192 lbs., is currently 4 and 0 as a pro-boxer. His UFC style record is an impressive 11-0-1.
Known as "El Toro" this 5’9", 199 lbs submission fighter started boxing at age 15 and became a Golden Gloves boxing Champion. He later switched over to kickboxing and became the USKA kickboxing Champion. Alex is 2 and 0 in Pancrase, and his overall MMA record is 6 and 1. Now training with Ken Shamrock’s Lion’s Den, Alex feels confident that this will be his year to make a name for himself in the UFC.
At UFC IX – Motor City Madness on May 17, 1996 Amaury a 5′ 6", 187 lbs Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fighter from Brazil, lost by referee stoppage in 9:30 to Don Frye. Amaury was outweighed by 25 pounds in that match but showed great heart in one of the best fights of that year. He is a two time black belt open class Jiu-Jitsu World Champion. Bitetti’s NHB record is 2-2-0.
Lightweight Championship Bout
UFC Lightweight Champion and Bettendorf, Iowa native Pat Miletich captured his title in a win over Lion’s Den fighter Mike Burnett at Ultimate Brazil, and has successfully defended his crown ever since. Undefeated in the UFC, this 5’10" and 169 lb. 31 year old Jiu-Jitsu/freestyle fighter has a great deal of MMA experience, and is looking forward to defending his UFC title, for the third time, in front of his home crowd.
At a mere 20 years of age, this 5’10" 196 lbs submission fighter is making his UFC debut. John, who fights out of the Shark Tank competition team, has only been training for two years, but he explains "That’s why they call me the ‘Natural’, because I picked it up so quickly." John’s MMA record is 10 and 3, and he recently won the Futurebrawl 2000 Middleweight tournament.
At 5’7" and 150 lbs. Jens "the Pulverizer" Pulver has won the Bas Rutten Invitational III Lightweight Title, winning both of his matches by knockout in under 30 seconds, and has had over 16 MMA matches with only 1 loss. His UFC record is 1-0-1.
Joao, a 5’4" 145 lbs Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fighter, has won numerous Jiu-Jitsu tournaments, defeated wrestler Dennis Hall at the submission wrestling event "The Contenders", and his match against Royler Gracie that went the distance at the 1999 Abu Dhabi Submission World Championships was chosen as the best match of the tournament. Joao’s current MMA record is 1-0-4.
Known for his takedowns, grappling ability and physical strength, wrestler Matt Hughes had a stunning UFC debut. At UFC 22 Matt pounded Sambo stylist Val Ignatov and won by unanimous decision after three rounds. The win is not surprising, Matt has been wrestling since his freshman year in high school. He was a two-time state champion in high school, a high school All American, and a four time collegiate All American. His UFC record is 1-0.
Marcello’s MMA record is 2-2-1 and he was the WVC 4 Tournament Champion. The 5’10" 169 lbs. Brazilian likes to strike, especially with kicks, and also has good ground skills. Marcello comes in with great respect for competitor Matt Hughes, and Marcello looks to earn the same respect in the Octagon.
Preliminary Bout (Heavyweight)
Preliminary Bout (Lightweight)
UFC XXVI will be broadcast live throughout the United States on pay-per-view television for $24.95, as well as DirecTV, Echostar, and TVN, and in Canada on Viewer’s Choice Canada and BellExpressVu Ltd. The event will also be Webcast over the Internet’s World Wide Web via PayForView.com