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Tuesday, May 13, 2003

Liddell To Fight Couture For Interim Light Heavyweight Title Live On Pay-per-view At Ufc 43: Meltdown, June 6

From Josh Hedges/Zuffa:

UFC Logo

Mega-Star Event To Also Feature Ken Shamrock Vs. Ian Freeman, Tank Abbott Vs. Kimo At Thomas & Mack Center In Las Vegas

Frank Mir To Battle Wes Sims In Ultimate Fighting Championship Heavyweight Action

      LAS VEGAS, May 13, 2003… Chuck "The Iceman" Liddell, the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s number one contender for its light heavyweight crown, will fight UFC former two-time heavyweight champion Randy Couture for the interim light heavyweight title LIVE on pay-per-view at 10 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. PDT, Friday, June 6, in the main event of UFC 43: Meltdown at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.
      In heavyweight action on the eight-fight, mega-star card, UFC legend Ken Shamrock will return to the Octagon to meet British brawler Ian Freeman; power-punching knockout specialist Tank Abbott will fight Hawaiian fighting legend Kimo, and Brazilian jiu-jitsu specialist Frank Mir will take on 6′ 10" freestyle fighter Wes Sims.
      Tickets, $300, $200, $100, $60 and $30, are now on sale at the Thomas & Mack box office in Las Vegas, at all UNLV ticket outlets including the Galleria at Sunset, Meadows Mall, Boulevard Mall, all Station Casinos and Fiesta hotel/casinos and at www.unlvtickets.com. Tickets also may be ordered by telephone at 1-866-388-3267 toll free, or in Las Vegas at (702) 739-3267. Ticket purchases are subject to transaction fees. The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino is the host of the event and UFC fans can reserve rooms by calling 1-800-HRD ROCK or by visiting the website at www.hardrockhotel.com.
      UFC 43: Meltdown will be available LIVE on pay-per-view on iNDemand, DirecTV, Dish Network, Bell ExpressVu and Viewers Choice Canada. The suggested retail price is $29.95. A half-hour, free preview show that will feature a never before seen UFC fight will be televised by all cable operators starting at 9:30 p.m. EDT/6:30 p.m. PDT.
      Couture will drop down a weight division to fight Liddell and the winner will become the UFC interim light heavyweight champion. The current champion Tito Ortiz is injured and is unable to return to the Octagon.
      "Chuck earned his number one contender rank nine months ago and deserves a shot at the title. Since Tito can’t fight, Randy Couture jumped at the opportunity to fight Chuck for the interim title. Randy has already made history as the only two-time heavyweight champion and now he wants to get into the record books again as the only guy to win UFC world titles in two different divisions. It’s going to be an action-packed fight," said Dana White, UFC president.
      Liddell (11-1-0 in mixed martial arts) of San Luis Obispo, Calif., earned his nickname, "Iceman," because of his ability to freeze opponents with his strong combination of kickboxing and wrestling skills. In his most recent UFC fight, he kept his number one contender rating intact with a first round (2:59) technical knockout of Renato "Babalu" Sobral, one of Brazil’s top-ranked light heavyweights, at UFC 40: Vendetta last November in Las Vegas. Liddell became the number one contender with a unanimous decision last July in Las Vegas over Vitor Belfort, Brazil’s top light heavyweight.
      Couture (7-4-0) of Portland, Ore., is the only UFC fighter to hold the heavyweight title twice. Nicknamed "The Natural", Couture is a world class Greco-Roman wrestler known for being dangerous with uppercuts and hooks in the clinch as well as a punishing ground and pound attack. Couture has had an amazing career racking up wins over top names such as Belfort, Maurice Smith, Kevin Randleman and Pedro Rizzo. If Couture defeats Liddell, he will become the first UFC fighter to earn world titles in two different weight divisions.
The legendary Shamrock (8-5-2) of San Diego, Calif., returns to take on Freeman (13-6-0) of Sunderland, England. "The World’s Most Dangerous Man" is a UFC legend and pioneer. He participated in the very first UFC and he was the first ever UFC Superfight Champion. A master of submission, Shamrock is also willing to slug it out. He feels he depleted himself cutting weight to fight in the light heavyweight division so he returns to the heavyweights for this fight. Shamrock wants to show that he is still among the elite fighters in the world.
      Freeman, the U.K.’s top heavyweight, will be formidable. Freeman has defeated some of the world’s top heavyweights and previously won the FNC World Championship in Russia and the Hook N Shoot Super Heavyweight Championship. The highlight of his career so far was his defeat of Frank Mir, one of the UFC’s rising young stars, after one round at UFC 38: Brawl At The Hall at Royal Albert Hall in London. He trains with Miletich Fighting Systems in Davenport, Iowa, one of the top mixed martial arts teams in the world. An exciting slugger, Freeman promises that this will be a match to remember.
      "Tank" (8-8-0), another of the UFC’s most popular stars, will continue his return to the Octagon against another UFC fan favorite, Kimo (7-3-1). Tank has administered some of the UFC’s most devastating knockouts, including the KO of John Matua in just 21 seconds in his debut at UFC 6: Clash of the Titans in 1995 that left an indelible mark on fans. Every time Tank steps into the Octagon fans know that a possible knockout is only one punch away.
      Kimo made a big impression on the mixed martial arts world at UFC 3: The American Dream in September 1994 where he became the first fighter to make the legendary Royce Gracie look human. It was an epic battle that caused Gracie to drop out of the tournament. The muscular Hawaiian is known for his many tattoos and mysterious demeanor. Both Kimo and Tank have lived in Huntington Beach and this is a brawl that has been brewing for years.
      The Mir-Sims fight will be a battle of young lions. Sims (6-1-0) of Columbus, Ohio, will make his UFC debut against Mir (5-1-0) of Las Vegas, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu specialist who knows a little about debuts.
      Mir exploded on the scene in his first two UFC matches. He defeated Brazilian veteran Roberto Traven with an arm bar in just 1:05 of the first round at UFC 34: High Voltage in November 2001, then came right back at UFC 36: Worlds Collide in March 2002 and submitted veteran Pete Williams in 46 seconds with another arm bar. Mir once again displayed his submission prowess at UFC 41: Onslaught when he spoiled Tank’s return with a toehold submission in just 46 seconds of round one.
      At 6’10," 250 pounds, Sims will become one of the UFC’s biggest heavyweights as soon as he enters the Octagon. He has an excellent MMA pedigree because he trains with former heavyweight champions Mark Coleman and Randleman in Columbus. Sims’ most recent MMA fight was a TKO victory over former Extreme Fighting Heavyweight Champion Marcus "Conan" Silveira and he has not lost in six consecutive fights.
posted by Full Contact Fighter @ 8:00 pm
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