THE ULTIMATE FIGHTING CHAMPIONSHIP® HEADS TO UTAH FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER FOR UFC® ON VERSUS
JON “BONES” JONES vs. VLADIMIR MATSYUSHENKO
YUSHIN OKAMI vs. MARK MUNOZ
JAKE ELLENBERGER vs. JOHN HOWARD
TAKANORI GOMI vs. JOE STEVENSON
August 1, 2010
Live from the EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah
Tickets on Sale Friday, May 28 at 10 a.m. MT
Las Vegas, NV (USA) – After a dominating victory over Ultimate Fighting Championship® light heavyweight contender Brandon Vera in the first-ever UFC® on VERSUS card, rising 205-pound star Jon “Bones” Jones will face his most experienced opponent to date in 24-4 Vladimir Matyushenko as the duo headline the organization’s debut in Salt Lake City, Utah for UFC on VERSUS, live from the EnergySolutions Arena. Also on the main card, Yushin Okami faces Mark Munoz, Jake Ellenberger takes on John Howard and Takanori Gomi battles Joe Stevenson. The fight will air live on VERSUS at 9 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. MT.
VERSUS has been the national cable television home of World Extreme Cagefighting® (WEC®) since 2007 and in December 2009, the network announced a multi-year extension with Zuffa LLC., the owners of both the WEC and UFC®, to air two live UFC events in 2010 in addition to seven live WEC fights.
“Everyone has been talking about Jon Jones, and with good reason,” said UFC President Dana White. “He’s a dynamic fighter who can do it all in the Octagon, but Vladimir Matyushenko is no joke and no stepping stone. He’s the best wrestler Jones has ever fought, he’s got heavy hands, and a win on August 1st puts him in the title picture. This has all the makings of a fight our fans in Utah won't ever forget.”
Tickets for this event will go on sale Friday, May 28 at 10 a.m. MT. Tickets are priced at $250, $150, $95, $75 and $40 and are available at the EnergySolutions Arena box office, all Smithstix locations, on line at Smithstix.com or by calling 801-355-SEAT.
UFC® Fight Club™ members will have the opportunity to purchase tickets to this event Wednesday, May 26 at 10 a.m. MT via the website ufcfightclub.com. A special Internet ticket pre-sale will be available to UFC newsletter subscribers Thursday, May 27 starting at 10 a.m. MT. To access this presale, users must register for the UFC newsletter through ufc.com.
Winner of four out of five inside the Octagon™, Jon Jones (fighting out of Endicott, N.Y. / professional record 10-1) put together his most impressive performance to date in March, a first-round TKO over the battle-tested Brandon Vera. After earning unanimous decision victories over Andre Gusmao and Stephan Bonnar in his first two UFC fights, the former junior college national wrestling champion submitted Jake O’Brien at UFC 100 last July before a controversial disqualification defeat against Matt Hamill. An unorthodox striker that never puts on a boring show, the 6-foot-4, 205-pound fighter faces the most seasoned of veterans in Matyushenko.
“I’m really excited about fighting such a veteran in Vladimir Matyushenko,” Jones said. “I think it will be another great opportunity to step up my game. I am going to try to make it an exciting fight and I’m not taking him lightly. I know how important this fight is and I feel ready.”
Winner of two straight inside the Octagon, Belarus’ Vladimir Matyushenko (fighting out of El Segundo, Calif. / 24-4) is no stranger to big fights. The 39-year-old brings a wealth of experience to each fight he takes and looks to climb that much closer to making himself a serious contender in the UFC light heavyweight division. After returning to the UFC in 2009 after six years away, he came back in impressive fashion with a unanimous decision victory over Igor Pokrajac then a split-decision win against Eliot Marshall. Now “The Janitor” looks to clean out the UFC light heavyweight division, continuing with his match against Jon Jones.
“I want to thank the UFC for putting together a fight that the fans will enjoy and get excited about,” Matyushenko said. “The winner of this fight will move on to some great opportunities related to the light heavyweight title run in the UFC. I am always in great shape, and I have not stopped training since my last fight. The next two months everything will be dedicated specifically to my preparation for Jon Jones. I want to thank all of the fans for their support. You are the best that any professional athlete could ask for.”
A man who has faced the very best in the middleweight division, Yushin Okami (fighting out of Kanagawa, Japan / 25-5) owns wins over Dean Lister, Evan Tanner, Jason MacDonald, Mike Swick and Alan Belcher. The 28-year-old fighter earned a TKO victory against Lucio Linhares in March and now faces college wrestler turned mixed martial artist Mark Munoz (fighting out of Vallejo, Calif. / 8-1). A former NCAA Division I national champion from Oklahoma State, the 32-year-old Munoz now trains with heavyweight legend Minotauro Nogueira and top contender Junior Dos Santos, and is well on his way to the top of the 185-pound weight class. With three consecutive wins, including a TKO stoppage over Kendall Grove at UFC 112, Munoz is just entering his prime as a fighter and faces his greatest test to date in Okami.
A fighter that gave former WEC® welterweight champion Carlos Condit fits in his UFC debut, Jake Ellenberger (fighting out of Omaha, Neb. / 22-5) turned plenty of heads in the UFC welterweight division. With a second-round TKO victory over a very seasoned Mike Pyle in January, the former college wrestler now faces one of his most explosive opponents to date in John Howard (fighting out of Boston, Mass. / 14-4). Undefeated in the UFC with two decision victories and two knockouts, the 27-year-old Bostonian just keeps getting better and better in the UFC. Howard needed just 2:01 to put Daniel Roberts away in March and now he’ll take on an extremely difficult opponent in Ellenberger.
A veteran of close to 40 fights, Takanori Gomi (fighting out of Tokyo, Japan / 31-6, 1 NC) has long been considered to be one of the top lightweights in the world, and now he’s gracing the Octagon, having made his debut in March against Kenny Florian. With the addition of Gomi to the lightweight division, 155ers will need to take notice – including his next opponent, Joe Stevenson (fighting out of Victorville, Calif. / 36-11). A 27-year-old with a wealth of experience and talent, Joe “Daddy” has faced the best in the UFC lightweight division. He holds wins over Spencer Fisher, Nate Diaz and Kurt Pellegrino, amongst many others – but now the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt faces another huge name in Gomi.
For more information, or current UFC fight news, visit UFC.com, UK.UFC.com, GERMANY.UFC.com, UFCJapan.jp or UFCEspanol.com. All bouts live and subject to change.
About The Ultimate Fighting Championship®
UFC is the largest live pay-per-view event content provider in the world and the fastest growing main stream sports organization in history. Owned and operated by Zuffa™, LLC, and headquartered in Las Vegas, Nev., UFC® produces over twelve live Pay-Per-View events annually that are distributed residentially through North American cable and satellite providers including iNDEMAND Networks, DIRECTV, DISH Network, Avail-TVN Entertainment, BellTV, SaskTel Max™, Shaw Pay-Per-View, and Viewers Choice. International distributors include WOWOW in Japan, Rede TV and Globosat’s Combate Channel and SporTV in Brazil, ESPN in United Kingdom, Televisa in Mexico and throughout Central America, with worldwide distribution via the Internet on UFC.com and Yahoo! Sports. UFC content is distributed commercially through Joe Hand Promotions in the U.S. and Canadastar in Canada. UFC programming is distributed in 132 countries, territories and jurisdictions, reaching 430 million homes worldwide, in 20 different languages.
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VERSUS celebrates real competition across all platforms (VERSUS.com, VERSUS on Demand and VERSUS HD) and is the national cable home of the National Hockey League (NHL), the Stanley Cup Playoffs and the IZOD IndyCar® Series as well as best-in-class events such as The Tour de France, the Professional Bull Riders (PBR), World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) and Professional Boxing. VERSUS also has partnerships with top sports leagues such as NASCAR, NBA and UFC and airs collegiate sports featuring nationally-ranked teams from top conferences such as the Pac-10, Big 12, Mountain West and Ivy League. VERSUS features the best field sports programming on television and is a destination for sports fans, athletes and sportsmen to find exclusive, competitive events and original programs, such as Sports Soup and Sports Jobs with Junior Seau that audiences can't find elsewhere. VERSUS, a wholly owned company of Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ: CMCSA, CMCSK), is distributed via cable systems and satellite operators throughout the United States.