The highly anticipated lightweight championship rematch between Frankie Edgar and BJ Penn will conclude an explosive fight card for the Ultimate Fighting Championship at UFC 118 in Boston, Massachusetts. The title fight will round out a card that features former three-division world boxing champion James “Lights Out” Toney making his MMA debut against UFC Hall of Famer Randy “The Natural” Couture. Also featured on the card is a lightweight matchup that has the makings to be Fight of the Night, as Massachusetts native Kenny Florian is pegged to battle undefeated Gray Maynard.
UFC 118 is available live on Pay-Per-View at 10pm ET/7pm PT on iN DEMAND, DIRECTV, DISH Network, TVN, BellTV, Shaw Communications, Sasktel, and Viewer’s Choice Canada for a suggested retail price of $44.99 US/$49.99 CAN for standard definition or high-definition broadcasts (where available). UFC 118 will also be available on Pay-Per-View in Spanish in the United States.
The remaining unannounced undercard bouts feature the following matchups: Demian Maia vs. Mario Miranda, Nate Diaz vs. Marcus Davis, Joe Lauzon vs. Gabe Ruediger, Andre Winner vs. Nik Lentz, Dan Miller vs. John Salter, Nick Osipczak vs. Greg Soto, and Mike Pierce vs. Amilcar Alves.
Originally, Demian Maia (fighting out of Sao Paulo, Brazil/12-2) was scheduled to headline The Ultimate Fight Night® in Austin, Texas, before his opponent Alan Belcher withdrew due to an eye injury. Maia is now featured on the main card for UFC 118, his first fight since taking Anderson Silva all five rounds at UFC 112. The former No. 1 contender is now set to battle his way back to the top, starting with Mario Miranda (fighting out of Niteroi, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil/12-1). The relative newcomer to the UFC has two fights with the organization, most recently a TKO victory over the highly-respected veteran David Loiseau.
The Ultimate Fighter® season five winner Nate Diaz (fighting out of Stockton, Calif./12-5) has been victorious in two of his last three fights, defeating Melvin Guillard and Rory Markham. The young fighter has already compiled 14 fights in WEC and UFC, becoming a professional fighter directly out of high school. A similar path was taken by his opponent, Marcus “The Irish Hand Grenade” Davis (fighting out of Bangor, Maine/22-7) who became a professional boxer at the age of 18. The southpaw’s 14th appearance in the Octagon will be close to home, as Davis trains with Mark DellaGrotte in Somerville, Mass.
UFC 118 will have a special significance to Massachusetts native Joe Lauzon (fighting out of Bridgewater, Mass./17-5) who will be fighting near his hometown and against his former teammate on The Ultimate Fighter season five. The submission specialist has garnered five victories in the UFC, with his first dating back to 2006 when he knocked-out Jens Pulver. Originally scheduled to face Terry Etim, Lauzon will have to amend his strategy as he will now fight submission specialist Gabe “Godzilla” Ruediger (fighting out of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./17-5). The former WEC® lightweight champion had a short stay on the reality show, but makes his return to the UFC after securing a six fight win streak outside of the organization.
On the ninth season of The Ultimate Fighter, Andre Winner (fighting out of Nottingham, England/12-3-1) fought his way to the finale and battled fellow England native Ross Pearson. Winner was unable to secure the six figure contract, but he has since been on the winning end of his last two fights, giving him a record of 2-1 in the UFC. Also with three fights in the organization, Nik Lentz (fighting out of Eden Prairie, Minn./20-3-2) is unbeaten in his short UFC career, obtaining two victories and one draw. His good takedown defense is a direct result of his collegiate wrestling background at the University of Minnesota and his endurance has yet to be questioned as all three of his victories within the UFC have gone the distance.
A victory for Dan Miller (fighting out of Whippany, N.J./11-4, 1 NC) would have significant importance because it will get him back on the right track in his UFC career. The black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu started off his UFC career with a string of three victories, but has run across some top level talent in Chael Sonnen, Demian Maia, and Michael Bisping and is looking to get back to his winning ways. Conversely, John Salter (fighting out of Tuscaloosa, Ala./5-1) lost his UFC debut against Gerald Harris, but made amends by defeating Jason MacDonald at UFC 113. This fight will be an interesting matchup as both fighters have a background in wrestling and jiu-jitsu.
Nick Osipczak (fighting out of Nottingham, England/5-2) will be making his fourth appearance in the Octagon® after establishing a record of 2-1 in the UFC. This welterweight matchup features two young fighters on the rise in one of the sport’s toughest divisions. Osipczak, 25, has only engaged in seven professional bouts, while his opponent Greg Soto (fighting out of Point Pleasant, NJ/7-1), has had eight professional fights at the age of 24. Soto will be making his second appearance for the UFC, after a debut disqualification loss to Matthew Riddle at UFC 111.
In March of 2009, Mike Pierce (fighting out of Vancouver, WA/10-3) made his successful debut for the WEC, beating Justin Haskins with a TKO. Pierce then joined the UFC and has a record of 3-1 between the two organizations. At UFC 118, he will be facing a newcomer to the UFC, Amilcar Alves (fighting out of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil/11-1). Alves has established a respectable professional record and will attempt to make a spectacular UFC debut.
For more information, or current UFC fight news, visit UFC.com. All bouts live and subject to change.
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