As the Ultimate Fighting Championship® heads back to the East Coast, the fans have responded once again, and welcomed the UFC® back with open arms. Tickets are officially sold out for UFC 111: ST-PIERRE vs. HARDY, which is presented by TapouT and is taking place Saturday, March 27th from the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.
“I love every time we go to the East Coast,” UFC President Dana White said. “The fans always come out and show their support. We’re coming there with a stacked card and two championship fights. This time New Jersey – New York is next.”
In featured bouts, one of the best fighters in the game today, UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre, looks to extend his reign and his six fight winning streak against British bomber Dan “The Outlaw” Hardy, and former heavyweight champion Frank Mir looks to become only the second man in UFC history to win the championship three times when he takes on number one contender Shane Carwin for the interim UFC heavyweight title.
UFC 111 will be available live on pay-per-view on iN DEMAND, DIRECTV, DISH Network, TVN, BellTV, Shaw Communications and Viewer’s Choice Canada for a suggested retail price of $44.95 ($49.95/Canada) for standard definition or high-definition broadcasts (where available).
UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre (fighting out of Montreal, Quebec, Canada, 19-2 professional record) has been unstoppable since regaining the title in 2008. The 28-year-old Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt holds two career wins a piece over the legendary Matt Hughes and current UFC lightweight champion and former welterweight champion BJ Penn. The 170-pound champ defended his crown most recently against feared striker Thiago Alves at UFC 100 last July, and now St-Pierre makes his fourth title defense against one of the fiercest threats to his crown in UK superstar Dan Hardy.
“Dan Hardy is a very worthy contender and I’m preparing for a war,” said St-Pierre. “He is hungry for the title and that makes him very dangerous, but I’m just as hungry to keep the belt and I am going to train and fight like I am the challenger on March 27th.
Dan “The Outlaw” Hardy (fighting out of Nottingham, England, 23-6 1 NC) is unbeaten in the UFC and fresh off wins over Marcus Davis and Mike Swick. A black belt in Tae Kwon Do and a purple belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, the brash 27-year-old is looking to extend his seven-fight win streak as he becomes the first British fighter to contend for a UFC title. With 11 wins by KO/TKO and three by submission, the UK fighter with the 4-0 mark in the UFC always looks for the finish.
“I think I am underestimated by the fans a little,” Hardy said. “But GSP is smart enough to realize that I could knock him out with either hand. He will come fully prepared and I expect to face the very best GSP in March – and wouldn’t want it any other way. When I came into the UFC in October 2008, I didn’t expect to be the first Briton to fight for a UFC world title, but I am proud to make a little bit of history. But the real prize is becoming the first British UFC champion and that’s what is going to happen.”
Winner of four of his last five fights, former two-time heavyweight champion Frank Mir (fighting out of Las Vegas, Nev., 13-4) has put on the necessary muscle and weight to face the biggest challengers in the heavyweight division, and he is refocused on earning back the world title. A Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt with immensely improved striking, the 30-year-old knocked down feared striker Cheick Kongo at UFC 107 and then proceeded to submit the French contender with a guillotine choke, putting him firmly back in the title picture.
“Shane Carwin is an extremely dangerous opponent and being matched up against him is an honor,” Mir said. “It’ll be a great challenge to face him and get to match wits against his coaches. Greg Jackson is like the ‘Yoda’ of mixed martial arts and I will need a strong gameplan heading into this fight.”
Originally scheduled to face UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar, No. 1 contender Shane Carwin (fighting out of Denver, Colo., 11-0) has been on a tear ever since he stepped foot into the Octagon™. A former national wrestling champion with dynamite in his fists, Carwin has made quick work of all three of his UFC opponents, finishing Christian Wellisch, Neil Wain and Gabriel Gonzaga within 91 seconds each. Now he takes the next step in his career against Frank Mir.
“It’s an honor to not only fight for the interim UFC heavyweight title, but to do so against a respected former champion like Frank Mir,” said Carwin. “This is going to be a fight to remember for the fans, and I plan on making it one of my most memorable performances as well. Beating Frank is going to be a test, but I’m confident that it’s a test I will pass with flying colors.”
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.