UFC returns to Charlotte

Home to two of the first five Ultimate Fighting Championship® (UFC®) events, Charlotte, North Carolina will once again host the premier organization in mixed martial arts on Wednesday, March 31st, as the UFC returns to Charlotte for the first time in nearly 15 years with a spectacular card at the Bojangles Coliseum featuring the lightweight showdown between two-time title challenger Kenny Florian and Japanese superstar and former PRIDE champion Takanori Gomi. This bout will headline the latest edition of Spike TV’s hit UFC® Fight Night™ series, which airs at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

“The UFC has a great history with Charlotte, which hosted UFC 3 and UFC 5, and while the sport has changed immensely since then, one thing hasn’t changed and that’s the loyalty and enthusiasm of the fans here,” said UFC President Dana White. “We’re happy to be coming back here, and we brought one of the most highly-anticipated lightweight fights to headline this event. UFC fans know Kenny Florian as a top contender who can do it all in the Octagon, and in Takanori Gomi he’s facing a guy who has dominated in Japan for years and is now looking to do the same thing in the UFC. This is going to be a fight to remember.”

Tickets for this event will go on sale Saturday, February 6 at 10 a.m. ET and are $250, $155, $100, $75, $50 and $35 (plus applicable service charges). Tickets will be available through all Ticketmaster outlets including the Bojangles Coliseum box office, online at www.ticketmaster.com, www.bojanglescoliseum.com or via Phonecharge at 1-800-745-3000.

UFC® Fight Club™ members will have the opportunity to purchase tickets to this event Thursday, February 4 at 10 a.m. ET via the website ufc.com. A special Internet ticket pre-sale will be available to UFC newsletter subscribers Friday, February 5 starting at 10 a.m. ET. To access this presale, users must register for the UFC newsletter through ufc.com.

Winner of seven of his last eight bouts, two-time world title challenger Kenny Florian (fighting out of Brookline, Mass., professional record 14-4) was in top form last December when he submitted fellow contender Clay Guida at UFC 107. The Westwood, Massachusetts native has earned finishes in nine of his 10 UFC wins, and he knows that a submission or knockout of the world-renowned Gomi will propel him right back into the title mix.

For years, the name of Takanori Gomi (fighting out of Tokyo, Japan, 31-5, 1 NC) has been prominently mentioned when the subject of the best fighters in the world, pound for pound, was discussed. And rightfully so, as the knockout artist is a former PRIDE and SHOOTO champion who owns victories over the likes of Jens Pulver, Rumina Sato, and Ralph Gracie. Now making his long-awaited UFC debut on March 31st, “The Fireball Kid” plans on making an immediate impact in the Octagon by defeating one of the division’s top contenders.

Season 11 of The Ultimate Fighter® premieres at 10:00pm ET/PT directly following the UFC Fight Night event.

The remaining bouts will be announced in the near future

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.

Ultimate Fighting Championship®, Ultimate Fighting®, UFC®, The Ultimate Fighter®, Submission®, As Real As It Gets®, Zuffa® , The Octagon™ and the eight-sided competition mat and cage design are registered trademarks, registered service marks, trademarks, trade dress and/or service marks owned exclusively by Zuffa, LLC and licensed to its affiliated entities and other licensees in the United States and other jurisdictions. All other marks referenced herein may be the property of Zuffa, LLC, its affiliates or other respective owners.

About Spike TV

Spike TV is available in 97.7 million homes and is a division of MTV Networks.  A unit of Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), MTV Networks is one of the world’s leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms. Spike TV’s Internet address is www.spike.com and for up-to-the-minute and archival press information and photographs, visit Spike TV’s press site at http://www.spike.com/press.

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