Thursday, February 1, 2007

Opportunity knocks for underdog fighters Saturday

LAS VEGAS (CP) - Travis Lutter knew his moment in the spotlight had arrived when he walked out of McCarran International Airport and saw a cab with his face on the back of it.

And when the mixed martial arts fighter arrived at the Mandalay Bay Hotel, the welcome mat was literally out. A giant mat at the hotel entrance serves as a billboard for Lutter's title fight Saturday against middleweight champion Anderson Silva, which headlines UFC 67: All or Nothing (available on pay per view) at the Mandalay Bay Event Center.

"It's 60 feet long, 30 foot wide," Lutter marvelled Thursday. "And what do you do with that after this fight? It's worthless.

"Can I have it?" he joked. "I'll put it in the basement, but the shipping costs would be extraordinary."

Opportunity knocks Saturday for the 33-year-old Lutter and fellow underdogs Eddie Sanchez and Marvin Eastman as they take on three star opponents.

It promises to be a night of big names and big dreams. And possibly big bruises.

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