Monday, March 12, 2007

April 5th UFC Fight Night Card Continues to Take Form

The Ultimate Fighting Championship’s website is now reporting 7 confirmed fights for the upcoming April 5th Fight Night, which will take place at the new Pearl Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Headlining the card will be a lightweight fight between “Ultimate Fighter” competitors Joe Stevenson (27-6) and Melvin Guillard (20-6-1), in a bout that will feature a classic grappler vs. striker match-up. The highly regarded grappler Stevenson is coming off a guillotine choke submission win over Dokonjonosuke Mishima at UFC 65 in November, while Guillard stopped Gabe Ruediger with a crippling body punch at UFC 63 last September.

The Japanese fighter Mishima (17-5-2) will look to rebound from his loss to Stevenson when he returns to the Octagon to fight Kenny Florian (6-3). The April 5th event will mark the first time that Florian will fight since losing to Sean Sherk in a lightweight championship bout at UFC 64 in October.

“The Master” Drew Fickett (29-5) will take on Japanese welterweight Keita Nakamura (13-1-2), in a fight that features two fighters both coming off a loss. In what was a thrilling encounter, Fickett dropped a unanimous decision to Karo Parisyan at UFC Fight Night 8 in December, while Nakamura lost via unanimous decision to Brock Larson that very same night.

A lightweight bout between Wander Braga (7-0) and Kurt Pellegrino (8-2) will feature two highly accomplished Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioners. Braga will look to impress in his UFC debut, and has not competed in North America since 2004, when he defeated Joe Camacho at King of the Cage 36. Pellegrino is coming off a rear naked choke victory over Cleuder Assuncao at UFC 64.

Lightheavyweight Seth Petruzelli (9-4) will face American Top Team fighter Wilson Gouveia (7-4). Both fighters were victorious in their last bouts, as Petruzelli knocked out Bernard Rutherford at the Ultimate Warrior Challenge on February 2nd, while Gouveia submitted Wes Combs with a rear naked choke at UFC 62 last August.

In two other fights that have been confirmed for the card, Justin McCully (7-3-2) will meet heavyweight Antoni Hardonk (4-1) and lightweights Naoyuki Kotani (17-5-4) and Thiago Tavares (5-0) will battle.

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