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UFC 97: Redemption Is Sold Out

Gary WhittakerCorrespondent IFebruary 20, 2009


MONTREAL: For the second time in a row, the UFC® has sold out the Bell Centre in Montreal. Tickets for UFC 97: REDEMPTION are no longer available less than one week after they went on sale to the public. Now the only place to watch this star-studded event on Saturday, April 18, is on pay-per-view.

“I knew going back to Montreal would be another home run,” UFC President Dana White said. “Our Canadian fan base is incredibly strong and continues to grow even in these hard times. UFC events continue to bring a substantial economic impact to the city of Montreal. Tickets for this fight sold out faster than UFC 83 did last year.”

For the UFC’s last trip up to Montreal for UFC 83, more than 13,000 tickets were sold the first day through the UFC® Fight Club Presale. The eventual sellout last year and this year’s record sellout cement Montreal as a true hub for mixed martial arts and the UFC.

Unstoppable UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva will meet his toughest test to date when he faces submission specialist Thales Leites.

Also on the card, former UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell will trade punches with another dangerous striker when he takes on Mauricio “Shogun” Rua.

UFC 97: REDEMPTION, presented by TapOut® will be available live on pay-per-view on iN DEMAND, DIRECTV, DISH Network, TVN, Bell ExpressVu, Shaw Communications and Viewer’s Choice Canada for a suggested retail price of $44.95 for standard definition or high-definition broadcasts (where available).

In the world of mixed martial arts there is not a more feared striker than Anderson Silva (fighting out of Curitiba, Brazil).

While posting an amazing eight-fight win streak in the UFC, the 33-year-old champion has stopped seven of those eight fights within two rounds, with only Patrick Cote seeing daylight in Round 3 before the champion earned the TKO victory at UFC 90.

With two impressive wins over former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin, one over Nate Marquardt and a submission victory against former Pride® champion Dan Henderson, the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt is riding high heading into his match with Thales Leites.

“I’m looking forward to fighting in Montreal,” Silva said. “I have a lot of Canadian fans. Thales is a very tough opponent, and it’s going to be a great fight.”

Winner of his last five UFC matches, 27-year-old Thales Leites (fighting out of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) is truly hitting his stride in the world of mixed martial arts. With a split decision victory against Marquardt, submission victories over Ryan Jensen and Floyd Sword and most recently Drew McFedries, the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt could be Silva’s greatest test on the ground to date.

“I feel great about this fight and I will be one hundred percent for sure.” Leites said. “I did my job to get recognized by the UFC, and this will be the fight of my life. I know Anderson Silva is a very, very tough guy, but I know that I can do it.”

There are a few names that are synonymous with the UFC and Chuck Liddell (fighting out of San Luis Obispo) is one of those.

The former UFC light heavyweight champion is coming off a loss to the division’s present title holder, Rashad Evans, and is looking to recapture the magic that saw him win an amazing 14 of 15 UFC matches from 1999-2006. The 39-year-old is now focused on getting back on another winning streak.

“I’m very excited about fighting Shogun,” Liddell said. “It’s another step in getting back my title. I’m going to hit him hard and I plan on knocking him out. The Canadian fans have been great for years. They are some of the most exciting fans in the world.”

With an impressive resume overseas, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (fighting out of Curitiba, Brazil) is starting to make a name for himself in the UFC. The 27-year-old is coming off a TKO victory against former UFC heavyweight champion Mark Coleman at UFC 93 and is excited at the opportunity to fight a legend.

“It is an honor to fight Chuck Liddell, one of the greatest light heavyweights ever in the UFC,” Rua said. “I have a lot of respect for him, and I am very excited to fight him. I like to keep myself challenged, and this fight with Chuck is definitely a big fight for me and for UFC fans.”

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