UFC Returns To NJ On March 19 For UFC 128: Shogun vs. Evans

Jason MolesContributor IJanuary 4, 2011

LAS VEGAS - MAY 28:  UFC fighter Rashad Evans (R) reacts to the crowd while speaking to UFC announcer Joe Rogan (L) about his fight against UFC fighter Quinton 'Rampage' Jackson at UFC 114: Rampage versus Rashad at the Mandalay Bay Hotel on May 28, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images)
Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

The UFC announced today that Rashad Evans only has to wait a few more months before getting a crack at the title he once held against Mauricio 'Shogun' Rua.

Slated for March 19 at the Prudential Center, UFC 128 marks the UFC debut of the former WEC champ, Urijah "The California Kid" Faber against the first-ever WEC Bantamweight champion Eddie Wineland.

“This is the light heavyweight title fight that everyone has been waiting to see,” UFC President Dana White said. “Shogun has been on an absolute tear and proved that by knocking out Lyoto Machida to take the belt.

"Now he faces Rashad Evans, who is coming off back-to-back wins over Thiago Silva and Rampage Jackson and has never been hungrier to reclaim the title.

"With the main event and the other fights we’re putting together, we’re bringing another awesome card to New Jersey and I’m excited to get back to the East Coast.”

A bantamweight clash between former WEC champions “The California Kid” Urijah Faber and Eddie Wineland will also be featured at UFC 128.

Faber is considered one of the most dominant fighters in the history of the lighter weight classes, and once held the featherweight title for over two years.

With a submission win over Takeya Mizugaki in his bantamweight debut in November, the 31-year-old has his sights set on Wineland, a former WEC bantamweight champion boasting four consecutive wins, including back-to-back Knockout of the Night victories.

“We are so pleased to welcome UFC back to Prudential Center for what I know will be another spectacular experience for fans,” Jeff Vanderbeek, Chairman and Managing Partner of Devils Arena Entertainment, said.

“Each UFC event at the Rock has been a huge success and we know we will exceed the high standard that UFC expects for an outstanding evening.”

One of the sport’s most feared strikers, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (fighting out of Curitiba, Brazil/19-4) claimed the UFC light heavyweight crown by becoming the first man to ever defeat Lyoto Machida last May.

Known for his outstanding Muay Thai and slick jiu jitsu, the 29-year-old also owns wins over the likes of Chuck Liddell, Mark Coleman, Quinton Jackson and Alistair Overeem.

This March at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., he meets Rashad Evans (fighting out of Albuquerque, N.M./20-1-1), the former UFC light heavyweight champion who has scored victories over the likes of Liddell, Jackson, Forrest Griffin and Michael Bisping in his career.

A standout collegiate wrestler and winner of season two of The Ultimate Fighter®, the 31-year-old Evans seeks his second reign as UFC champion by knocking off Rua in New Jersey.

One of the most popular fighters in the history of the lighter weight classes makes his UFC debut on March 19.

Former WEC featherweight champion “The California Kid” Urijah Faber (fighting out of Sacramento, Calif./24-4) brings his high-energy assault to the Octagon when he battles former WEC bantamweight champion Eddie Wineland (fighting out of Chesterton, Ind./18-6-1) in 135-pound action.

Wineland, the first-ever WEC bantamweight champion, has strung together consecutive wins over Manny Tapia, George Roop, Will Campuzano and Ken Stone, and believes a win over Faber will secure him a date with current champion Dominick Cruz.

Tickets on sale Thursday, Jan. 13 at 10 a.m. ET

More fights to be announced soon.