UFC 122 FULL CARD CONFIRMED FOR NOVEMBER 13, OBERHAUSEN. SAKARA v RIVERA,
SOSZYNSKI v RELJIC, WINNER v SIVER, SADOLLAH v SOBOTTA ROUND OFF MAIN CARD
London, England – A shot at the UFC® middleweight championship is at stake on Saturday, November 13, as 185-pound contenders Nate 'The Great' Marquardt and Yushin Okami collide in Oberhausen to decide the division's next challenger. The middleweight pair headline UFC 122®, when the Ultimate Fighting Championship(R) organisation returns to Germany.
As well as that pivotal middleweight title eliminator, UFC 122 also features a flurry of competitive supporting bouts, including appearances from fan favourites, hot prospects and exciting warriors.
In the co-main event, hot-streaking middleweights Alessio Sakara and Jorge Rivera meet at the crossroads of their careers, the victor assured bigger opportunities in 2011. With both men coming off three back-to-back victories, the form-lines suggest German fight fans could witness something spectacular between these two experienced warriors.
The same could be said about the light heavyweight clash between Krzysztof Soszynski and Goran Reljic, who lock horns over three rounds. Both fighters are renowned for being adept at both striking and grappling, and a pure example of mixed martial arts should be expected when Soszysnki and Reljic meet in Oberhausen.
Winner of season seven of The Ultimate Fighter®, Amir Sadollah makes his debut in mainland Europe on November 13, when he meets local favourite Peter Sobotta, a native of Balingen, Germany. Meanwhile, veteran American wrestler Jason Brilz also appears in Europe for the first time in his career, as he meets Vladimir Matyushenko at light heavyweight.
Tickets for UFC 122 are priced at €225, €145, €85, €65 and €45 are available now from eventim.de, the arena box office and Bundesweite Ticket Hotline: 01805 – 570 000.
One of the most popular fighters in the UFC today, middleweight Jorge Rivera (18-7) has endured a rollercoaster nine-year professional career and is currently enjoying his best ever form. Born of Puerto Rican descent, Rivera resides in Massachusetts and is a fan favourite wherever he goes.
Since suffering a personal tragedy in August 2008, Rivera has bravely reeled off three back-to-back Octagon wins and proven himself an inspiration to many. He has beaten Nissen Osterneck and stopped both Rob Kimmons and Nate Quarry. Rivera also boasts a stunning first-round knockout of Kendal Grove, the former winner of The Ultimate Fighter.
Now 38, Rivera realises time may not be on his side, but is determined to provide a fairytale ending to one of the most emotional and heart-wrenching stories in mixed martial arts.
Italian striker Alessio 'Legionarius' Sakara (19-7, 1 NC) is nearly 10 years younger than Rivera, but no less determined and dangerous. Like his opponent on November 13, Sakara has rebounded admirably from setbacks, learned the sport the hard way and now reaps the rewards by getting a spot in the co-main event. 'Legionarius' made his UFC debut at UFC 55 and the modern day Roman Gladiator has remained a fan favourite ever since, having played his part in some of the organisation's most explosive Octagon® battles.
Since moving down to the middleweight division, Sakara has transformed from a fan-friendly puncher into a well-rounded contender. Three consecutive wins have arrived as a middleweight, and Sakara has cut down both James Irvin and Joe Vedepo inside one round. The 29-year-old also holds a decision win over Thales Leites, the one-time middleweight title challenger.
Polish born light heavyweight Krzysztof Soszynski (20-11-1) is another fighter who knows all about paying his dues and never doing things the easy way. Having first risen to prominence on season eight of The Ultimate Fighter, Soszynski has since established himself as one of the most continually exciting and hard-nosed 205-pounders in the world.
Nicknamed 'The Polish Experiment’, the southpaw puncher has quickly carved a reputation as a man just as likely to switch out an opponent's lights in the stand-up as he is locking in his trademark Kimura in a ground battle. Since leaving the show, Soszynski has defeated Stephan Bonnar, Andre Gusmao, Brian Stann and Shane Primm all within the scheduled distance.
Croatian Goran Reljic (8-2) won't be concerned by Soszynski's versatility when the pair meet, as the 26-year-old fighter is every bit as well-schooled as his rugged opponent. Often likened to countryman Mirko Cro Cop, Reljic is an explosive striker with picture-perfect head-kicks and boundless athleticism.
In addition to kicks and punches, Reljic also possesses a brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and is every bit as slick on the ground as he is on his feet. A May 2008 destruction of Wilson Gouveia went some way to demonstrating the extent of the danger Reljic brings to any light heavyweight on the planet.
British striker and TUF 9 finalist Andre Winner (12-4-1) will take on Germany-based lightweight Dennis Siver (16-7) in a fight which could well steal the show. Both are razor-sharp strikers who go after the knockout.
National pride will also be on the line in Oberhausen, when Peter Sobotta (8-3) fights in front of his home fans against Amir Sadollah (4-2), winner of season seven of The Ultimate Fighter. Sobotta lives and trains in Balingen, Germany and thrills audiences in the UFC with his distinct brand of striking and submission wrestling. Sadollah, meanwhile, dazzled fight fans when lifting The Ultimate Fighter trophy in 2008, and has since beaten both Phil Baroni and Brad Blackburn in subsequent fights.
As well as an excellent main card, UFC 122: MARQUARDT VS. OKAMI also features a bumper undercard, chock-full of talented prospects, future contenders and potential ‘Fight of the Night’ candidates.
Firstly, veteran wrestlers collide on November 13, as Jason Brilz (18-3-1) and Vladimir Matyushenko (24-5) go head-to-head over three rounds in the light heavyweight division. The 35-year-old Brilz has won three fights in the UFC so far and impressed many with his grappling ability and strategy. Meanwhile, 39-year-old Matyushenko, a true pioneer of the sport, will look to use every ounce of his experience and add to UFC victories over Igor Pokrajac and Eliot Marshall.
Rob Kimmons (23-5) takes on a former member of The Ultimate Fighter, Australia's Kyle Noke (17-4-1), in an intriguing light heavyweight bout.
Another former member of The Ultimate Fighter, Seth Petruzelli (14-6), also sees action at UFC 122, as he trades blows with Czechoslovakian Karlos Vemola (8-1), a heavyweight training out of London.
Another Brit, Nick Osipczak (5-3), also hopes to impress German fans in a welterweight bout against Duane Ludwig (27-11)
A finalist on season eleven of The Ultimate Fighter, Kris McCray (6-1), seeks to prove he belongs at UFC 122, when he locks horns with UFC debutant Carlos Eduardo Rocha (8-0), an unbeaten Brazilian with a knack of securing submission wins.
Finally, Pascal Krauss (9-0), a native of Breisach, Germany, makes his UFC bow against fellow debutant Kenny Robertson (10-0). The 23-year-old Krauss is unbeaten in nine pro bouts, while Robertson is undefeated in ten.