For nearly four years, UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva has ruled the 185-pound weight class with an iron fist. On August 7th, at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California, he will look to add to his record six title defenses when he takes on the one man brash enough to call him out, number one contender Chael Sonnen. This championship bout, which is the main event of UFC 117: SILVA vs. SONNEN presented by Tequila Cazadores, headlines the first UFC® event in Oakland.
CHAMPIONSHIP SHOWDOWN BETWEEN SILVA AND SONNEN HIGHLIGHTS FIRST UFC® EVENT IN OAKLAND
UFC® Middleweight Championship ANDERSON SILVA vs. CHAEL SONNEN
MATT HUGHES vs. RICARDO ALMEIDA
CLAY GUIDA vs. RAFAEL DOS ANJOS
Live from the Oracle Arena – Tickets on Sale Friday, June 11 at 10am PT
Las Vegas, NV (USA) – For nearly four years, UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva has ruled the 185-pound weight class with an iron fist. On August 7th, at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California, he will look to add to his record six title defenses when he takes on the one man brash enough to call him out, number one contender Chael Sonnen. This championship bout, which is the main event of UFC 117: SILVA vs. SONNEN presented by Tequila Cazadores, headlines the first UFC® event in Oakland.
UFC 117 also features former Ultimate Fighting Championship® welterweight champion and recent inductee into the UFC® Hall of Fame Matt Hughes against 170-pound contender Ricardo “Big Dog” Almeida, and an explosive lightweight bout pitting Clay “The Carpenter” Guida against Rafael dos Anjos.
“When we offered Chael Sonnen this shot at the title, he promised us one thing: that he was going to make this a fight,” said UFC President Dana White. “I know he means it, and after beating three legit contenders in Nate Marquardt, Yushin Okami, and Dan Miller, he's definitely going to bring the best out of Anderson Silva on August 7th. And as far as Anderson is concerned, he wants to remind everybody why he’s considered the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world.”
“We are very excited about this event coming to Oakland and have been receiving many inquiries about the match,” said Mark Kaufman, SMG’s GM at Oracle Arena. “We anticipate seeing many more fights in years to come.”
Tickets for UFC 117 will go on sale Friday, June 11 at 10am PT and will be priced at $400, $300, $200, $150, $100 and $50. Tickets are available either online at www.ticketmaster.com, by phone at 1-800-745-3000, by visiting the Oracle Arena Box Office or at any Ticketmaster outlet. The Oracle Arena Box Office is open Monday thru Friday 10am-5pm and Saturday 10am-2pm. Prices do not include service charges.
UFC® Fight Club™ members will have the opportunity to purchase tickets to this event Wednesday, June 9 starting at 10am PT via UFCFightClub.com. A special Internet ticket pre-sale will be available to UFC newsletter subscribers on Thursday, June 10 starting at 10am PT. To access this presale, users must register for the UFC newsletter through UFC.com.
UFC 117 will be available live on Pay-Per-View on iN DEMAND, DIRECTV, DISH Network, TVN, BellTV, Shaw Communications, Sasktel, and Viewer’s Choice Canada for a suggested retail price of $44.99 US/$49.99 CAN for standard definition or high-definition broadcasts (where available).
Undefeated in the UFC and one of the most dominant champions to ever grace the Octagon™, Anderson “The Spider” Silva (fighting out of Curitiba, Brazil / professional record - 26-4) made his sixth successful title defense against Demian Maia at UFC 112, a streak that dates back to July of 2007. Known for his striking abilities, Silva is also a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt under the world-renowned Nogueira brothers and a dynamic fighter who can do it all in the Octagon. His length often causes problems for his opponents, as only two of his last 11 victories have gone to the scorecards. But the champion now faces a fighter that believes he has figured out a way to stop The Spider.
“Chael is a very good fighter,” Silva said. “I am training very hard with my team, and Minotauro Nogueira and Lyoto Machida, and I will be ready. This is a title fight and I expect him to be ready because I know I will be. If the guy wants to talk that’s fine. It’s a lot different inside the Octagon.”
Unbeaten in his last three UFC fights over top-level competition, Chael Sonnen (fighting out of West Linn, Ore. / 26-10-1) is an experienced fighter, with a high pedigree in wrestling. Sonnen is a former U.S. Olympic team alternate, as well as a two-time National Champion in Greco-Roman wrestling at the University of Oregon. Sonnen, who is known for putting constant pressure on his opponents, is coming off impressive wins over Dan Miller, Yushin Okami, and Nate Marquardt, and he wants to make it four in a row by adding the name of Anderson Silva to that list.
“He’s been ducking me for four years,” Sonnen said of the UFC middleweight champion. “This fight is a large part about the title and a large part about him. We’re not going to be friends. He’s not my kind of guy. But this fight is also to prove a point to the rest of the guys in the division. One guy has challenged him in four years and it’s been me.”
Matt Hughes (fighting out of Hillsboro, Ill. / 45-7) is perhaps the greatest welterweight the UFC® has ever seen, having defended the UFC® welterweight title an unprecedented seven times over two reigns. Hughes has beaten some of the biggest names in MMA, such as Georges St. Pierre, BJ Penn and Royce Gracie, and is riding a two-fight winning streak with victories over Matt Serra and Renzo Gracie. One of Hughes’ strengths is his wrestling ability, stemming from his college career where he was a four-time collegiate wrestling All-American, and he will bring that talent to the Octagon to face Almeida in August.
After winning his debut fight in the welterweight division at UFC® 111 against Matt Brown, Ricardo “Big Dog” Almeida (fighting out of Hamilton, N.J. / 12-3) looks to further prove he is a contender at his new weight. Almeida looked impressive with his submission of Brown, which is no surprise since he takes pride in his ground game. Along with that, Almeida is a third degree black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and a four-time Brazilian national champion. Almeida has been victorious in his last three fights, but his match against Hughes will have added meaning given the fact that the former welterweight champion defeated his jiu-jitsu professor, Renzo Gracie, in April.
Known for his solid chin and relentless endurance, Clay “The Carpenter” Guida (fighting out of Johnsburg, Ill./26-8) has helped create some memorable fights for the UFC, garnering ‘Fight of the Night’ honors three times, most recently versus Diego Sanchez at The Ultimate Fighter®: US vs. UK finale. Every time Guida steps into the Octagon, he is almost guaranteed to be in one of the most exciting fights of the evening. The Illinois native has won four of his last six fights, with his submission victory over Shannon Gugerty being his most recent victory.
Rafael dos Anjos (fighting out of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil/14-4) is riding a wave of momentum, having won his last three fights. The experienced Brazilian has fought five times in the UFC and has proven to be a worthy contender in the lightweight division, most recently defeating Rob Emerson, Kyle Bradley, and Terry Etim.