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The UFC has announced it will return to Australia for the third time, with UFC Sydney: Alves vs Kampmann to be held at Sydney’s Allphones Arena on Saturday, March 3, 2012.
The two previous UFC events held in 2010 and 2011 have led to record ticket-sales, with the last event, UFC 127, selling out the Arena in 30 minutes.
The event pits two seasoned welterweights in Thiago ‘Pitbull’ Alves and Martin ‘The Hitman’ Kampmann against each other and also sees the debut of the flyweight division with a two-bout tournament to decide the top contenders at 125-pounds (56.7kg).
Kampmann comes into the fight after a unanimous decision victory over Rick Story at UFC 139 in San Jose on November 19. The Danish fighter has won nine of his 12 fights in the UFC and boasts victories over Carlos Condit, Jorge Rivera and Paulo Thiago.
Alves takes on Kampmann following a first round submission (rear naked choke) victory over Papy Abedi at UFC 138 in Birmingham on November 5.
The card will likely feature Australian fighters on the card, with George Sotiropolous, Anthony Perosh, Kyle Noke, James Te Huna, and Brian Ebersole all candidate to fight.
Heavyweight and former K-1 champion Mark Hunt will be fighting in UFC Japan on February 26th, 2012, and will likely miss the card, unless injuries force fight-rescheduling.
The main card will test Australian fan interest, with the headline fights having less UFC stars than previous shows.
Marshall Zelaznik, Managing Director of UFC’s International Development, said: “The UFC is thrilled to return to Sydney for its third live event in three years. We’ve had tremendous success with our two previous events, with last year’s UFC 127 remaining the equal fastest sell-out in the organisation’s history.
“I’ve got no doubt that our Aussie fans will be just as excited about our March event, especially as they’ll witness UFC history with the introduction of the flyweight division. The 125-pound contenders will absolutely put everything on the line is Sydney, knowing that the winners of those two bouts will then have a shot at the inaugural flyweight title.”
In the flyweight division, former bantamweight contender Demetrious ‘Mighty Mouse’ Johnson (14-2) will face the recently crowned Tachi Palace Fights flyweight champion, Ian ‘Uncle Creepy’ McCall (11-2), while Joseph Benavidez (15-2) will face Japanese fighter and Shooto champion Yasuhiro Urushitani (19-4-6) in the weight division’s two semi-finals.
Further fights will be announced as match-ups are made.