UFC® LEGEND BJ PENN RETURNS TO THE OCTAGON® AGAINST RISING STAR YAIR RODRIGUEZ AT UFC FIGHT NIGHT PHOENIX, SUN, JAN. 15, 2017
TICKETS FOR UFC FIGHT NIGHT®: RODRIGUEZ vs. PENN
AT TALKING STICK RESORT ARENA ON SALE DEC. 2
Las Vegas – The past and future will collide when UFC® returns to Phoenix for the first time since 2013, headlined by the comeback of one of its biggest stars at UFC FIGHT NIGHT®: RODRIGUEZ vs. PENN. Two-time UFC champion BJ Penn makes his return to the Octagon® after a brief retirement to face arguably the sport’s most dynamic young featherweight, No. 11 Yair Rodriguez, in a five-round main event, Sunday, Jan. 15, 2017 at Talking Stick Resort Arena. The event will air live on FS1.
Rodriguez, 24, (9-1; fighting out of Chicago, Illinois) is a highlight reel waiting to happen, having earned Fight of the Night or Performance of the Night bonuses in three of his last four bouts. A winner of seven consecutive fights, including the TUF LATAM in 2014 as a member of Team Velasquez, the taekwondo black belt knows that a victory over the Hall of Famer Penn would help him gain notice around the world.
The 37-year-old Penn (16-10-2; fighting out of Hilo, Hawaii) competes for the first time since July 2014. One of only three fighters in UFC history to win championships in multiple divisions (Randy Couture, Conor McGregor), ‘The Prodigy’ has both UFC welterweight and lightweight titles on his resume. Penn has recorded seven wins by KO and six by submission, and was the first non-Brazilian to win a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu world championship at the black belt level.
- A welterweight bout between veterans Court McGee (19-5; fighting out of Orem, Utah) and Ben Saunders (19-7-2; fighting out of Orlando, Florida)
- A battle between ascending lightweights Erik Koch (15-4; fighting out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin) and Tony Martin (10-3; fighting out of Boston, Massachusetts)
- A heavyweight battle between former college basketball player Walt Harris (8-5; fighting out of Coconut Creek, Florida) and former college football player Chase Sherman (9-2; fighting out of D’Iberville, Mississippi).
- Polish veteran Damian Grabowski (20-4; fighting out of Opole, Poland) clashes with Viktor Pesta (10-3; fighting out of Prague, Czech Republic) in a heavyweight bout.
- Bojan Mihajlovic (10-4; fighting out of Odzaci, Serbia) will drop down to light heavyweight to face Joachim Christensen (13-4; fighting out of Copenhagen, Denmark).
- Advanced wrestling skills will be on display when Russian heavyweight Dmitrii Smoliakov (8-1; fighting out of Kaliningrad City, Russia) faces Cyril Asker (7-2; fighting out of Avignon, France).
- A lightweight bout between Devin Powell (8-1; fighting out of South Berwick, Maine) and Jordan Rinaldi (12-5; fighting out of Charlotte, North Carolina)
For the latest information on additional bouts for this event, please visit www.ufc.com. All bouts live and subject to change.
UFC FIGHT NIGHT®: RODRIGUEZ vs. PENN will air live on FS1 at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT on Sunday, Jan. 15, with the prelims kicking off the evening on FS1 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT and on UFC FIGHT PASS® at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT.
Tickets for UFC FIGHT NIGHT®: RODRIGUEZ vs. PENN go on sale Friday, Dec. 2 at 10 a.m. MT and are priced at $175, $100, $75, $50 and $40 (prices do not include applicable service charges and handling fees). Ticket sales are limited to eight (8) per person. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Tickets are also available at the Talking Stick Resort Arena Box Office.
UFC Fight Club® members will have the opportunity to purchase tickets Wednesday, Nov. 30 at 10 a.m. MT via the website www.ufcfightclub.com. A special Internet ticket pre-sale will be available to UFC newsletter subscribers Thursday, Dec. 1 starting at 10 a.m. MT. To access this presale, users must register for the UFC newsletter through UFC.com.
By: Roberto Villa
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