Main event of UFC’s international setting: Southern Californians
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There are four Brazilians, three fighters from England and another from the Netherlands on the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s UFC 95 card Saturday night (on Spike TV) in Britain. UFC executives have also announced television deals in Germany and France this week.
Yet, it’s a pair of Southern Californian exports who are headlining the card as lightweights. Joe ‘Daddy’ Stevenson of Victorville and Diego Sanchez of San Diego will fight a lightweight bout that serves as the card’s main event.
It’s a pivotal moment in both fighters’ careers. Stevenson (34-9) needs an impressive victory to maintain his standing as a serious title contender after being submitted by Kenny Florian in November after losing an interim title fight to current champ B.J. Penn in January 2008.
Sanchez (21-2) is making his lightweight debut after languishing as a welterweight after a pair of 2007 losses to Josh Koscheck and Jon Fitch.
Koscheck (14-3), seeking another shot at current welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre, will fight unbeaten Brazilian Paulo Thiago (10-0).
-- Lance Pugmire