Diego “The Dream” Sanchez is already a force in the UFC® welterweight division and has his sights set on the title currently held by Canadian superstar Georges St-Pierre. Now, the red-hot contender is out to prove that he is among the world’s most elite grapplers. The Ultimate Fighting Championship® announced today that Sanchez will be among four competitors vying for the UFC® Fan Expo grappling tournament title at the Direct Energy Centre in Toronto on April 29 and 30.
Sanchez will meet number-one ranked Canadian grappler Andrew McInnes in the opening round, while world-renowned jiu jitsu ace Ryan Hall, who defeated Hermes Franca at the UFC Fan Expo in Boston last August, will take on Brazilian jiu jitsu black belt Jorge Britto. Britto has trained under the likes of Helio Gracie, Royler Gracie, Saulo Ribeiro and Xande Ribeiro.
Opening round bouts will take place on Friday, April 29 at 1:30 p.m. ET. The respective winners of the opening round bouts will meet in the finals on Saturday, April 30 at 1:30 p.m. ET.
If that wasn’t enough, a grappling superfight pits Fabio Holanda, head instructor of Brazilian Top Team – Montreal, against seven-time Grappler’s Quest champion Nolan Dutch. The superfight will take place on Saturday, April 30 at 1:30 p.m. ET.
“The UFC Fan Expo will feature some great matches between some of the best grapplers in the world,” UFC President Dana White said. “I’m really excited to see Diego Sanchez compete and try to win the tournament. He’s always really tough on the ground and he has a ton of heart.”
The four-man tournament and the grappling superfight are presented by Grapplers Quest.
All the UFC® Fan Expo activities will be planned in conjunction with the sold out UFC® 129: ST-PIERRE vs. SHIELDS event, which takes place in front of 55,000 fans at Rogers Centre on Saturday, April 30. Headlined by a welterweight title bout between champion Georges St-Pierre of Montreal and challenger Jake Shields, UFC 129 also features Jose Aldo defending the featherweight crown against tough Ontarian Mark Hominick. The event has already broken all UFC attendance and gate records, while also setting the highest gate mark for a single-day event in Rogers Centre history.
For more information on UFC Fan Expo and to purchase tickets, visit www.ufcfanexpo.com. To subscribe to the official UFC Fan Expo newsletter visit www.ufcfanexpo.com/newsletter. For companies interested in reserving space at this premier event, contact Ed Gallo, Event Director at 1-203-840-5546 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t wait, space is limited and will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis.
Fans can bypass the autograph lines at the event by purchasing an Ultimate VIP Ticket at www.ufcfanexpo.com/VIP. A limited number of these exclusive packages are still available and grant fans a wide variety of incentives all tailored around enhancing their Ultimate Fan Experience at the premiere event. Standard VIP packages and general admission tickets are also available online at www.ufcfanexpo.com. Fans are encouraged to buy their tickets now and save, as ticket pricing will increase at the door.
About Ultimate Fighting Championship® - www.ufc.com
Owned and operated by Zuffa, LLC, and headquartered in Las Vegas, Nev., UFC® produces over 12 UFC live Pay-Per-View events annually around the world. UFC programming is distributed in the United States on Viacom, Inc.’s Spike TV and on Comcast, Inc.’s VERSUS network. UFC content is distributed commercially through Joe Hand Promotions in the U.S. and Canadastar in Canada. Globally, UFC programming is broadcast in over 145 countries and territories, reaching 354 million homes worldwide, in 19 different languages.
UFC® also boasts a powerful presence online, with UFC.com attracting over 6 million unique visitors per month, while also possessing one of the most powerful social media followings in all of professional sports. To date, UFC has over five million fans on Facebook and nearly 250,000 followers on Twitter. In addition, UFC President Dana White is one of the most accessible and most followed executives in sports with nearly 1.4 million followers on Twitter. On January 22, 2011, UFC continued to set trends in social media, becoming the first major sports league to stream live, broadcast quality action on Facebook.
Ancillary businesses include the best-selling UFC “Undisputed” videogame franchise distributed by THQ, UFC Gym™, UFC Fight Club affinity program, UFC Fan Expo™ festivals, branded apparel, trading cards, articulated action figures and other media including best-selling DVDs and a bimonthly magazine.
About Reed Exhibitions
The UFC Fan Expo is operated by Reed Exhibitions, the world’s leading events organizer, with over 470 events in 37 countries. In 2008, Reed brought together over seven million industry professionals from around the world generating billions of dollars in business. Today, Reed events are held throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific, and organized by 38 fully staffed offices.
Reed organizes a wide range of events, including exhibitions, conferences, congresses and meetings. Its portfolio of over 470 events serves 44 industry sectors, including:
Aerospace & aviation, automobiles, broadcasting, building & construction, electronics, energy, oil & gas, engineering, manufacturing, environment, food service & hospitality, gifts, healthcare, interior design, IT & telecoms, jewelry, life science & pharmaceuticals, machinery, medical education, printing & graphics, property & real estate, security & safety, sports & recreation, and travel. Working closely with professional bodies, trade associations and government departments Reed ensures that each and every event is targeted and relevant to industry needs. As a result, many Reed events are market leaders in their field.
Sanchez Headlines Grappling Tourney
ULTIMATE FIGHTING CHAMPIONSHIP® ANNOUNCES GRAPPLING MATCHES FOR UFC® FAN EXPO. DIEGO ‘THE DREAM’ SANCHEZ TO COMPETE FOR UFC FAN EXPO
GRAPPLING TOURNAMENT TITLE
GRAPPLING TOURNAMENT TITLE