UFC CONFIRMS REMAINING BOUTS FOR UFC® 97: REDEMPTION

Las Vegas, NV (USA) – The Ultimate Fighting Championship® (UFC®) is proud to confirm the remaining bouts of an already stacked card as Krzysztof Soszynski, Brian Stann, Cheick Kongo, Antoni Hardonk, Steve Cantwell, Luiz Cane, Denis Kang, Xavier Foupa-Pokam, Nate Quarry, Jason MacDonald, David Loiseau, Ed Herman, Mark Bocek, David Bielkheden, Ryo Chonan, TJ Grant, Eliot Marshall, Mike Ciesnolevicz, Sam Stout and Matt Wiman join Anderson Silva, Thales Leites, Chuck Liddell and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua for UFC 97: Redemption, live from the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada on Saturday April 18, 2009.
THE ULTIMATE FIGHTING CHAMPIONSHIP®
CONFIRMS REMAINING BOUTS FOR UFC® 97: REDEMPTION

KRZYSZTOF SOSZYNSKI vs. BRIAN STANN
CHEICK KONGO vs. ANTONI HARDONK
STEVE CANTWELL vs. LUIZ CANE
ELIOT MARSHALL vs. MIKE CIESNOLEVICZ
DENIS KANG vs. XAVIER FOUPA-POKAM
NATE QUARRY vs. JASON MACDONALD
DAVID LOISEAU vs. ED HERMAN
MARK BOCEK vs. DAVID BIELKHEDEN
RYO CHONAN vs. TJ GRANT
SAM STOUT vs. MATT WIMAN

Live from the Bell Centre, Saturday April 18, 2009

Las Vegas, NV (USA) – The Ultimate Fighting Championship® (UFC®) is proud to confirm the remaining bouts of an already stacked card as Krzysztof Soszynski, Brian Stann, Cheick Kongo, Antoni Hardonk, Steve Cantwell, Luiz Cane, Denis Kang, Xavier Foupa-Pokam, Nate Quarry, Jason MacDonald, David Loiseau, Ed Herman, Mark Bocek, David Bielkheden, Ryo Chonan, TJ Grant, Eliot Marshall, Mike Ciesnolevicz, Sam Stout and Matt Wiman join Anderson Silva, Thales Leites, Chuck Liddell and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua for UFC 97: Redemption, live from the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada on Saturday April 18, 2009.

Tickets for UFC 97 are sold out, but UFC 97 will be available live on pay-per-view on iN DEMAND, DIRECTV, DISH Network, TVN, Bell ExpressVu, Shaw Communications and Viewer’s Choice Canada for a suggested retail price of $44.95 for standard definition or high-definition broadcasts (where available).

After competing on Season 8 of The Ultimate Fighter®, Poland’s Krzysztof Soszynski (fighting out of Temecula, Calif. via Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada) parlayed that experience into a second-round submission victory over Shane Primm in December. But now the 31-year-old light heavyweight will face the toughest test of his career in former World Extreme Cagefighting® light heavyweight champion Brian Stann (fighting out of Scranton, Pa.). Mixed martial arts is a respite compared to the pressure the 28-year-old Stann faced when his Marine unit was ambushed in Iraq in 2005. Stann, then a 2nd Mobile Assault Platoon leader, and his troops thwarted the two-week assault as every American soldier survived the attacks. Now Stann makes his UFC debut against the experienced Soszynski.

Don’t blink when Cheick Kongo (fighting out of Paris, France) and Antoni Hardonk (fighting out of Weesp, Holland) touch gloves. The 6-foot-4, 240-pound Kongo is a devastating striker that is coming off two consecutive knockouts against Dan Evensen and Mostapha Al Turk. If there is a fighter in the heavyweight division that will probably look to stand-and-trade with the 23-4-1 striker it will be Dutch kickboxer Antoni Hardonk. Knocking out his last three opponents all inside of two rounds, Hardonk, like Kongo, looks to be the best he’s ever been.

There is no ceiling on the career of 22-year-old Steve Cantwell (fighting out of Las Vegas, Nevada). The former WEC® light heavyweight champion ended his UFC debut by referee stoppage when he had Razak Al-Hassan’s arm in a precarious position during their December fight. Now the Long Beach, California native focuses his attention to another rising star in Luiz “Banha” Cane (fighting out of Sao Paulo, Brazil). The 27-year-old with a 10-1, 1 NC record boasts TKO wins over Jason Lambert and Rameau Sokoudjou in his last two fights.

An Alumnus of Season 8 of The Ultimate Fighter, Eliot Marshall (fighting out of Boulder, Colo.) had an impressive first-round submission against Jules Bruchez in his UFC debut last December. Now the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt and Franklinville, N.J. native will look to improve his MMA record to 7-2 when he faces versatile light heavyweight Mike Ciesnolevicz (fighting out of Bettendorf, Iowa). The 29-year-old Ciesnolevicz impressed UFC fans by moving up to heavyweight to fight Neil Grove at UFC 95 and only needing 1:03 to heel hook the massive heavyweight for the submission victory. Now the Miletich-trained fighter and Harrisburg, Pa. native moves back to his normal weight class to take on “The Fire.”

With an impressive 31-11-1, 2 NC mixed martial arts record, Denis Kang (fighting out of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada) brings plenty of experience to the UFC’s middleweight division. Fighting for the first time in his home country as a UFC fighter, Kang will have to be well prepared when he goes toe-to-toe with Muay Thai wrecking ball Xavier Foupa-Pokam (fighting out of Paris, France). Even though he’s regarded as a top striker, the 27-year-old Foupa-Pokam has won three of his last five fights by submission.

A veteran of nine fights in the Octagon™, Nova Scotia’s Jason MacDonald (fighting out of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada) dominated the last time the UFC visited Montreal. In 2008, the 33-year-old middleweight earned a TKO victory against Joe Doerksen at UFC 83. Now “The Athlete” looks to defend his home turf against heavy-handed puncher Nate “The Rock” Quarry (fighting out of Gresham, Ore.). The UFC veteran is known for throwing hands, as four of his five UFC wins have come via knockout.

What a time to return to the Octagon for Montreal native David Loiseau (fighting out of Montreal, Quebec, Canada). The 29-year-old is a veteran of seven UFC bouts and last fought for the organization in 2006. The dangerous striker will face a talented, well-rounded mixed martial artist in Ed Herman (fighting out of Portland, Ore.). The Vancouver, Washington born fighter looks to get back to his 2007 form, when he won three fights in a row.

Coming off an impressive submission victory against Alvin Robinson at UFC 91 is Toronto native Mark Bocek (fighting out of Woodbridge, Ontario, Canada). The 27-year-old lightweight and Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt will truly be tested if the fight hits the ground against Sweden’s David Bielkheden (fighting out of Rio De Janeiro, Brazil). The Brazilian Top Team trained fighter also holds a BJJ black belt and looks to use the momentum from the decision victory in his last fight against Jess Liaudin to earn his second straight win.

One of the handful of fighters that holds an MMA win over current UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva, 32-year-old Ryo Chonan (fighting out of Yamagata City, Japan) is a veteran of 24 professional fights. The always exciting welterweight looks to improve his record to 16-9 when he faces experienced grappler TJ Grant (fighting out of Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia). The 25-year-old Calgary native has earned submission victories in 12 of his 13 wins, and is making his UFC debut.

As the first fight on this stacked card, Canadian Sam Stout (fighting out of London, Ontario, Canada) looks to get the Montreal crowd in a frenzy from the start. The 24-year-old Muay Thai practitioner enjoys a good standup battle but will have to be prepared to take on the well-rounded Matt Wiman (fighting out of Dallas, Texas). The Dallas fighter is coming off a breakthrough year in 2008, and he plans on carrying that momentum into 2009 when he faces Stout.

About The Ultimate Fighting Championship
The Ultimate Fighting Championship® is the world’s leading professional mixed martial arts organization and offers the premier series of MMA sports events. Owned and operated by Zuffa, LLC, and headquartered in Las Vegas, Nev., UFC® produces over twelve live pay-per-view events annually that are distributed residentially through North American cable and satellite providers including iNDEMAND Networks, DIRECTV, DISH Network, TVN Entertainment, Bell ExpressVU, SaskTel Max™, Shaw Pay-Per-View, Viewers Choice, and WOWOW in Japan, and via the Internet worldwide on Yahoo! Sports, and commercially through Joe Hand Promotions in the U.S. and Canadastar in Canada. In addition to its North American distribution, UFC programming is distributed in over 100 countries and territories throughout the world. For more information, or current UFC fight news, visit ufc.com or uk.ufc.com or ufcespanol.com.

Ultimate Fighting Championship®, Ultimate Fighting®, UFC®, The Ultimate Fighter®, Submission®, As Real As It Gets®, Zuffa™, The Octagon™ and the eight-sided competition mat and cage design are registered trademarks, trademarks, trade dress or service marks owned exclusively by Zuffa, LLC in the United States and other jurisdictions. All other marks referenced herein may be the property of Zuffa, LLC or other respective owners.

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