UFC 61: Bitter Rivals - Update
DHB (June 7, 2006)
RUFC 61: Bitter Rivals - Saturday, July 8 - Live from Mandalay Bay
Las Vegas, NV – The UFC® tag “As Real As It Gets®” will never ring more true than when two pairs of arch-enemies step inside the Octagon™ to settle unfinished UFC business. First, “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” Tito Ortiz will take on “The World’s Most Dangerous Man” Ken Shamrock in the ultimate grudge rematch. Then, the UFC Heavyweight Champion Tim “The Maine-iac” Sylvia will battle Andrei “The Pit Bull” Arlovski in the ultimate rubber match for the UFC heavyweight title. All four fighters will have the chance to settle the score at UFC 61: BITTER RIVALS taking place live the Mandalay Bay Events Center Saturday, July 8.

“UFC 61 is going to be unlike any other event we’ve ever had,” said UFC President Dana White. “The rivalry between these fighters is real, the tension is thick, and the stakes are at an all time high, so believe me when I tell you that on July 8 you are going to see some incredible fights.”

Tickets priced at $750, $500, $300, $200 and $100 (not including applicable services or taxes) for UFC 61: BITTER RIVALS are now on sale. Tickets will be sold at any Mandalay Bay box office and all Las Vegas Ticketmaster locations (Tower Records/WOW!, Smith’s Food and Drug Centers, Robinsons-May stores and Ritmo Latino). To charge by phone with a major credit card, call the Mandalay Bay box office at (702) 632-7580 or Ticketmaster at (702) 474-4000. Tickets also are available for purchase at www.ufc.com, www.mandalaybay.com or www.ticketmaster.com.

UFC 61: BITTER RIVALS also is available live on pay-per-view at 10 p.m. EST/7 p.m. PST on iN DEMAND, DIRECTV, DISH Network, TVN, Bell ExpressVu, Shaw Communications and Viewer’s Choice Canada for a suggested retail price of $39.95.

Sylvia (23-2-0), fighting out of Davenport, Iowa, is the UFC heavyweight champion. He first stormed into the UFC defeating “Cabbage” Correira in his first fight and knocking out Ricco Rodriguez in his second fight to become the champion. Following his knock out of Gan McGee to defend the title, Sylvia relinquished his belt when the Nevada State Athletic Commission suspended his license after he tested positive for an anabolic agent. He then fought Frank Mir for the vacant title at UFC 48 and suffered multiple breaks in his arm from a Mir armbar. After recovering, he returned at UFC 51 fighting Arlovski only to suffer another setback as he was forced to tap out in the first round due to an Achilles lock. At UFC 54 he returned to his winning ways with a devastating head kick knockout over Tra Telligman, followed by a unanimous decision victory over Assuerio Silva at Ultimate Fight Night™ Jan. 16, 2006. Sylvia recently faced UFC heavyweight champion Arlovski again at UFC 59 and defeated him by a devastating first round knockout. Coming off this incredible win, Sylvia has no fears of facing Arlovski again and is ready to defend his title against anyone who comes his way.

“I’m excited about going out there to fight Arlovski again,” said Sylvia. “He’s the best in the heavyweight division - next to me.”

Arlovski (11-4-0), fighting out of Chicago, is a former UFC heavyweight champion and is one of the most versatile heavyweights in UFC history. Arlovski’s submission skills were demonstrated when he defeated Sylvia by ankle lock at UFC 51 to win the UFC Interim Heavyweight Championship. He defended that title at UFC 53 with a first round TKO of Justin Eilers. When Mir could not defend his title after one year, Arlovski was recognized as the undisputed heavyweight champion. He defended his new title against Paul “The Headhunter” Buentello at UFC 55 and knocked him out with an overhand right at 15 seconds of the first round. Arlovski has incredible striking ability and lightning fast punches and kicks, coupled with strong Jiu-Jitsu skills. He plans to face Sylvia for a third time and attempt to recapture the heavyweight crown once and for all.

“I won once, he won the other, now I’m training hard to win,” said Arlovski. “I want to get my title back for myself, for team Pit Bull and for my fans.”

Also on the card is a highly anticipated rematch between Tito Ortiz and Ken Shamrock.

Ortiz (14-4-0), fighting out of Huntington Beach, Calif., is known for his strength and tenacity as a submission fighter. He returned to the UFC last April to take on rising star Forrest Griffin, winning by split decision in one of the most incredible three rounds of fighting ever to take place in the Octagon. Ortiz is on the comeback trail and wants to defeat Shamrock to not only prove he is the better fighter, but also to position himself for another shot at the light heavyweight crown.

Shamrock (26-10-2), hailing from San Diego, is a UFC Hall of Famer with some of the best submission skills in the game. He is returning to fight in the UFC to take on his nemesis Ortiz and settle their grudge for the final time. Shamrock last fought against Rich Franklin at The Ultimate Fighter Season One Finale, losing by TKO at 2:42 of the first round. Previously, he defeated Kimo Leopoldo by TKO at UFC 48.

The remaining fighters and bouts for UFC 61: BITTER RIVALS will be announced in the near future.

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