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UFC 97 Officially Announced

Written by Tom Ngo
February 9th, 2009
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Although it has been Rumored for weeks, the UFC officially announced the main events for their “UFC 97: Silva vs. Leites” event in Montreal, Canada on April 18th. Former UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell, who is looking to make one final run at the title, will face the talented, yet struggling, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva will headline the card as he will defend his belt against Thales Leites.

“I feel great about this fight and I will be one hundred percent for sure,” Leites stated. “I did my job to get recognized by the UFC, and this will be the fight of my life. I know Anderson Silva is a very, very tough guy, but I know that I can do it.”

Silva has been the most dominating fighter in MMA since he emerged onto the Octagon scene. He has compiled one devastating finish after another, and outside of his last opponent, Patrick Cote at UFC 90, the Brazilian has finished off all of his UFC opponents before the end of the 2ndRound.

“I’m looking forward to fighting in Montreal,” Silva said. “I have a lot of Canadian fans. Thales is a very tough opponent, and it’s going to be a great fight.”

At 39, Liddell is clearly in the twilight of his career. Once known as the most dangerous stand up fighter in MMA, Liddell has struggled to remain conscious in two of his last four fights. However based on his reputation and accomplishments, he knows that he is only a few impressive wins away from contending for the strap.

“I’m very excited about fighting Shogun,” Liddell said. “It’s another step in getting back my title. I’m going to hit him hard and I plan on knocking him out. The Canadian fans have been great for years. They are some of the most exciting fans in the world.”

Shogun was not impressive in his win over Mark Coleman at UFC 93. Since undergoing two knee surgeries over the last two years, Shogun has struggled mightily to regain his previous dominant form.

“It is an honor to fight Chuck Liddell, one of the greatest light heavyweights ever in the UFC,” Rua said. “I have a lot of respect for him, and I am very excited to fight him. I like to keep myself challenged, and this fight with Chuck is definitely a big fight for me and for UFC fans.”

Here are the fighters Rumored to be competing at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada:

Preliminary Bouts:

Matt Wiman vs. Sam Stout
Luis Cane vs. Steve Cantwell
David Bielkheden vs. Mark Bocek
T.J. Grant vs. Ryo Chonan
Krzysztof Soszynski vs. Brian Stann
David Loiseau vs. Ed Herman

Main Bouts:

Cheick Kongo vs. Antoni Hardonk
Xavier Foupa-Pokam vs. Denis Kang
Jason MacDonald vs. Nate Quarry
Mauricio “Shogun” Rua vs. Chuck Liddell
Thales Leites vs. Anderson Silva (UFC Middleweight champion)

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