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Bisping to Defend UFC Title on Home Turf

UFC 204: BISPING vs HENDERSON 2 confirmed for Manchester Arena on October 8

Six further bouts announced for landmark UK event
London, UK – Britain’s most successful mixed martial artist and UFC® athlete, Michael Bisping, will make history on October 8 at the Manchester Arena, as he defends the UFC middleweight belt in his home town against American MMA legend, Dan Henderson.

Bisping became the first British athlete to win a UFC title on June 4 at UFC 199, when he upset then champion Luke Rockhold on two weeks’ notice. Just four months earlier, he beat one of the best pound-for-pound athletes in the world, Anderson Silva, in an incredible performance at London’s O2 Arena

UFC 204: BISPING vs HENDERSON 2 will be the first title defense by a British athlete on home soil in UFC. The bout is also a rematch between the two athletes, who met previously at UFC 100 in 2009 where Henderson (32-14; fighting out of Temecula, California, USA) knocked out Bisping (30-7; fighting out of Huntington Beach, California, USA) in spectacular fashion in the second round.

Additionally, the two opponents will meet for the first time this Friday, August 19 in Las Vegas to kick off UFC 204: BISPING vs HENDERSON 2  as they join UFC President Dana White in a press conference preceding weigh-ins for UFC 202.  The event, which is free and open to the public, will start at 2pm at the Marquee Ballroom at the MGM Grand Resort & Casino and will be streamed live on UFC.com.

UFC today confirmed six further bouts to a card which is shaping up to be a historic event.  

Dutchman Gegard Mousasi (39-6; fighting out of Leiden, Netherlands) will meet Vitor Belfort (25-12; fighting out of Rio de Janerio, Brazil). Mousasi won his last two bouts against Thales Leites and Thiago Santos in London and Las Vegas respectively. Incidentally, Belfort recorded his last win against title challenger Dan Henderson in November of last year and sits two places ahead of Mousasi in the middleweight rankings at No.4.

Britain’s own No.9 ranked light heavyweight Jimi Manuwa (15-2; fighting out of London England) will face No.6 ranked Ovince Saint Preux (19-8; fighting out of Tennessee, USA) who got his title shot against Jon Jones for the interim light heavyweight belt earlier this year, but narrowly failed to secure the belt.

Heavyweights Stefan Struve (31-8; fighting out of Beverwijk, Netherlands) and Ruslan Magomedov (14-1; fighting out of Dagestan, Russia) will meet in Manchester. Ranked No.14 and no.15 respectively, the bout is sure to be a display of skill as Magomedov tests his striking technique against kickboxing specialist Struve, who has height and reach advantages at seven feet tall.

Additionally, jiu-jitsu specialists Adriano Martins (28-7; fighting out of Manaus, Brazil) and Leonardo Santos (15-4; fighting out of Rio de Janerio, Brazil) will also step into the Octagon® together in an all-Brazilian lightweight bout.

After suffering an injury, Brad Pickett (26-11; fighting out of London, England) was forced to withdraw from his scheduled bout in Hamburg, Germany. Pickett will now face Brazilian Iuri Alcantara (37-7, 1NC; fighting out of Soure, Brazil) in front of a home crowd in Manchester in this bantamweight clash.

Finally, after a win against Marlon Vera in London earlier this year, Brit Davey Grant (10-2; fighting out of Bishop Auckland, England) will return to action on October 8 against Polish featherweight Damian Stasiak (10-2; fighting out of Lodz, Poland).

Tickets for this landmark event go on sale to the general public on September 9 via Eventim and Ticketmaster. UFC Fight Club members receive access to tickets on Wednesday 7 September and UFC newsletter recipients on Thursday 8. Each sale will start at 10:00 BST.

To register interest for the event visit www.ufc.com/manchester

Given the huge global interest in such an exciting main event and card stacked full of international athletes, the event is scheduled to start at 11:00pm with the main card due to start at approximately 3:00am to cater for as many fans as possible to watch live.

Manchester is regarded as a hub of national and international sport in the UK, with many sports governing bodies, football and rugby teams based there such as British Cycling, Manchester City & United football clubs along with Salford Rugby League team. It is also known for it’s fighting heritage having hosted international boxing for many years.

James Elliott, General Manager and Vice President UFC EMEA said: “After 10 years in the UFC, representing Great Britain, I can’t think of a more fitting opportunity than for Michael Bisping to defend his title on home soil, in his home town and in front of a home crowd. UFC is firmly in the hearts and minds of sports fans in the UK and this is officially the hottest ticket in town. Those lucky fans who secure a seat in the Manchester Arena will witness an incredible event.”

James Allen, General Manager for Manchester Arena, added: “As soon as Bisping knocked out Rockhold at UFC 199 I knew his next fight had to be here at his hometown arena. We’ve been privileged enough to host three UFC events before and every year people always ask me when UFC is coming back to Manchester. I’m delighted to say 2016 is that year.”

Manchester Arena has hosted some of the biggest events in the UK sporting calendar including several 2002 Commonwealth Games’ events, the 2012 Olympic basketball warm-up match between team USA and GB, the 2008 FINA World Swimming Championships and international boxing bouts by Mike Tyson, David Haye, Joe Calzaghe and local champions Ricky Hatton, Amir Khan and Anthony Crolla.

UFC 204: BISPING vs. HENDERSON 2 prelims will be available to watch live on BT Sport and UFC FIGHT PASS®, while the main card will be broadcast live on BT Sport.

For up to date news and information on the event, visit UFC.com or follow @UFCEurope on Twitter.

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