The Ultimate Fighting Championship® and Bud Light have teamed up to put on an action-packed fight card heading to New Orleans this fall. The organizations jointly announced today that UFC® Fight Night Live: Battle on the Bayou will take place on Saturday, Sept. 17 from the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center and feature an outstanding welterweight clash between top contenders Jake Shields and Jake Ellenberger. UFC® Fight Night Live: Battle on the Bayou will be broadcast live on SPIKE TV at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
“Jake Shields has fought some of the best guys in the sport and he wants to prove that he deserves another shot at the title,” UFC President Dana White said. “But Jake Ellenberger has won his last four fights and wants to knock off a top contender like Shields. Shields has phenomenal jiu-jitsu, but Ellenberger thinks he can overpower him in the Octagon. This should be a great main event for the Battle on the Bayou.”
Two winners of recent seasons of The Ultimate Fighter® will also be in action as season 11 winner Court McGee battles talented South Korean middleweight Dongi Yang, while season 12 winner Jonathan Brookins takes on surging featherweight Erik Koch. Plus, the event will mark the return of Alan “The Talent” Belcher as he begins a quest toward the middleweight title when he meets gifted Canadian submission artist Jason MacDonald.
Tickets for UFC® Fight Night Live: Battle on the Bayou go on sale on Saturday, July 30 at 10 a.m. CT and are priced at $250, $225, $150 and $85. Tickets will be available at all Ticketmaster locations, by phone 504.562.7000 or at www.ticketmaster.com. Tickets are subject to convenience and service fees.
UFC® Fight Club™ members will have the opportunity to purchase tickets to this event Thursday, July 28 at 10 a.m. CT via the website www.ufcfightclub.com. A special Internet ticket pre-sale will be available to UFC newsletter subscribers Friday, July 29, starting at 10 a.m. CT. To access this presale, users must register for the UFC newsletter through UFC.com.
In addition, Bud Light is extending UFC® Fight Night Live: Battle on the Bayou beyond the action in the Octagon® with the “Battle on the Bayou” national sweepstakes*, a three-day, two-night UFC fan experience in the Big Easy – complete with weigh-ins and a concert downtown and exclusive meet-and-greets with UFC personalities. Now through August 29, 2011, fans 21 and older can enter to win a trip to UFC® Fight Night Live: Battle on the Bayou online at www.Facebook.com/BudLight or through UFC-branded Snap Tags on Bud Light displays at retail.
A winner of 15 out of his last 16 fights, Jake Shields (fighting out of San Francisco, Calif.) has defeated a long list of worthy contenders, including Carlos Condit, Dan Henderson, Jason Miller and Paul Daley. The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu ace returns to the Octagon® in September poised to make another significant run, and better yet, snap the winning streak of his fast-rising opponent.
“Jake Ellenberger’s a tough up-and-comer with good wrestling and boxing, but I think jiu-jitsu is his weak point and I want to expose that,” Shields, who owns a record of 26-5-1, said. “This is a really important fight for me. I had a really huge winning streak prior to my last fight and I want to put together another one starting in New Orleans.”
With stoppage victories in three out of his last four wins, Jake Ellenberger (fighting out of Omaha, Neb.) is quickly emerging as a potential contender in the deep 170-pound division. Known for his high-level wrestling and heavy hands, the 26-year-old is as confident as ever that the career-defining win he’s been seeking will come on Sept. 17.
“I respect Jake Shields, but I don’t think he’s fought anyone like me,” Ellenberger, who boasts a record of 25-5, said. “I’m a bad match up for him. He’s not as hungry as me and he doesn’t want it as bad as me. This is the opportunity I’ve been waiting for my whole life. It’s my time to showcase my skills.”
In a fight that will push the winner toward the middleweight elite, The Ultimate Fighter® season 11 winner Court McGee (fighting out of Ogden, Utah) takes on aggressive South Korean Dongi Yang (fighting out of Seoul, South Korea). The 26-year-old McGee (12-1) is riding back-to-back wins over Kris McCray and Ryan Jensen in the UFC. Yang (10-1), also 26, has also been gaining momentum in the 185-pound division thanks to a second-round stoppage victory over Rob Kimmons in March.
The Ultimate Fighter® season 12 winner Jonathan Brookins (fighting out of Orlando, Fla.) competes in his first bout since winning the popular reality show when he meets surging prospect Erik Koch (fighting out of Milwaukee, Wisc.) in featherweight action. Brookins, 25, owns a record of 13-3 and has developed a reputation as a speedy fighter with a knack for finishing fights. In New Orleans, he’ll meet knockout artist Koch (12-1), a 22-year-old who has finished his last three opponents, including a menacing KO of Raphael Assuncao in his UFC debut in March.
Alan Belcher (fighting out of Jonesboro, Ark.) returns to the UFC for the first time since May 2010 100 percent and ready to add to his two-fight winning streak. Nicknamed “The Talent,” Belcher (15-5) brings his vast array of striking and submission skills to the Octagon for a collision with Canadian middleweight standout Jason MacDonald (fighting out of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada), who is fresh off a thrilling submission win over Ryan Jensen at UFC 129.
For more information, or current UFC fight news, visit UFC.com. All bouts live and subject to change.