UFC officially announces "UFC 88: Liddell vs. Evans" for Sept. 6 at Philips Arena
For the first time in the organization's history, the UFC is heading to Atlanta -- and the Sept. 6 show will feature a main event between UFC light heavyweight contenders Chuck Liddell (21-5 MMA, 16-4 UFC) and Rashad Evans (11-0-1 MMA, 6-0-1 UFC).
MMAjunkie.com first reported last month that an Atlanta event was in the works, and the UFC today made it official as part of a ticket-sales push.
The event takes place at Phillips Arena, a 19,000-capacity venue that is home to the NBA's Atlanta Hawks and the NHL's Atlanta Thrashers. The event will air on pay per view, according to UFC.com.
Liddell, a former UFC light heavyweight champion, is 1-1 since losing his title to Quinton Jackson in May 2007. Four months after that loss, he suffered another defeat (via split decision) to Keith Jardine. It was the first back-to-back losses of his career, but he rebounded for a unanimous-decision victory over Wanderlei Silva at UFC 79.
Earlier this month, a source close to the event told MMAjunkie.com that a Liddell vs. Anderson Silva fight had been discussed as a potential UFC 88 main event. Instead, the UFC will go with Evans, the UFC's undefeated winner of "The Ultimate Fighter 2."
It'll be Evans' first fight in nearly 10 months; he was expected to return earlier this month at UFC 85, but bouts with Liddell and Luiz Cane were eventually scrapped. After fighting to a draw with Tito Ortiz last summer, Evans most recently defeated Michael Bisping via split decision at UFC 78.
The UFC will be the second organization to host an MMA event at Phillips Arena. The young American Fight League christened the building late last month for its first major-venue event.
The UFC hasn't hosted an event in Georgia since UFC 13, which took place in May 1997 at the Augusta Civic Center in Augusta.
Tickets for UFC 88 go on sale to members of the UFC's fan club on Wednesday. The general public can puchase tickets beginning on Saturday.
For the latest on UFC 88, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of MMAjunkie.com.