(PRESS RELEASE) -- Toronto, Canada – UFC® interim bantamweight champion Renan Barao will look for his second straight title defense against No.4 ranked contender Eddie Wineland on Saturday, June 15 when the Ultimate Fighting Championship® brings its first-ever event to Winnipeg, Manitoba with UFC® 161: BARAO vs. WINELAND at the MTS Centre.
Riding one of the longest unbeaten streaks in mixed martial arts history, Barao (32-1, 1NC, fighting out of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) defeated Urijah Faber in Calgary in July 2012 to win the interim title. He defended the belt in February against Michael McDonald with an impressive arm triangle choke that earned him his first Submission of the Night honours. Barao has gone 31 straight fights without a loss (30 victories, 1 no-contest). He is on an exciting 20-fight win streak and is 5-0 since making his UFC debut in May 2011.
Wineland (20-8-1, fighting out of Chesterton, Indiana) is a former WEC bantamweight champion who comes into this title shot with two straight wins. Wineland defeated Scott Jorgensen in June 2012 in a Fight of the Night performance that marked the first time Jorgensen had ever been stopped via knockout. Wineland followed that up with a win over Brad Pickett in December.
In the night’s co-main event, light heavyweights Rogerio Nogueira and Mauricio Rua, will have a rematch of their legendary 2005 PRIDE® fight. The fifth-ranked Nogueira (21-5, fighting out of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) has won his last two fights, both of which have been against former UFC® light heavyweight champions. He defeated Rashad Evans in February 2013 at UFC 156 and Tito Ortiz in December 2011 at UFC 140. Meanwhile, Rua (21-7, fighting out of Curitiba, Brazil) who is ranked sixth, is 1-1 in his last two fights, coming off a loss to Alexander Gustafsson in December 2012 and a win over Brandon Vera via TKO last August.
In another compelling light heavyweight bout, former PRIDE® welterweight and middleweight champion Dan Henderson (29-9, fighting out of Temecula, California) will take on former UFC® light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans (22-3-1, fighting out of Delray Beach, Florida). Ranked third and seventh respectively, Henderson and Evans will both be looking to rebound back into the win column. Henderson recently lost a split decision to Lyoto Machida at UFC 157 that snapped his four-fight win streak. Meanwhile, Evans will look to break two straight unanimous decision losses to Rogerio Nogueira at UFC 156 and Jon Jones at UFC 145.
Canada will also see its first women’s bantamweight bout as Port Colborne, Ontario’s Alexis Davis (11-5) will meet Rosi Sexton (13-2, fighting out of Manchester, England). Davis, who has a black belt in both Japanese and Brazilian jiu-jitsu, has won five of her last six fights including victories over STRIKEFORCE® veteran Julie Kedzie and power-punching Amanda Nunes. The “Ally-Gator” earned Fight of the Night honours in her most recent win via rear naked choke over Shayna Baszler in January at Invicta FC4. Meanwhile, Rosi Sexton boasts black belts in tae kwon do and TJF jiu-jitsu and a brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. She is currently on a three-fight win streak in the Cage Warriors Fighting Championship and was their 2005 132-pound champion.
In addition, UFC® 161: BARAO vs. WINELAND will feature two heavyweight bouts including Stipe Miocic (9-1, fighting out of Euclid, Ohio) against newly signed Soa Palelei (18-3, fighting out of Perth, Australia), and hard-hitters Pat Barry (8-5, fighting out of Alexandria, Minnesota) and Shawn Jordan (14-4, fighting out of Albuquerque, New Mexico). Former STRIKEFORCE® middleweight champion Jake Shields (27-6-1, 1NC, fighting out of San Francisco, California) will also square off in a welterweight bout against Tyron Woodley (11-1, fighting out of St. Louis, Missouri) who is coming off a spectacular knockout in his UFC debut.
In addition to Davis, six other Canadians will step into the Octagon® at UFC® 161 including Winnipeg’s own Roland Delorme (8-1, 1NC) who faces Edwin Figueroa (9-2, fighting out of McKinney, Texas) in a bantamweight bout, Ryan Jimmo (17-2, fighting out of Edmonton, Alberta) will return against light heavyweight Igor Pokrajac (25-9, 1NC, fighting out of Zagreb, Croatia) and Toronto’s Sean Pierson (13-6) will battle welterweight T.J. Waldburger (16-7, fighting out of Belton, Texas). Montreal’s Yves Jabouin (18-8) will also challenge bantamweight Dustin Pague (11-8, fighting out of Dulles, Virginia). Two other lightweight fights include Sam Stout (20-8-1, fighting out of London, Ontario) against Isaac Vallie-Flagg (14-3-1, fighting out of Albuquerque, New Mexico), and Mitch Clarke (9-2, fighting out of Edmonton, Alberta) versus John Maguire (18-5, fighting out of Cambridge England).
The Ultimate Fighting Championship® will host a press conference on April 10 in Winnipeg with the main event stars, as tickets for UFC® 161: BARAO vs. WINELAND go on sale to the general public on Friday, April 12 at 10 a.m. CT at ticketmaster.ca. More details surrounding the 1 p.m. CT press conference are available below.
Additional bouts will be announced in the days to come at www.ufc.com.
Tickets for UFC® 161: BARAO vs. WINELAND go on sale Friday, April 12 at 10 a.m. CT and are priced at $500, $350, $250, $150, $90 and $50. Tickets will be available at the MTS Centre box office, at all Ticketmaster outlets, charge by phone at 1.855.985.5000 or online at www.ticketmaster.ca
UFC® Fight Club™ members will have the opportunity to purchase tickets to this event on Wednesday, April 10 at 10 a.m. CT via the website ufcfightclub.com. A special Internet ticket pre-sale will be available to UFC newsletter subscribers on Thursday, April 11, starting at 10 a.m. CT. To access this presale, users must register for the UFC newsletter through UFC.com.
UFC® 161: BARAO vs. WINELAND will be available live on Pay-Per-View at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT on UFC.TV, iN DEMAND, DirecTV, DISH Network, Avail-TVN, and in Canada on BellTV, Shaw Communications, Sasktel, and Viewer’s Choice Canada for a suggested retail price of $44.99 US/$49.99 CAN for Standard Definition and $54.99 US/$59.99 CAN for High Definition.
For more information or current fight news, visit www.ufc.com. All bouts live and subject to change.
UFC® 161: BARAO vs. WINELAND PRESS CONFERENCE – OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
WHEN: Wednesday, April 10 – 1 p.m. CT (media check-in starts at 12 p.m.)
WHERE: The Met, 281 Donald Street, Winnipeg
WHO: Dana White, UFC® President Tom Wright, UFC® Director of Operations: Canada, Australia and New Zealand Renan Barao, UFC® Interim Bantamweight Champion Eddie Wineland, UFC® Bantamweight Contender
*This press conference will also be streamed live on UFC.com
About the Ultimate Fighting Championship® Universally recognized for its action-packed, can’t-miss events that have sold out some of the biggest arenas and stadiums across the globe, the UFC® is the world’s premier mixed martial arts (MMA) organization. Owned and operated by Zuffa, LLC, headquartered in Las Vegas and with offices in London, Toronto and Beijing, UFC produces more than 30 live events annually and is the largest pay-per-view event provider in the world. In 2012, the UFC burst into the mainstream with a landmark seven-year broadcast agreement with FOX Sports Media Group. The agreement includes four live events broadcast on the FOX network annually, with additional fight cards and thousands of hours of programming broadcast on FOX properties FX and FUEL TV. This also includes the longest-running sports reality show on television, The Ultimate Fighter®, which airs on FX.
In addition to its reach on FOX, UFC programming is broadcast in over 145 countries, to nearly 800 million TV households worldwide, in 28 different languages. UFC content is also distributed commercially in the United States to bars and restaurants through Joe Hand Promotions, in English throughout Canada via Premium Sports Broadcasting Inc. and Australia via Main Event and in French throughout Quebec via Interbox. The UFC also connects with tens of millions of fans through its website, UFC.com, as well as social media sites Facebook and Twitter. UFC President Dana White is considered one of the most accessible and followed executives in sports, with nearly 2.4 million followers on Twitter. Ancillary UFC businesses include best-selling DVDs and video games, an internationally distributed magazine, UFC.TV offering live event broadcasts and video on demand around the world, a new franchise in development with EA, UFC GYM®, UFC Fight Club affinity program, UFC Fan Expo® festivals, branded apparel and trading cards.