On September 22, 2007,  the UFC will present it’s UFC 76:  KNOCKOUT event.  This fight card just may be the best card ever assembled by the UFC, at least on paper.  UFC 76 will carry 5 fights that could each, arguably, be a headliner.  It is the return of two formidable light heavyweights, CHUCK LIDDELL and KEITH JARDINE, each coming off devastating knockout losses.  The event will also feature the debut of two huge PRIDE FC talents now  fighting for the UFC: MARICIO “Shogun” RUA and KAZUHIRO NAKAMURA.  RUA will display his immense talent inside the octagon against fan favorite FORREST GRIFFIN.  RUA just may be the best light heavyweight in the world but he first must get by the never-say-die GRIFFIN and adjust to the cage, due to his 5 year absence.   NAKAMURA, one of the great Judokas in all of mixed martial arts, will matchup against undefeated – and also debuting –  karate practioner RYOTO MACHIDA.   MACHIDA’s resume showcases wins over UFC well-knowns, BJ PENN, RICH FRANKLIN and STEPHAN BONNAR.   Also, THIAGO TAVARES will be sporting a strong Muay Thai game coupled with solid submissions against an always exciting and complete TYSON GRIFFIN (see his fight in Ireland vs. CLAY GUIDA). 

The most intriguing fight of the night will be that of DIEGO SANCHEZ and JON FITCH.  SANCHEZ, a legitimate contender for the welterweight belt, is coming off his very first loss in a tactical and uneventful fight with JOSH KOSCHECK.  JON FITCH puts his 13 fight win streak on the line for a shot at mainstream stardom.  While SANCHEZ wants to regain his status as a feared welterweight, FITCH will attempt to make a pay per view splash by feeding SANCHEZ some of his own medicine.  It may not live up to its hype but this is an extraordinary matchup!

Following UFC’s purchase of PRIDE FC, it must now contend with how to pour in some PRIDE’s top fighters without disrupting the present hierarchy.  They must offer the most desireable matches while maintaining that the rankings aren’t too subjective.  This can only mean one thing for fight fans:  More great UFC fight cards in the future.  As for now, UFC 76 just may be offering the UFC’s best fight card to date.  UFC 73 event was penned “Stacked” but maybe they should have kept that signature for this event.  Note to MMA fans:  Just a few more sleepless nights until it arrives …   

courtesy of ocRegister:

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Following his bout with David Heath at UFC 74: Respect, “Babalu” Sobral showed Heath anything but respect!  In fact, Sobral’s neglect in keeping an anaconda choke on Heath for an extra 3 to 4 seconds after referee Steve Mazzagatti tried to stop the fight, has forced UFC president Dana White to terminate Sobral’s contract with the UFC.  According to ufcjunkie.com, Sobral admitted to his shameful action in the ring during a post-fight interview – he wanted to teach Heath “a lesson” for disrespecting him during the previous day’s fight weigh-ins.

Sobral is an extremely intense fighter in the ring.  His intensity level was apparent after he was knocked out by Chuck Liddell in their uneventful bout last year.  Sobral woke up with referee John McCarthy on top of him, calling an end to the fight.  He then immediately tried to put McCarthy into a leg lock, not realizing the fight was over and that he was trying to submit the referee, not Liddell.

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His intensity is in no way a defense for his actions against Heath, especially since his adherence to the choke hold was self-admitted.  The UFC has justly taken swift action but there is a feeling that we will once again see Sobral in the octagon.  Past UFC fighters have left, vowing to never return to the UFC.  Think:  BJ Penn and Tito Ortiz, two of the most popular fighters in the organization.  When asked if he thinks Sobral is gone for good, UFC President Dana White responded with, “I never say never”.  If Sobral never returns, there’s always Elite XC – licking their chops as we speak.