By Darrin Bauming (@DarrinBauming)
WINNIPEG — It’s time for Winnipeg fight fans to throw down.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship introduced its main event contenders to a nearly packed Metropolitan Entertainment Centre on Wednesday, as interim bantamweight champion Renan Barao defends his title against Eddie Wineland on Saturday, June 15 at UFC 161 at MTS Centre in Winnipeg.
“To use an MMA or boxing metaphor, I think as a city Winnipeg punches above its weight,” said Tom Wright, UFC director of operations for Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. “This is a great sports town. Everybody knows that… It’s a very, very knowledgeable fan base here so I was very confident in recommending Winnipeg as a site for the UFC.”
“Your MTS Centre will again be the centre stage for what will be a global pay-per-view event,” said Jim Ludlow, President & Chief Executive Officer of True North Sports & Entertainment. “True North and the MTS Centre are excited to bring another first to our city — a product we intentionally waited for until we could bring the best of the best to Winnipeg.”
The extensive card also includes light heavyweights Rogerio “Lil Nog” Nogueira and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, as well as Dan Henderson and Rashad Evans.
UFC 161 will also display Canada’s first women’s bantamweight bout between Port Colborne, Ontario’s Alexis Davis and Britain’s Rosi Sexton.
In addition to Davis, Winnipeg’s Roland Delorme, Edmonton’s Ryan Jimmo, Toronto’s Sean Pierson, Montreal’s Yves Jabouin, London, Ontario’s Sam Stout, and Edmonton’s Mitch Clarke will round out the Canadian talent entering the octagon on June 15.
Tickets for UFC 161 go on sale to the public on Friday, April 12 at 10 a.m. at the MTS Centre box office or through Ticketmaster.