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Ultimate Fighting Championship has Oklahoma in its sights

UFC Fight Night is coming to Tulsa at the BOK Center on August 23, headlined by a lightweight bout between top contender Benson Henderson and Rafael dos Anjos.While a return to Oklahoma City isn’t currently planned, the possibility of the city hosting a major UFC event is increasing.
by Trent Shadid Modified: July 12, 2014 at 5:30 pm •  Published: July 12, 2014
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photo - Josh Thomson, left, punches Benson Henderson right, during the main event of a UFC mixed martial arts event in Chicago, Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)
Josh Thomson, left, punches Benson Henderson right, during the main event of a UFC mixed martial arts event in Chicago, Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)

As the Ultimate Fighting Championship continues to expand, the largest mixed martial arts promotion company in the world has Oklahoma in its sights.

UFC Fight Night is coming to Tulsa at the BOK Center on August 23, headlined by a lightweight bout between top contender Benson Henderson and Rafael dos Anjos.

The event will mark just the fourth time in 20 years the UFC has come to Oklahoma, and the first in Tulsa since UFC 4 in 1994.

The UFC brought events to Oklahoma City’s Cox Convention Center in 2009 and Chesapeake Energy Arena in 2013. While a return to Oklahoma City isn’t currently planned, the possibility of the city hosting a major UFC event is increasing.

“We are very, very excited about the potential the Oklahoma market has for the UFC and for future live events,” said Dave Sholler, UFC’s senior director of public relations. “We want this Tulsa event to be a big success, and we anticipate it will be with such a good card. Looking forward, we’re excited about the potential of also coming to (Chesapeake Energy Arena). Oklahoma has the foundation to be a great UFC market.”

The UFC success of local talents such as current welterweight champion Johny Hendricks, a former Edmond Memorial and Oklahoma State wrestling star, has elevated the focus on Oklahoma.

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by Trent Shadid
Copy Editor
Trent Shadid is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma. He was born and raised in Weatherford, Okla., and attended Weatherford High School. Before joining The Oklahoman, he spent two seasons as an assistant wrestling coach at Weatherford High...
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UFC Fight Night

Where: BOK Center, Tulsa

When: August 23, 7 p.m. (preliminaries) and 9 p.m. (main event)

Tickets: Available for purchase at www.ticketmaster.com and the BOK Center box office. Prices range from $50-150

TV: Fox Sports 2 (Cox 265) at 7 p.m. and Fox Sports 1 (Cox 67) at 9 p.m.

Fight card

Benson Henderson vs. Rafael dos Anjos (main event)

Demian Maia vs. Mike Pyle

Jordan Mein vs. Brandon Thatch

Francis Carmont vs. Thales Leites

Chas Skelly vs. Tom Niinimaki

Aaron Phillips vs. Matt Hobar

Max Holloway vs. Mirsad Bektic

Tim Elliott vs. Wilson Reis

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