2006 Arnold Classic - Friday Night Fights/Gracie Fighting Championships!

Members of the world-famous Gracie family and several heralded fighters with Central Ohio ties will collide March 3 during an evening of mixed martial arts fights to be held at Nationwide Arena... More info right here.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - January 18, 2006

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Members of the world-famous Gracie family and several heralded fighters with Central Ohio ties will collide March 3 during an evening of mixed martial arts fights to be held at Nationwide Arena and broadcast nationally on live pay-per-view television.

arrow Head-to-Head:

    Relson Gracie, the second-oldest son of the legendary Helio Gracie and the 22-time Brazilian National Champion, and Mark "The Hammer" Coleman, the former national champion wrestler at The Ohio State University who has gained fame as a mixed martial arts fighter, will each bring a team of fighters to Nationwide Arena for a unique head-to-head team match that will pit Team Gracie vs. Team Hammer House in the first-ever Gracie Fighting Championships that will highlight the Friday Night Fights at Nationwide Arena.

    "The Gracies are the first family of mixed martial arts, and their revolutionary style of fighting has dominated the sport for decades, and Mark Coleman and his Hammer House team are some of the toughest fighters on the planet, so it will be a treat to see who prevails," said James L. Lorimer, co-producer of the Arnold Sports Festival. "One thing is for sure - Nationwide Arena will be the place to be on March 3."

arrow Joe Frazier To Receive Award:

    In addition to the action in the ring, boxing legend Joe Frazier will be on hand to receive the Arnold Classic Lifetime Achievement Award from California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Many other television stars are also expected to be in attendance for the first-ever live Pay-Per-View event to originate from Columbus.

arrow What's Happening?

    The Friday Night Fights, Gracie Fighting Championships will be televised nationally live on EVENTS-IN-DEMAND Pay-Per-View, and can be seen on Cable and Satellite and in Canada. The event will also be rebroadcast to millions of views in Europe.

    The featured match will pit Team Gracie's Daniel Gracie, the latest Gracie family member to put their revolutionary Brazilian jiu-jitsu style of fighting to use, against Team Hammer House's Wes Sims, a 6-foot-10, 255-pound behemoth from Lancaster, Ohio. Gracie is 3-1 in his brief professional career, while Sims is 8-7; including dominating wins in his last two matches.

    The card will also feature at least three other Team Gracie vs. Team Hammer House matches, as well as three special Super Fights that will feature several international fighters. An undercard featuring local fighters will do battle before the live Pay-Per-View event begins at 9 p.m.

The Friday Night Fight Card

Doors Open at 7 p.m.
Fighting Starts at 8 p.m.
Team Hammer House
Captain: Mark Coleman
Team Gracie
Captain: Relson Gracie
Wes Sims
Daniel Gracie Heavy Weight 3/5 min. rounds
Matt Lindland
Fabio Leopoldo Middle Weight 3/5 min. rounds
Mike Pyle (Randy Couture)
Fabricio "Morongo" Cames Middle Weight 3/5 min. rounds
Forrest Petz
Daniel Moraes Welter Weight 3/5 min. rounds
Jon Koppenhaver
Michael O'Donnell Welter Weight 3/5 min. rounds
Michael French
Fredson Pixao  
Super Fights:
Dustin Hazelett
Rhalan Gracie Middle Weight 3/5 min. rounds
Chris Brennan
Vitor "Shaolin" Ribeiro Welter Weight 3/5 min. rounds
Dan Bobish
Alexandar Ustinov Super Heavy Weight 3/5 min. rounds
Under Card:
Carter Williams
Gary Turner 5/3 minute rounds
Steve Conkel
Brion Peoples 5/3 minute rounds
Pat Horner
Phil Cardella 5/3 minute rounds

* Card subject to change

    Tickets for the Friday Night Fights, Gracie Fighting Championships at Nationwide Arena are on sale now. Tickets are $100, $65, $55, $40, $30 and $20 and may be purchased at the Nationwide Arena Ticket Office, all Ticketmaster locations, online at www.ticketmaster.com or by phone at (614) 431-3600. Tickets are also available at the Blue Jacket Zones located at the Chiller Dublin, Chiller Easton and Chiller North. Doors open at 7 p.m.

    The Friday Night Fights, Gracie Fighting Championships is among the many events to be held March 3-5 during the Arnold Sports Festival, the nation's largest sports festival that will bring 120,000 attendees and 15,000 athletes competing in 30 sports to Columbus. The Arnold Sports Festival will be held at the Greater Columbus Convention Center, Nationwide Arena and Veterans Memorial Auditorium. Five free shuttle buses will run nonstop among downtown hotels and the three venues.

arrow Tickets:

    Tickets to 25 events held during the Arnold Sports Festival are included in the $10 daily entry fee to the Arnold Fitness EXPO. These include martial arts, boxing, hockey skills, figure skating, speed skating, women's prejudging for bodybuilding, fitness and figure, gymnastics, a fitness fashion show, cheerleading and dance, strongman contest, 5K pump and run, arm wrestling, bench press, powerlifting, weightlifting, fencing, wrestling, table tennis, archery, youth dancesport, and volleyball.

arrow Sponsors:

    Friday Night Fights/Gracie Fighting Championship Sponsors: Events-in-DEMAND PPV, BIZ, Combat Sports International, Ricart, Ringside, World Gym.

    Arnold Sports Festival National Sponsors: GNC, Road To The Pros 2006, amino VITAL, EAS, Fizogen, Gaspari Nutrition, Gold's Gym, Jan Tana, Kingston, MET-Rx, MuscleTech, NetJets, Pinnacle, Star Trac, Sunrider, Twinlab, Ultimate Nutrition, VPX, World Gym.

    Arnold Fitness EXPO Sponsors: Body Masters, BSN, Bulk Nutrition, Gamma-O, Iron-Tek, ISS Research, Labrada Nutrition, MRI, MRM, NxCare, Optimum Nutrition, Prolab, SAN, SciVation, STS, Triarco Industries, Ultimate Burn Machine, Universal Nutrition.

    Arnold Sports Festival Local Sponsors: Blitz/WBZX, Columbus Dispatch Weekender, glaceau/vitaminwater, Huntington Banks, Lifestyle Communities, McDonald's, Raisin Rack, Real Fighter, Ricart, Time Warner, WBNS 10 TV.

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