OHIO TO FIGHT TOUGH OPPONENT

MMA and the Arnold Sports Festival have had a strong relationship for the past five years.

In 2006, the Ultimate Fighting Championship made its Columbus, Ohio, debut with UFC 68. The card featured the returning Randy Couture versus Tim Sylvia for the heavyweight championship. Couture took a decision victory and claimed his second heavyweight championship in his career.

UFC 68 sold out Nationwide Arena with 19,079 people. That event remains the highest-attended MMA in the country.

2011 marks the first time since 2006 that a Zuffa-owned promotion will not take part in the Arnold Sports Festival. Zuffa owned the promotions UFC and World Extreme Cagefighting before the WEC was absorbed by the UFC in 2010.

The WEC held an event in Columbus in March 2010.

This year Strikeforce will make its Ohio debut in conjunction with the Arnold Sports Festival.

Sporting a card featuring one of the greatest fighters in MMA history, Dan Henderson, Strikeforce is looking to make an impact and show that MMA in the U.S. is not a one-promotion sport.

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