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Wrestlers Hughes, Trigg to battle for UFC title on Friday; Olympic medalist Lindland also to fight a



Two athletes with extensive amateur wrestling backgrounds, Matt Hughes and Frank Trigg, will battle for the UFC Welterweight title at Ultimate Fighting Championship 45: Revolution, an eight-fight card that will be held Friday, November 21, at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. UFC 45: Revolution will also celebrate the UFC's 10th anniversary. Hughes is the current UFC welterweight champion, while Trigg is looking to move into the top ranks of mixed martial arts stars. College wrestling fans will remember the careers of both competitors in this featured title bout. Hughes was a two-time All-American at Eastern Illinois University, after a successful junior college career at Lincoln Junior College. He is a native of Illinois, where he won a state high school title. Trigg moved around in college, competing at three different universities. He started his college career at Oklahoma State, then left to attend Phoenix College, where he was a junior college national runner-up. He returned to Div. I wrestling to complete his career at the Univ. of Oklahoma. He is a native New Yorker, where he was a high school state champion. Trigg has also been a very active freestyle wrestler, competing on the national circuit for many years. He placed fifth at the U.S. National Championships on the Senior level three times, and qualified for the 2000 U.S. Olympic Team Trials. Clearly, Hughes has the more accomplished mixed martial arts career. Hughes has a 29-3-0 record in mixed martial arts, and has gained a reputation for his strength as a fighter. He is known for high amplitude body slams and a devastating ground and pound attack. Hughes claimed his UFC title in November 2001, with a knockout of Carlos Newton. He has defended his title four times since then. According to the UFC web page, Hughes considers his style to be "a lot of standup. With my wrestling, we're hoping I can stop the takedown." Fans can see Matt Hughes on national television on Wednesday afternoon, as he is being interviewed by Brian Kenny on ESPN News in the studio between 4:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Trigg, who trains in El Segundo, Calif. brings confidence and a variety of skills to this title fight. His mixed martial arts record is 9-1-0, including a win over Dennis Hallman, who has beaten Hughes. Trigg has a black belt in judo, and is the current World Fighting Alliance welterweight world champion. Because of his habit of painting his toenails for fighting, he was tagged with the nickname "Twinkle Toes." Many of the athletes on the UFC circuit have a background in amateur wrestling. Another top wrestler on the card in UFC 45: Revolution is Matt Lindland, a 2000 Olympic silver medalist in Greco-Roman wrestling. Lindland will be battling Falaniko Vitale in a middleweight battle as part of the evening's fight card. Lindland's wrestling resume is long and accomplished. An Oregon native, he won a junior college national title at Clackamas CC, then went on to star at the Univ. of Nebraska. He went on to become one of the world's best Greco-Roman wrestlers, capped off by a silver medal performance in the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. He won Pan American Games and World Cup gold medals, captured five national Greco-Roman titles and competed in three Greco-Roman World Championships. Lindland has an 8-2-0 career record in mixed martial arts, and goes by the nickname "The Law." He has not only been very successful in his fights, but he also has become popular for his entertaining style. Lindland is trained by UFC champion Randy Couture, the most successful wrestler who is now competing in mixed martial arts. Couture is a former Greco-Roman star and Oklahoma State All-American who is the current UFC light heavyweight champion. Couture is the first fighter to win UFC titles in two different weight divisions. Couture will be very prominent on national television this week, promoting his career and the UFC program. He is scheduled to appear on Fox Sports Network on Wednesday evening on "The Best Damn Sports Show Period" (Check your local listings. Usually airs at 8 pm & 11 pm.) Then on Thursday morning, Couture will be featured on the new morning show "Cold Pizza," which is broadcast on ESPN2 from 7-9 a.m. Another former high school and junior college wrestler, Phil Baroni from New York, will also compete in a middleweight fight against Evan Tanner. The UFC's first fight event, UFC 1: The Beginning, was held November 12, 1993, at McNichols Arena in Denver, Colo. That night, Royce Gracie defeated Gerard Gordeau in the final match with a tap out by rear naked choke to become the first UFC champion. Other fighters on that first card included Ken Shamrock, Kevin Rosier, Art Jimmerson, Teila Tuli, Patrick Smith, Zane Frazier, Jason DeLucia and Trent Jenkins. As part of the 10th anniversary, the public is invited to visit the web site, www.ufc.tv, and vote for the top 10 UFC fighters of all time. Tickets cost $300, $200, $100, $60 and $30, are on sale at the Mohegan Sun box office and at www.tickets.com. Tickets also may be ordered by telephone at 1-800-477-6849 or 860-862-8499. All ticket purchases are subject to transaction fees. UFC 45: Revolution will be available LIVE on pay-per-view on iNDemand, DirecTV, Dish Network, Bell ExpressVu, TVN, Echostar and Viewers Choice Canada. The suggested retail price is $29.95. UFC 45: REVOLUTION FIGHT CARD UFC Welterweight Title Matt Hughes vs Frank Trigg 'Tank' Abbott vs 'Cabbage' Correira Robbie Lawler vs Chris Lytle Yves Edwards vs Nick Agallar Evan Tanner vs Phil Baroni Ricco Rodriguez vs Pedro Rizzo Matt Lindland vs Falaniko Vitale Keith Rockel vs Chris Ligouri card subject to change
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