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Televised and preliminary bouts finalized for UFC 97

Now that UFC officials have secured a home for UFC 97 they have released the televised portion of the night’s card. The event will be televised live via pay-per-view on April 18 from the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada.

The main event will be for the UFC middleweight championship as title holder Anderson Silva defends his crown against Thales Leites. Chuck Liddell will also be looking to return to his winning ways in the night’s co-main event against fallen PRIDE superstar Mauricio “Shogun” Rua.

Other fights scheduled to be televised include a matchup between former WEC light heavyweight champion Brian Stann and The Ultimate Fighter season eight contestant Krzysztof Soszynski. Steve Cantwell, the man who defeated Stann and became the final WEC 205 lbs. champion, will take on up and comer Luiz Cane. Rounding out the main card will be a clash of two big heavyweights as Cheick Kongo battles Antoni Hardonk.

The preliminary portion of the card will feature a host of Canadian fighters as David Loiseau makes his long awaited return to the octagon as he takes on Ed Herman. Denis Kang, Jason MacDonald, Sam Stout, Mark Bocek and T.J. Grant round out the list of Canadians who will fight in front of their countrymen.

Recent reports indicated that the card was in serious jeopardy of being relocated due to the Quebec Athletic Commission looking to impose rules on the UFC that weren’t consistent with the unified rules of MMA. A contingent of UFC officials led by Marc Ratner and UFC executive Lorenzo Fertitta met with the commission and came to agreement so that the show would go on as scheduled.

The current scheduled card is as follows:

Main Card –

  • Anderson Silva vs. Thales Leites
  • Chuck Liddell vs. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua
  • Krzysztof Soszynski vs. Brian Stann
  • Cheick Kongo vs. Antoni Hardonk
  • Luiz Cane vs. Steve Cantwell

Preliminary Card –

  • Xavier Foupa-Pokam vs. Denis Kang
  • Jason MacDonald vs. Nate Quarry
  • Ed Herman vs. David Loiseau
  • David Bielkheden vs. Mark Bocek
  • Ryo Chonan vs. T.J. Grant
  • Sam Stout vs. Matt Wiman

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