MMA News

Fans Can Choose Opening Bout of UFC on FX 3 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Demetrious Johnson vs. Ian McCall (Josh Hedges/UFC)

Wineland-Jorgensen, Pierce-Rocha neck-and-neck for lead

The UFC returns to the Sunshine State this summer for the first time in more than three years, and fan voting will determine the fight that opens up the main card.

UFC on FX: Johnson vs. McCall takes place June 8 at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Fla., a suburb of Fort Lauderdale. The arena is the home of the NHL’s Florida Panthers, and the fight card will be the UFC’s third to air on the FX cable network.

The location was chosen through fan voting in the Harley-Davidson Hometown Throwdown, and as an additional fan-interactive piece, voting is under way to choose the first fight on the FX broadcast. Fans can choose between a bantamweight fight pitting Eddie Wineland, the first WEC 135-pound champion, against recent title challenger Scott Jorgensen; a welterweight bout between Mike Pierce and Carlos Eduardo Rocha; and a bantamweight fight between Seth Baczynski and Lance Benoist.

Fans can vote for their choice online at ufc.com/hometownthrowdown, plus enter a contest for a chance to win a trip for four to a future UFC event and a 2012 Harley-Davidson motorcycle. As of Monday morning, the race for the top spot was a close one, with the Wineland-Jorgensen fight just ahead of Pierce-Rocha, 38 percent to 37 percent. The Baczynski-Benoist bout was a distant third with 25 percent.

UFC on FX 3 will feature a main event flyweight rematch between Demetrious Johnson and Ian McCall. The two 125-pounders will meet again to finally get some closure on their first fight, which took last month in Sydney, Australia, at UFC on FX: Alves vs. Kampmann. The two met in the semifinals of the UFC’s four-man tournament to determine its first flyweight champion.

After a close fight, Johnson was announced as the split decision winner. But at the post-fight news conference, UFC president Dana White revealed that a mistake was made in the score tallying by the commissioner in Sydney and the fight was actually a draw. The UFC had created a provision for such an occurrence, and a fourth sudden-victory round was supposed to take place. But it didn’t happen when Johnson was declared the winner. Now the two will face each other one more time to determine who will face Joseph Benavidez for the UFC’s first flyweight title, a bout that now likely will happen in late 2012 instead of this summer. Benavidez beat Yasuhiro Urushitani in Sydney right after the Johnson-McCall fight, but now must wait to learn whom his opponent will be.

Two other fights are locked in for the main card on FX. Surging welterweight Josh Neer will face Mike Pyle, and Charlie Brenneman takes on Erick Silva, also in a 170-pound bout. The winner of the fan voting gets to open the FX telecast. The other two fights will become a part of the preliminary card.

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