UFC 114 may be the highlight of Labor Day Weekend for fight fans, as it features the long-anticipated grudge match between Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Rashad Evans, but fight night is not the only event for fans in Las Vegas. Sharing the same weekend, the UFC Fan Expo will be taking place at the Mandalay Bay Events Center, and the promotion is increasing the appeal of the Expo with the addition of several grappling superfights.
In one of the fights, UFC veteran Hermes Franca will take on jiu-jitsu ace Bill Cooper, while four-time Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion and WEC up-and-comer Fredson Paixao takes on UFC veteran Caol Uno. Another WEC fighter will also be participating, as Javier Vazquez, who submitted Jens Pulver at WEC 47, will match up against 23-time Grapplers Quest champion Jeff Glover.
Also gracing the Fan Expo, ADCC world champion Penny Thomas will battle Shayna Baszler in a grappling competition featuring two of the most skilled women in the sport.
For grappling fans, this is an awesome opportunity to see some of the world’s best ground fighters compete against one another,” stated UFC president Dana White.
The UFC Fan Expo has become a highly popularized way for the promotion to interact with fans on a new level. Last year’s event, which coincided with the incredibly successful UFC 100, drew an estimated 30,000 fans and featured superfights such as this years, giving the UFC plenty of reasons to continue putting on such expos in the coming years.