UFC’s Fuel debut set for Feb. 15 in Omaha
The UFC will return to Omaha, Neb., next month for its live card debut on the Fuel TV cable channel. Tickets for the event are on sale this week.
UFC on Fuel TV: Sanchez vs. Ellenberger features a main event welterweight fight between former lightweight title challenger Diego Sanchez and Jake Ellenberger, an Omaha native and resident. Also on the card, heavyweights Stefan Struve and Dave “Pee Wee” Herman will meet on the Fuel broadcast.
The event will take place in the Omaha Civic Auditorium. The promotion last visited Omaha in September 2008 for UFC Fight Night 15, which featured a main event between Nate Diaz and Josh Neer.
Fans can purchase tickets Wednesday as part of the UFC’s Fight Club presale starting at 11 a.m. Eastern. The UFC’s annual Fight Club membership, when purchased in order to get tickets in advance, costs $74.99. UFC newsletter presale tickets go on sale Thursday at 11 a.m. Eastern. And the general public can purchase tickets Friday at 11 a.m. Eastern. Tickets range in price from $35 to $150.
Sanchez (23-4, 12-4 UFC), the Season 1 middleweight winner of “The Ultimate Fighter,” has won two straight. He returned to the welterweight division following a loss to BJ Penn at UFC 107 for the lightweight title, but ran into the unbeaten John Hathaway, who dominated him at UFC 114. He rebounded with a unanimous decision win over Paulo Thiago, then a controversial unanimous decision victory over Martin Kampmann at UFC on Versus 3 in March.
Ellenberger (26-5, 5-1 UFC) has been one of the welterweight division’s hottest contenders. The wrestler has won five straight, four by stoppage. In September, he won arguably the biggest fight of his career, knocking out Jake Shields in just 53 seconds in New Orleans. His only UFC loss came in his promotional debut, a split decision setback against Carlos Condit at UFC Fight Night 19.
Under the UFC’s new network deal with Fox, the promotion will also hold live fight cards on the FX cable channel and Fuel TV. The first FX event takes place Jan. 20 in Nashville, Tenn. FX reaches roughly 100 million homes – about the same as Spike TV, the UFC’s former primary cable partner. The deal with Spike expired at the end of 2011. Fuel TV reaches a reported 36 million homes.