UFC event offers several days of events for fans to watch, listen

Thursday, January 12, 2012 at 8:46pm
by Matt Erickson

There is more in store for mixed martial arts fans next week in Nashville than just a Friday night at the fights.

The Ultimate Fighting Championship returns to Nashville on Jan. 20 for the first time in nearly three years with a nationally televised card at Bridgestone Arena.

In addition to the live fights, fans can take part in the official weigh-in event, a question-and-answer session with a UFC fighter and watch fighters from the main card go through workout sessions as they prepare for their fights.

Fans can attend Wednesday's fighter workout sessions, featuring athletes from the main card, at Ed Clay's Nashville MMA Academy, 490 Allied Drive. Fighters including main event lightweights Melvin Guillard and Jim Miller and heavyweights Pat Barry and Christian Morecraft will go through a training session that is open to the public. In addition, Tennessee Titans cornerback Cortland Finnegan is scheduled to make an appearance.

Prior to Thursday's official weigh-in event, which will take place at the Bridgestone Arena at 4 p.m., UFC Fight Club members can take part in an exclusive Q&A session with light heavyweight contender Stephan Bonnar.

Bonnar, whose fight against Forrest Griffin on the first season finale of "The Ultimate Fighter" is credited as one of the greatest fights of all time, has won three straight. The Indiana native also owns an MMA artwork company, a T-shirt company and is a frequent analyst for MMA programming on ESPN and Fuel TV.

Doors for the general public will open for the weigh-ins at 3 p.m. Thursday, and the first fighter will step on the scale just after 4 p.m. There is no charge for the weigh-ins.

The UFC also will partner with the Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee as part of its UFC "Knockout" Hunger program. Fans who bring a canned food item to the arena will receive a raffle ticket for a chance to win UFC prizes after the conclusion of the weigh-ins.

Friday's event at Bridgestone will be the first UFC trip to Nashville since a Fight Night card in April 2009. The card will be the first broadcast on the FX cable channel in the UFC's new seven-year deal with the Fox network, which started Jan. 1.

Fox owns FX, which will broadcast the four-fight main card, and Fuel TV, which will broadcast the six-fight preliminary card.

Tickets are available at the Bridgestone Arena box office and ticketmaster.com. Doors open on fight night at 4 p.m. with the first fight starting at 5. The live broadcast on FX begins at 8 p.m.