The UFC will host its first event in Virginia on January 11 as UFC Fight Night 20 takes place at the Patriot Center in Fairfax just outside of Washington, D.C. The Spike TV-televised event is headlined by a lightweight matchup between contenders Gray Maynard and Nate Diaz, while Efrain Escudero takes on Evan Dunham in the evening’s co-main event.
The UFC officially announced the long-rumored event and previously reported fights on Monday. The press release announcing the card is below:
“UFC Fight Night” on Spike TV heads to the suburbs of Washington D.C. on Monday, January 11, 2010 at 9:00pm ET/PT for the first ever UFC fight in Virginia with a card featuring some of the best up-and-coming lightweight fighters. Emanating from the Patriot Center in Fairfax, VA on the campus of George Mason University, undefeated UFC lightweight Gray Maynard (9-0, 1 NC) takes on hard-hitting Nate Diaz (11-4) in the main event with Efrain Escudero and Evan Dunham in a duel of undefeated fighters in the co-feature.
The main event features a rematch of lightweight contenders Gray Maynard and Nate Diaz who first met in the Octagon on season five of “The Ultimate Fighter.” Diaz defeated Maynard on was way to being named “The Ultimate Fighter” that season.
A former teammate of Rashad Evans on the Michigan State wrestling team, Maynard currently trains with UFC legend Randy Couture in Las Vegas. Maynard is riding one of the most impressive winning streaks in the sport, defeating an impressive array of 155 lb fighters including Frankie Edgar, Jim Miller, and most recently Roger Huerta this past September.
Diaz has won six of his last eight UFC fights including a win over Melvin Guillard this past September. The pride of Stockton, CA and product of the renowned Cesar Gracie Fight Team, Diaz needs a win over Maynard to continue his path toward a shot at BJ Penn’s lightweight crown.
Winner of season 8 of “The Ultimate Fighter,” the undefeated Escudero (13-0) is coming off of an impressive victory over Cole Miller at UFC 103 in September. Fighting out of Tempe, AZ, Escudero will look to use his superior grappling skills against another rising star in the division, Dunham. An Oregon native, Dunham (9-0) was victorious in his first two fights in the UFC, including most recently earning a split decision win over Marcus Aurelio at UFC 102 in August.
Pictured: Gray Maynard