Today the UFC officially announced the full lineup for UFC 79: Nemesis. The December 29th card features 10 bouts, 5 of which are guaranteed to be shown on the PPV broadcast.
- Matt Hughes vs. Georges St. Pierre (Interim Welterweight Championship Bout)
- Chuck Liddell vs. Wanderlei Silva
- Lyoto Machida vs Rameau Sokoudjou
- Rich Clementi vs. Melvin Guillard
- Soa Palalei vs. Eddie Sanchez
- Luis Cane vs. James Irvin
- Nate Mohr vs. Manny Gamburyan
- Jordan Radev vs. Dean Lister
- Roan Carneiro vs. Tony DeSouza
- Mark Bocek vs. Doug Evans
The UFC issued the following today in a press release announcing the main card bout between Soa Palelei and Eddie Sanchez as well as Rich Clementi versus Melvin Guillard:
Eddie “The Manic Hispanic” Sanchez (8-1-0) 6’2”/230 lbs., fights out of The North County Fight Club, Calif. As a heavyweight, Sanchez is very athletic, but it his heart and determination that have given him a name in the UFC. His loss against the devastating kicker Mirko “CroCop” Filipovic has not discouraged him from getting back into the Octagon™. With his heavy hands and hard head at UFC 72 in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Sanchez gladly took on local Belfast fighter Colin “Big C” Robinson, going on to win by TKO at :32 in the second round. The “The Manic Hispanic” now looks to continue his rise in the heavyweight division as he takes on former Pride fighter Soa “The Hulk” Palelei (8-1-0). The 6’4”/265 lb. Australian was undefeated until October 31, 2004 when, during Pride: High Octane, fighter Choi Mu Bae submitted him by a rear naked choke at the end of round two. Then, after a two and half year absence, Palelei returned to fighting with a KO win over Shaun Vanof at King of the Cage. With the exception of Sanchez’s UFC experience, both fighters have a history that appears fairly evenly matched on paper. But those who know the Abu Dhabi veteran and previous Australian Open Champion may think otherwise. Palelei has since been training at the renowned Team Quest camp with Dan Henderson and Sokoudijou, who is also making his UFC debut at UFC 79. “The Hulk” is eager to make his mark in the UFC as he takes on “The Manic Hispanic.”
Rich “No Love” Clementi (35-12-1) 5’9”/155 lbs., fighting out of Slidell, LA., is a seasoned veteran of over 49 mixed martial arts bouts. Clementi’s career had been epitomized by near-misses and close losses just when it appeared that he was on the verge of breaking through to the top ten. While this well-rounded battler from Louisiana was talented enough to compete on the UFC level, the breaks just weren’t going his way in losses to Yves Edwards, Din Thomas, and Shonie Carter. His luck changed in January though, when he put on one of his most impressive performances in breaking down and then submitting tough Ross Pointon. Then Clementi’s luck took another turn with a three round unanimous decision loss to Roan Carneiro at UFC Fight Night® in April. He was given another opportunity to move himself further up the welterweight ranks at UFC 76 with a submission by choke win over Anthony Johnson in the second round. Now with a chance to get his momentum going again, Clementi moves down to lightweight to take on “The Young Assassin” Melvin Guillard. Fighting out of Baton Rouge , LA , Guillard (39-7-3) is an explosive fighter with good wrestling and striking skills. His brash personality made him stand out immediately on The Ultimate Fighter 2, but with a decisive win over Marcus Davis in the finale, Guillard proved he has more than just attitude. After a setback against Josh Neer at welterweight, Guillard dropped down to the lightweight division at UFC 60 and destroyed Rick Davis quickly in the first round. Continuing as a lightweight, he followed that win with a second round TKO over Gabe Ruediger at UFC 63, but Guillard couldn’t keep his streak going when he was submitted by Joe Stevenson in the first round of his UFC Fight Night headline debut. Now, Guillard looks to change his luck as he looks for a win over Clementi.