The future of the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s light heavyweight division will be on the line Saturday when UFC 78: Validation takes place in New Jersey.
In the main event at Newark’s Prudential Center, American “Sugar” Rashad Evans (15-0-1), who won season two of The Ultimate Fighter in the heavyweight division, battles season three light heavyweight winner Michael “The Count” Bisping (15-0) of England.
betED.com has Evans as the favorite at -280, while Bisping is +220.
UFC 78 will be the first UFC event to be held in New Jersey since UFC 53: Heavy Hitters in Atlantic City in 2005.
In another light heavyweight bout, two of the most aggressive strikers in the game clash when Houston “The Assassin” Alexander (8-1) faces Thiago Silva (11-0).
Alexander has been the breakout performer of 2007, winning his first two UFC bouts against Keith Jardine and Alessio Sakara by knockout in less than two combined minutes. Chute Boxe’s Silva has been just as impressive in stopping James Irvin and Tomasz Drwal in his debut fights in the Octagon.
As well, PRIDE veterans Ryo Chonan and Akihiro Gono are both scheduled to make their UFC debuts. Both fighters fought at 183 pounds in Japan, but with the UFC's inclusion of the 170 pound division, each fighter will move down to fight at welterweight.
And former middleweight title challenger David “The Soul Assassin” Terrell (10-2) makes his long-awaited return to the UFC against The Ultimate Fighter 3 finalist Ed “Short Fuse” Herman (15-4).
For Terrell, who owns a first round knockout win over Matt Lindland, it will be his first fight in the Octagon since he submitted Scott Smith in a single round at UFC 59 in April of 2006. Herman is currently riding a two fight win streak with impressive submission victories over the aforementioned Smith and Chris Price.
Top five welterweight contender Karo “The Heat” Parisyan (25-4), winner of seven of his last eight bouts, will also be in action on Saturday as he takes on UFC newcomer Hector Lombard (11-2-1).
Parisyan, fresh from wins over Drew Fickett and Josh Burkman, will be facing a fellow Judo specialist in Lombard, a native of Cuba who represented his country in the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
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UFC Betting Odds
77 Light Heavyweight - Sat, Nov 13th @ Newark, New Jersey
Rashad Evans -280
Michael Bisping +220
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