On Monday, January 11, 2010, the UFC will make its first foray into the state of Virginia as well as the greater Washington, D.C. capital region of the United States with UFC Fight Night 20. The event will be held at the Patriot Center in Fairfax, Virginia and the event will also mark the first time the UFC has hosted an event on a Monday. The main card of UFC Fight Night 20 will be televised on Spike at 9:00 p.m. EST/PST.
The main event of the evening will be a lightweight rematch between Gray Maynard and Nate Diaz, who previously fought each other on TUF 5 back in 2007. The fight was during the semi-finals of the show, which Diaz ended up winning via guillotine choke. Diaz then went on to win the finale to become the TUF 5 champion. Diaz won his first 5 fights in the UFC and holds an overall MMA record of 11-4. Meanwhile, Maynard has been on a tear of his own since the show. He has earned 6 victories inside the Octagon with 1 no contest, while keeping his undefeated MMA record intact at 8-0.
The main card will also feature a second TUF lightweight champion in Efrain Escudero, who was the TUF 8 lightweight winner. Escudero holds wins over Phillipe Nover and Cole Miller in the UFC with a flawless overall MMA record of 12-0. He will face a fellow undefeated lightweight in Evan Dunham, who made his UFC debut last year by defeating the likes of Per Eklund and Marcus Aurelio. He also boasts a perfect MMA record at 9-0, so this bout will dictate which undefeated fighter will keep their record unblemished while jumping to the upper echelon of the UFC lightweight division.
In middleweight action, one of Escudero’s TUF 8 housemates Tom Lawlor will take on the undefeated former two-time NCAA Division I All-American wrestler Aaron Simpson. Since defeating Kyle Kingsbury on the TUF 8 Finale, Lawlor has since dropped down to the middleweight division, where he won "Submission of the Night" honors at UFC 100 by submitting TUF 7 finalist C.B. Dollaway, who is Simpson’s teammate at Arizona Combat Sports. Simpson will look to avenge his teammate’s loss and extend his undefeated record, which currently stand at 6-0 with his last two wins coming in the UFC.
The final bout on the main card that is guaranteed to be aired on Spike will take place in the welterweight division, as the third and final TUF winner on this card Amir Sadollah will lock horns with former IFL standout Brad Blackburn. Sadollah is the winner of TUF 7 and has since dropped down to the welterweight division, since winning the show at middleweight. His young career has been fought entirely in the UFC and his record stands at 2-1. He is coming off a unanimous decision win over Phil Baroni at UFC 106 at the end of November and will look to continue that success in his home state of Virginia. He will be facing off against Blackburn, who is currently enjoying a hot streak of his own, since moving to the UFC from the IFL in July 2008. In that time, Blackburn has strung together three wins in the UFC and will look to continue that streak against the biggest name fighter he has faced in the UFC to date.
-Gray Maynard vs. Nate Diaz (Lightweight Bout)
-Efrain Escudero vs. Evan Dunham (Lightweight Bout)
-Aaron Simpson vs. Tom Lawlor (Middleweight Bout)
-Amir Sadollah vs. Brad Blackburn (Welterweight Bout)
-Chris Leben vs. Jay Silva (Middleweight Bout)
-Jesse Lennox vs. Rick Story (Welterweight Bout)
-Nik Lentz vs. Thiago Tavares (Lightweight Bout)
-Mike Guymon vs. Rory MacDonald (Welterweight Bout)
-Kyle Bradley vs. Rafael dos Anjos (Lightweight Bout)
-Gerald Harris vs. John Salter (Middleweight Bout)
-Nick Catone vs. Jesse Forbes (Middleweight Bout)