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UFC Fight Night to feature Sun Devils Velasquez, Dollaway

July 15, 2008
When the UFC Silvia vs. Irvin show is aired live in Spike TV this Saturday night, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fight card will feature a pair of former All-American wrestlers from Arizona State University as both C.B. Dollaway and Cain Velasquez are scheduled to fight in the Octagon inside the Palms in Las Vegas, Nev. Both former Sun Devils, which carry a strong background in amateur wrestling, will each face former collegiate wrestlers in the program that will be aired live starting at 6 p.m. PST.

Velasquez (3-0-0), a two-time All-American and two-time Pac-10 Champion at heavyweight, will face former Purdue heavyweight Jake O'Brien (10-2-0) while Dollaway (7-1-0), a former All-American and Pac-10 Champion at 184 pounds, will face a fellow member of the cast of the Ultimate Fighter 7 in Jesse Taylor (7-2-0).

Velasquez is one of several former Sun Devils excelling in mixed martial arts (MMA) fighting and will put his undefeated record on the line against O'Brien. The fight, which will be held at The Pearl inside The Palms in Las Vegas, Nev., and will be shown live at 6 p.m. Pacific on Spike TV, will pit a pair of collegiate wrestlers against one another as O'Brien (10-1) wrestled for Purdue. Velasquez and O'Brien have met once before, fittingly enough in Las Vegas, as the two collegiate heavyweights faced one another in the consolation semifinal at the 2005 Cliff Keen/Las Vegas Invitational. Velasquez, who was the third-seed in the tournament, defeated ninth-seeded O'Brien, 8-4, before winning his next bout (12-10 over eighth-seeded Eric Smith of Boise State) to finish third in the tournament.

Dollaway and Taylor also will not be facing off for the first time either as Dollaway defeated Taylor, who wrestled for Pac-10 foe CS Fullerton, on three occasions. Dollaway won a pair of duals in the 2005 season with a victory by fall at 3:17 in a home dual before again pinning Taylor, this time in 3:41, in the quarterfinals of the Pac-10 Championships. Then, in 2006, the two met in a dual in Fullerton, Calif., with Dollaway taking an 11-3 major decision victory. Both men, who wrestled at 184 pounds, were All-Americans for their respective teams.

The fight for Velasquez, who fights out of the American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose, Calif., will mark his second in the UFC after he scored a first-round knock out of Brad Morris at UFC 83 (April) in Montreal, Canada. The fight for Dollaway will be his second in the UFC after he was submitted in the final of the Ultimate Fighter 7 finale in Las Vegas last month. Dollaway continues to train and fight out of Arizona Combat Sports in Tempe, the same gym that his former college teammate and two-time All-American Ryan `Darth' Bader fights.