Couture featured

March 19, 2002 8:54 AM


Heavyweight champion Randy Couture will defend against top contender Josh Barnett in the main event on the Ultimate Fighting Championship fight card this ­­Friday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

The event, billed as “Worlds Collide,” pits Couture (7-2-0 in Mixed Martial Arts) of Gresham, Ore., against Barnett (26-1) of Seattle. The bout will moved up to main event status when UFC light-heavyweight champ Tito Ortiz suffered a torn ACL in his left knee and was forced to cancel his title match with Vitor Belfort.

Couture, known as The Natural, has held the heavyweight title longer than anyone and is still undefeated in the Octagon.

In the co-feature UFC welterweight titlist Matt Hughes (25-3) will defend his crown for the first time against top-ranked Hayato Sakurai (16-1-2) of Japan.

Tickets for Worlds Collide range from $300 to $30 and are available at the MGM Grand Garden box office.