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UFC Returns to the Front Range

Hate it or love it, the Ultimate Fighting Championship is making its Denver homecoming.

After the UFC was born in Denver in 1993, and returned to the city for its second bout in 1994, UFC matches began to spread to other states. And after 1995, when the UFC’s Ultimate Ultimate was held at Mammoth Gardens, the fighting tournament disappeared from Colorado for the following 13 years. But on April 2, the cage match will return to Colorado, this time at the Broomfield Event Center.

In the UFC’s absence, several other fight leagues popped up in Colorado. And even though the state has several great fighters like Mike Nickels and Nate Marquardt, there are no Colorado fighters currently scheduled on the ticket.

But Nickels, who co-owns Twisted Sol tattoo shop and appeared on Spike TV’s The Ultimate Fighter, is starting a new business venture in the fighting world. Right now, he is putting the finishing touches on Colorado Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu HR, a 3,100 square-foot fighting facility in Highlands Ranch, which will train fighters in feature both Muay Thai kickboxing and mixed martial arts.

“We just want to try to take things to the next level,” Nickels said. “Hopefully we can produce a couple of world champions.” -- Luke Turf

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Sean Cronin