According to published reports the UFC has selected the Mandalay Bay Events Center as the venue for UFC 74 over the MGM Grand Garden Arena. The more intimate venue holds 12,000 as opposed to the 17,000+ capacity of the MGM arena. Both venues were being considered according to MMAFrenzy.com sources with the company ultimately opting for the Mandalay Bay Events Center.
UFC 74 is being headlined by Randy Coutures first title defense against Gabriel Gonzaga. Couture won the belt earlier this year with a 5 round unanimous decision victory over Tim Sylvia. Gonzaga came into UFC 7- as an underdog against heavy favorite and Pride veteran Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic but the tide turned when Gonzaga delivered a high kick to Cro Cop’s head putting him out cold earning Gonzaga the title shot.
also featured on the card will be former welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre who lost his title to Matt Serra at UFC 69 in April. GSP will face fellow top contender Josh Koscheck with the winner likely getting the next title shot in spring of 2008. The welterweight division has been put on hold after champion Matt Serra and challenger Matt Hughes were tapped as coaches of the 6th season of The Ultimate Fighter reality show. Their title fight will likely not take place until December meaning nearly 9 months will pass between the title defenses. With his win at UFC 71 Karo Parisyan surely earned a title shot although he may have to wait nearly a year before he finally receives it. That is unless Koscheck-GSP is boring because then all of the guarantees go out the window.
For more on UFC 74 check out the UFC rumors section.