“Mannie” Mania Returns to GMU’s Patriot Center for UWC 7 REDEMPTION October 3, 2009 - Iman Achhal to Battle MMA Fighter and Pro Wrestler Sumie Sakai

Eight months ago, the Ultimate Warrior Challenge (UWC), the premier Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) organization on the East Coast, showcased the pro debut of iron willed MMA Fighter Iman “Mannie” Achhal. After fleeing her home country of Morocco to avoid an arranged marriage and surviving nearly a decade of poverty and periods of homelessness, the UWC woman’s rising star was victorious in her first appearance. On October 3rd at “UWC 7: REDEMPTION,” Achhal – and Mannie Mania -- will return to the Patriot Center to face professional MMA fighter and pro wrestler Sumie Sakai in a 115-pound special attraction.

“Women’s MMA is an emerging segment of the sport, one that is growing quickly which was evident by the strong crowd reaction from the UWC’s first women’s fight held earlier this year,” said UWC founder and CEO S. Marcello Foran. “Both Iman and Sumie have attractive fighting styles and match up very well which is going to make for a great fight. Each fighter has a unique and compelling background that embodies the spirit of an MMA warrior which adds to the intrigue and context of their match...”

Achhal over came the odds with her split-decision victory over heavily-favorite Felice Herrig at UWC: Man ‘O War in February 2009. Despite suffering a broken nose during training leading up to her pro debut, she altered her fighting style to counter her more experienced Chicago opponent and pulled out the victory. Achhal, who trains at Virginia-based Capital BJJ, an affiliate of the renowned Gracie family looks forward to returning to the cage in front of her hometown fans.

“My nose is 100-percent completely healed and I feel as good ever” Achhal said. “The surgery was one of the best things I’ve done and I’m definitely coming into the fight a lot stronger and a lot faster.”

Sakai, a Japanese multi-sport athlete, now fighting out of Atlanta, GA, has a long resume in combat sports as well as in sports entertainment. She studied judo and eventually earned a spot on the Korean Olympic squad. In 1997, a training partner brought her into the world of professional wrestling where she dazzled audiences around the world with her all-around athleticism while competing against high-profile opponents, both male and female.

She made her MMA debut in 2006, again, at the behest of a friend. She immediately noticed the difference between the two disciplines. “It’s much more intense, it’s more than just entertainment . I’m training in all disciplines like striking, BJJ, Muay Thai and wrestling. My gym has a lot of great instructors that I’m working with. I’m very excited and really having fun getting ready for this fight.”

For her part, Achhal isn’t thrown off by Sakai’s diverse background. “To me, she’s a fighter,” said Achhal. “I’m sure she’s very athletic and will throw some things my way, but I’m ready for any type of fighter. I’d like to stand up with her, but I can finish it on the ground.”

Doors will open at 6:00 pm with the first bout scheduled to begin at 7:00 pm. Tickets are on sale now and are available for purchase at all Ticketmaster outlets and Ticketmaster.com. A limited number of Ultimate VIP (UVIP) and VIP packages will be available, which include cageside seating, UVIP fight night pre-party, UVIP event lanyard, special guest fighter meet-and-greets, UVIP suite access, full food and beverage service and more. Fore more information or to purchase UVIP and VIP packages visit the official UWC website www.uwcmma.com.