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UFC Won't Return to Ohio for Arnold Sports Festival Weekend in 2011

DETROIT -- Only Sacramento, Calif., and the UFC's home city of Las Vegas have hosted more Zuffa-promoted shows than Columbus, Ohio since the start of 2007. Since then, the company has been there once a year like clockwork, during the weekend of The Arnold Sports Festival in March.

That streak will end in 2011.

UFC president Dana White told the media that the company would not make it back to Columbus in the upcoming year.

"No, we're not [going] this year," he said. "Definitely not this year."

The company's partnership with the festival began in 2007, and led to one of the most important moments in the UFC's explosion into the mainstream. In the main event of UFC 68, 43-year-old Randy Couture came out of retirement and destroyed Tim Sylvia in a five-round coronation to recapture the UFC heavyweight title.

They returned in 2008, with Anderson Silva successfully defending his middleweight title against Dan Henderson, and again in 2009, when Quinton "Rampage" Jackson defeated Keith Jardine in the main event.

In 2010, Zuffa audibled and sent its soon-to-be-merged sister promotion the WEC into town, with Dominick Cruz defeating Brian Bowles to capture the WEC bantamweight championship.

With a glut of events already in the works for early 2011, and the UFC's continued efforts to enter new markets, Columbus became the odd city out.

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