This Saturday, HP Pavilion will host the most popular form of combat in America—and it isn’t boxing. The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is putting on a live pay-per-view event, UFC 139, marking the first time the premiere mixed martial arts (MMA) organization has come to San Jose, despite the presence of several prominent fight clubs operating in the area for some time.

For its San Jose debut, UFC has scheduled a hotly anticipated main event between Mauricio Rua, a.k.a. Shogun, and Dan Henderson. UFC president Dana White says the winner of the fight will likely earn a shot at light-heavyweight titleholder Jon Jones.

In addition to the main event, there will be seven preliminary matches and four headlined fights on the main card, adding up to 12 matches total.

Among the bouts headlining UFC 139 is a middleweight fight featuring San Jose native Cung Le, a stout Vietnamese-American known for his proficiency in Sanshou kickboxing and, more recently, for making a foray into mixed martial arts as well as the movies.

The former Strikeforce Middleweight Champion, who notably beat Frank Shamrock three years ago with a vicious kick that left Shamrock’s broken arm dangling, is set to square off against Wanderlei Silva. Le’s opponent is a Brazilian who gained fame for his aggressive fighting style and relentless matches, which often end in knockout or referee stoppage.

Despite the pressure of the upcoming match, Le believes that fighting in his hometown gives him an edge. “Living in the South Bay with all my friends and family around here definitely gives me a home field advantage,” he says. “Everyone comes out. The Bay Area gives me a lot of love and support.”

Le, an undefeated kickboxer in his professional Sanshou career, recently made the jump to UFC after making his mixed martial arts debut through Strikeforce, an MMA organization based out of San Jose. When not training for his MMA bouts, Le is also kicking butt on the silver screen, using his background as a martial artist to score both minor and major roles in various motion pictures. His most recent role is a movie adaptation of the popular fighting video game Tekken.

For Le, Saturday’s fight represents a new milestone, as it’s his first match competing for the UFC. “My first MMA fight was in San Jose, and now this is my first UFC fight in San Jose, so it’s like coming full circle,” Le says.  “It means a lot to me to fight in San Jose on the UFC card.”

Le’s training in preparation for Silva has been rigorous. “I train and I fight to win. That’s it,” he says. “I plan to bring thunder and lightning that night and open my Tekken playbook on Wanderlei Silva.”

Other fights on the card include a bantamweight bout featuring Urijah Faber, a specialist in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, taking on Brian Bowles, a former World Extreme Cagefighter. Martin Kampmann is set to square off against Rick Story in the Welterweight bout, and Stephan Bonnar and Kyle Kingsbury do battle in a light heavyweight fight.