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Friday, July 27, 2007

WEC™ Announces Four Fights Added To August 5th Event

Courtesy of World Extreme Cagefighting:

Las Vegas, Nev. (USA) – 07/27/2007 – With two World Extreme Cagefighting® titles on the line, the August 5th WEC™ card at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas is already packed with world-class mixed martial arts excitement. Add four more evenly matched battles pitting a mix of established contenders and rising stars against each other, and you have a night to remember for all fight fans.

Today, the organization announced that WEC: Condit vs. Larson, headlined by the WEC Welterweight title bout between reigning Champion Carlos Condit and the No. 1 Contender Brock Larson, and the vacant WEC Middleweight battle Paulo Filho vs. Joe Doerksen, will now also feature featherweights Jeff Curran vs. Stephen Ledbetter, and lightweights Jamie Varner vs. Sherron Legget in the televised main card lineup.

Preliminary bouts will include welterweight Hiromitsu Miura vs. Fernando Gonzalez, and bantamweights Antonio Banuelos vs. Justin Robbins.

WEC: Condit vs. Larson will be televised live nationally on VERSUS beginning at 9:00pm ET/6:00pm PT. All live WEC events will be presented in Hi-Definition (HD) where available. For more information and how to find VERSUS in your local viewing area, visit http://www.versus.com/findversus.

Tickets for WEC: Condit vs. Larson are on sale now, and are priced at $250, $150, $75 and $25 (not including applicable services or taxes). Tickets are available at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino box office and all Ticketmaster locations. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (702) 474-4000. Tickets also are available online through www.wec.tv or www.ticketmaster.com.

One of the premier 145-pound fighters on the planet, Jeff “Big Frog” Curran (30-8-1) finally returns to the WEC after an almost five year absence. A veteran of the UFC and PRIDE organizations, Curran has been fighting professionally since 1998. This 29-year old Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt has traded with premier names in mixed martial arts, including Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto, current UFC Champion Matt Serra, and Hatsu Hioki. He has his sights set on taking the WEC Featherweight title from Champion Urijah Faber, and knows that a win over Stephan Ledbetter will move him one step closer to earning that coveted championship fight.

“I know that coming out of Hardcore, the gym where he trains, that he definitely will be in top shape and well rounded,” said Curran of Ledbetter. “So far, although he hasn’t had a whole lot of cage experience, he is undefeated, so won’t look past him – not for one minute. I feel comfortable taking him on in all areas, but respect him enough to be cautious.”

A member of the respected Hardcore Gym in Athens, Georgia, unbeaten 25-year old Stephen Ledbetter (6-0) is a versatile fighter who knows that a win over an established contender like Curran will catapult him into the world featherweight rankings. With all but two of his wins coming via submission, he obviously has the skills to get the job done. (nice)

“Fighting in the WEC means a lot to me,” said Ledbetter. “It means my efforts during the past few years are finally paying off. This is my opportunity to show the world who I am.”

Rising star Jamie Varner (12-2,1 NC) comes to the WEC after a two-fight stint in the UFC, where he impressed fight fans with his win over Jason Gilliam and his hard fought loss to Hermes Franca. Now the Phoenix native brings his confidence and aggression to the World Extreme Cagefighting organization, and he said that he’s not going to stop “sleeping people” until he gets his hands on a lightweight title belt.

Chicago-born Sherron “Rob Roy” Leggett (16-1, 1 NC) impressed the mixed martial arts world with his stoppage of Charlie Kohler in May, the Chicago native established himself as a fighter to watch and is a true fan favorite. Now training with UFC veteran Dave Strasser, Leggett is an up and comer with a bright future ahead of him in the fight world.

Known as “The Last Samurai”, Tokyo’s Hiromitsu Miura (7-4) is a world-respected fighter who, at 25, is just starting to reach his potential as a mixed martial artist. A Pancrase and K-1 veteran whose judo and standup skills make him a tough fight for anyone in the sport, Miura gave world-ranked Jason “Mayhem” Miller all he could handle at WEC 27 before losing a hard fought three round decision.

Hard-nosed battler Fernando Gonzalez (12-4) has only one speed in the cage, and that’s all out. A boxer and jiu-jitsu fighter out of Temecula, California, the 5 foot 8 “Menifee Maniac” is 2-1 in the WEC, with wins over Alex Stiebling and Jimmy Dexter. He will be looking to notch his third win at the expense of Miura on August 5.

27-year old Antonio Banuelos (14-4) is a true veteran of World Extreme Cagefighting, having competed in the show eight times over the course of his six-year pro MMA career, compiling a 6-2 WEC record in the process. A protégé of the legendary Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell, this native of Tulare, California has his sights set on the top of the WEC’s 135-pound weight class.

Springfield, Illinois’ Justin Robbins (11-2-1) counts wrestling as his base fighting discipline, but the other aspects of his game are nothing to be laughed at, as he has scored four wins by submission and one by TKO as he fought his way up the ranks to earn a spot in the WEC. But if he wants to stay here, he has to get by the veteran Banuelos.

“He’s a tough scrappy kid, explosive and quick, with good wrestling,” said Robbins of his opponent. “I think it has the potential for being fight of the night.”

The remaining bouts for WEC: Condit vs. Larson will be announced in the near future. All bouts subject to change. For more information about WEC: Condit vs. Larson and current WEC fight news, visit www.wec.tv.