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Friday, March 13, 2009


-- World Extreme Cagefighting

For Immediate Release:
March 13, 2009



Live From UIC Pavilion in Chicago, Sunday, April 5

Las Vegas, NV (USA) – When Japanese star Takeya Mizugaki (11-2-2) challenges Miguel Angel Torres (35-1) for the WEC® bantamweight title on April 5, he expects to be rudely welcomed to the United States by hordes of the hometown champion’s fans. However, when the 25-year-old steps inside the cage at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago, Illinois, he plans on silencing the crowd the only way he knows how: by knocking Torres out.

“Fighting in the WEC, fighting in the states, challenging the champion at his hometown, it’s an ultimate ‘away’ fight,” Mizugaki said through manager/translator Shu Hirata. “I am expecting huge booing from the fans, and on top of that, it’s going to be a five-rounder. Everything about this fight is ‘first time’ for me so I am really looking forward to it.

“I am just going to look for a knockout just like I did in all my past fights. I want to strike.”

While some would question Mizugaki’s ability to knockout the champion, the 5’7”, 135-pound challenger boasts an impressive standup game that will certainly test Torres. The Muay Thai specialist went undefeated at 3-0 in 2008 with two wins coming by way of knockout and the other by submission. As fight night gets closer, Mizugaki is confident that he can get the best of the hometown hero when the two trade leather.

“I saw all of his WEC fights and I don't see too many holes in his game,” Mizugaki, who has not lost a fight since February 2007, said. “Maybe I am feeling that way because I have never seen him actually losing in the fight. I have to stick with what I do best which is the striking game.”

In the end, Mizugaki realizes that he’ll be coming into hostile territory to battle a champion who has wreaked havoc on the WEC’s bantamweight division. Although respectful toward Torres’ success and title reign, Mizugaki is planning to make a huge statement on his first stop in the U.S. On April 5 in Chicago, Mizugaki is planning on taking the world title back to Japan.

“Torres just keeps coming at you with almost no expression on his face so he is intimidating,” Mizugaki said. “But I’m not intimidated. He is a great fighter and awesome champion. But regardless of opponent, I’m going to stick with my style and strike. I’m honored and excited for this opportunity.”

Tickets for World Extreme Cagefighting® are on sale now and available for purchase through the UIC Pavilion, online at www.ticketmaster.com or by calling Ticketmaster at 312-559-1212.

World Extreme Cagefighting will be televised live nationally on VERSUS beginning at 9:00pm ET/6:00pm PT. All live WEC events are 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.

In the co-main event, Island Lake, Illinois’ Jeff Curran looks to make his case for a shot at the belt when he battles undefeated phenom Joseph Benavidez.

A longtime favorite of the Midwest fight scene, former WEC featherweight contender and title challenger Jeff “Big Frog” Curran (31-10-1) has long had his sights set on Miguel Torres, and he has even dropped down to the bantamweight division to chase his local rival. There is business to take care of for both men first though, and for Curran, that means his clash with Joseph Benavidez on April 5th. So expect the 30-year old Curran to come out with guns blazing in order to move forward in the crowded bantamweight division.

The 24-year old Joseph Benavidez (9-0) came to the WEC last December with a lot of hype due to his raw talent and impressive previous performances, and he lived up to the expectations with a big win over Danny Martinez. Now the stablemate of former WEC featherweight champion Urijah Faber is ready for the next step in his career, and for him, there would be nothing better than to add the name Jeff Curran to his victims list.

For more information about current WEC fight news, visit wec.tv. All bouts live and subject to change.

About World Extreme Cagefighting

The WEC brand is recognized as one of the premier mixed martial arts organizations in the United States. Founded in 2001, the WEC features many of the most prominent athletes in the sport of mixed martial arts today. Owned and operated by WEC Holdings LLC., and headquartered in Las Vegas, Nev., the WEC produces live and taped events annually that are distributed through the Versus network. In addition to its U.S distribution, WEC programming is shown on the TSN network in Canada and Cadena Tres in Mexico. For more information and current WEC fight news, visit wec.tv. World Extreme Cagefighting® and WEC® are registered trademarks, trademarks, trade dress or service marks owned exclusively by WEC Holdings, LLC in the United States and other jurisdictions and are licensed to WEC Productions, LLC.

VERSUS celebrates real competition across all platforms (VERSUS.com, VERSUS on Demand and VERSUS HD). Now in more than 74 million homes, the network is the national cable home of the National Hockey League (NHL), the Stanley Cup Playoffs and the IndyCar® Series as well as best-in-class events such as The Tour de France, the Professional Bull Riders (PBR), World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) and Professional Boxing. The network also offers collegiate sports featuring nationally-ranked teams from top conferences such as the Pac-10, Big 12, Mountain West and Ivy League. VERSUS features the best field sports programming on television and is a destination for sports fans, athletes and sportsmen to find exclusive, competitive events and original programs, such as Sports Soup and The Contender that audiences can't find elsewhere. VERSUS, a wholly owned company of Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ: CMCSA, CMCSK), is distributed via cable systems and satellite operators throughout the United States.