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For Immediate Release:
June 22, 2009

Japanese Star ‘Planning on a KO Finish’


From The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada - Sunday, August 9;
First Bout at 3 p.m. PT
Fight to Air Live on VERSUS at 9 p.m. ET/ 6 p.m. PT

Tickets On Sale NOW

Las Vegas, NV (USA) – In April, Japanese sensation Takeya Mizugaki did what many thought was impossible. The 25-year-old, filling in as a late replacement for an injured Brian Bowles, pushed WEC® bantamweight champion Miguel Angel Torres to the limit. For five grueling rounds, Mizugaki landed knees in the clinch and traded leather with one of the sport’s top pound-for-pound fighters. Although he couldn’t wrestle the title away from Torres, Mizugaki returned to Japan following the bout knowing that he had earned the respect of the U.S. fans.

Having reviewed the Torres bout, Mizugaki (11-3-2) returns to World Extreme Cagefighting® on Aug. 9 as motivated as ever. Facing grizzled veteran Jeff Curran (31-11-1) at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, the former Shooto star hopes to build off his first WEC performance and prove that he is among the bantamweight elite.

“I love the American fans and I want to come up with a good result this time,” Mizugaki said via translator Shu Hirata. “I want to show the fans here and in Japan that I belong in the WEC, where the world’s best competition in MMA is being held.”

Tickets for the fight, which is headlined by a 135-pound title clash between champion Miguel Angel Torres and Brian Bowles, are on sale now and priced at $40, $55, $85, $100, $125, $175, and $225. Tickets may be purchased by calling Ticketmaster Charge-By-Phone at 1-800-745-3000 or by visiting the Hard Rock Box Office. Tickets also are available online through www.wec.tv or www.ticketmaster.com.

WEC: Torres vs. Bowles will be televised nationally live on VERSUS beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT. All of the network’s live WEC events are presented in HD and Spanish language SAP where available. For more information and how to find VERSUS in your local viewing area, visit http://www.versus.com/findversus.

Mizugaki’s second bout in the WEC may be as difficult as his first. Curran, a Brazilian jiu jitsu black belt with professional boxing experience, has fought some of the stiffest competition in the world. From Mike Brown to Urijah Faber to Wagnney Fabiano, “Big Frog” has battled a who’s who of mixed martial artists. Mizugaki is aware of Curran’s prominence in the sport, but thinks that he can become the first person since 2001 to knock out the Illinois native.

“Jeff is a fantastic fighter and he’s famous here in Japan because he’s been fighting on the world’s top level for a long time,” Mizugaki said of Curran, who fought in Japan in 2006 at a PRIDE event. “But I’m planning on an aggressive fight with a KO finish. This will be an exciting fight for fans.”

Competing in what he calls a “crossroads fight,” Curran was encouraged to hear that Mizugaki is looking for a knockout. Needing a win to push himself up the bantamweight ladder, the 31-year-old wants to show that he, and not Mizugaki, is the best striker not named Torres in the division.

“I was impressed by Takeya Mizugaki and his striking in April,” Curran admitted. “But I would say that most people just don't know how good my hands really are because I never get into a boxing match during my fights. I know if I were to simply box Mizugaki, he would have his hands full.”

With the August slugfest looming, both fighters have engaged in some of the hardest training camps of their respective careers. While Curran has his sights set on moving up the bantamweight rankings, Mizugaki is slightly more single-minded. The clinch fighter, who owns a master’s degree in electric engineering, hopes a win over Curran powers him toward another shot at Torres.

“I’m not looking past Curran, but I’d fight Torres again immediately after our fights on Aug. 9,” Mizugaki said with a laugh. “I will fight him any day, anywhere. If I beat Curran, I will prove that I am one of the top 135 pound fighters. If the WEC gives me another shot at Torres after that, I would take the offer in a second.”

For more information about current WEC fight news, visit wec.tv.

About World Extreme Cagefighting®

The WEC brand is recognized as one of the premier mixed martial arts organizations in the United States. WEC, founded in 2001, is the sister organization of the Ultimate Fighting Championship® and today features the most prominent light weight fighters in the world. 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.WEC programming is also available on Fox Sports en Espanol. 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 75 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.

About The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino

Designed by the renowned Montreal-based architectural design firm Scéno Plus, the new Joint at Hard Rock has a capacity of 4,000, offers seven premiere VIP hospitality suites, and features an innovative sound and lighting system. To maximize fan’s enjoyment with a genuine experience, the new Joint is double its previous size, yet maintains the same atmosphere of the original venue. Introduced to concert-goers in April, the new Joint has opened to rave reviews thanks to its focus on creating the ultimate viewing experience.

SOURCE: World Extreme Cagefighting