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Thursday, June 18, 2009


-- World Extreme Cagefighting

For Immediate Release:
June 18, 2009



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) – Two of the sport’s most well-rounded athletes have officially agreed to meet on August 9 in a bout that could very well determine the next bantamweight title challenger. Undefeated Joseph Benavidez of Sacramento, Calif. takes on once-beaten Dominick Cruz of San Diego, Calif. at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in a fight that already has fans buzzing.

“When we discussed making this bout, we knew that it had the potential to produce fireworks,” WEC General Manager Reed Harris said. “Both Joseph and Dominick boast speed and power and both guys like to finish fights. That’s a recipe for a really exciting bout.”

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.

A fast-paced, crisp striker with good grappling skill, the 24-year-old Benavidez (10-0) burst onto the WEC bantamweight scene last December with a unanimous decision win over Danny Martinez. The New Mexico native, who now trains out of Urijah Faber’s camp in Sacramento, followed up the win over Martinez by dominating tested veteran Jeff Curran in April en route to a second consecutive decision victory. With two WEC wins under his belt, Benavidez hopes to catapult himself into title contention with a win over Cruz.

“Cruz is someone I’ve looked at for a while,” Benavidez said. “I felt like a clash with him would happen in the future. Once he dropped to 135, I thought he would pose problems for anyone. He’s as dangerous as anyone in the division. This is a fight between the top two contenders. I’m pretty sure whoever wins this will be going for the title.”

With victories over Charlie Valencia, Ian McCall, and Ivan Lopez in his WEC career, Cruz, also 24 years old, has earned the right to fight the bantamweight’s best. Training with UFC veteran Brandon Vera at the Alliance Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif., Cruz (13-1) has refined his standup game and become one of the better strikers in the WEC. Given that his only career loss came at the hands of Benavidez’s training partner Urijah Faber in 2007, Cruz is hoping to get revenge by defeating Benavidez on August 9.

“I think he’s a very good athlete with a lot of natural talent and that’s what has gotten him as far as he has,” Cruz said. “I’m going to beat Joseph Benavidez because I am a more complete MMA fighter and I’m just as athletic and in better condition than he is. I have nothing but respect for him. I’ve seen all of his fights and he looked real impressive against Curran. But MMA comes down to style matchups. It’s all about how you fight somebody that leads to the win. I think a lot of people haven’t gone at him with the right game plan. I will.”

Remaining bouts for WEC: Torres vs. Bowles will be announced at a later date. 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.