In what is shaping up to be one of the biggest cards of the summer, World Extreme Cagefighting has confirmed nine remaining bouts for its Aug. 18 card at The Pearl at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, Nev.
WEC General Manager Reed Harris announced today the following bouts: Shane Roller vs. Anthony Pettis, Chad Mendes vs. Cub Swanson, Brad Pickett vs. Scott Jorgensen, Bart Palaszewski vs. Zack Mickleweight, Anthony Njokuani vs. Maciej Jewtuszko, Mackens Semerzier vs. Javier Vazquez, Dave Jansen vs. Ricardo Lamas, Fredson Paixao vs. Bryan Caraway, and Danny Castillo vs. Dustin Poirier.
“We are really excited to bring the best lighter weight fighters in the world back to the Palms,” Harris said. “All 10 fights on this card are dynamic and we expect to put on another one of the year’s most memorable events.”
Tickets for WEC: Cruz vs. Benavidez are on sale now and priced at $250, $175, and $100. Tickets are available at The Pearl box office, online at www.ticketmaster.com, all Ticketmaster locations, or charge by phone at 1-800-745-3000. Ticket prices do not include service charges.
Cruz vs. Benavidez 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.
Two of the world’s best lightweights collide with a potential title shot on the line when Shane Roller (fighting out of Las Vegas, Nev.) takes on Anthony Pettis (fighting out of Milwaukee, Wis.). A three-time All-American wrestler at Oklahoma State University, the 30-year-old Roller has used his top-level grappling to fuel a three-fight win streak. Owning victories over Marcus Hicks, Danny Castillo, and Anthony Njokuani, the Marc Laimon-trained fighter believes a win over Pettis on Aug. 18 will propel him to a shot at WEC gold. Eager to earn a crack at the belt himself, the 23-year-old Pettis (9-1) plans to use electric striking and high-level jiu jitsu to diffuse Roller at The Palms. Perhaps the most dynamic fighter in the 155-pound division, “Showtime” Pettis looks to win his third straight when he meets Roller in Las Vegas.
The featherweight division’s hottest prospect faces the toughest test of his young career on Aug. 18 at the Palms. Unbeaten Chad Mendes (fighting out of Sacramento, Calif.), a training partner of main event stars Joseph Benavidez and Urijah Faber, takes on seasoned veteran Cub Swanson (training out of Palms Springs, Calif.) in a hotly-anticipated 145-pound contest. Since joining WEC earlier this year, Mendes (7-0) has earned solid victories over Erik Koch and Anthony Morrison. His third fight in the organization pits him against Swanson, a phenomenal grappler and crafty striker. Boasting an impressive record of 14-3, Swanson trains alongside WEC stars Donald Cerrone and Leonard Garcia, as well as UFC contender Joe Stevenson. Fresh off a Fight of the Night performance against John Franchi in November, the 26-year-old looks to derail Mendes in their summer showdown.
Four consecutive victories have left Scott Jorgensen (fighting out of Boise, Idaho) knocking on the door step of a shot at the bantamweight crown. Before earning the coveted shot, the former Boise State University wrestler faces his toughest test to date, Englishman Brad Pickett (fighting out of Coconut Creek, Fla.). No stranger to tough fights, the 31-year-old Pickett owns 20 professional wins and is unbeaten at 2-0 in WEC. A slick submission ace who trains with former featherweight champion Mike Brown, “One Punch” hopes to leapfrog Jorgensen (10-3) on Aug. 18 and move one stop closer to becoming WEC’s first English-born world champion.
Expect a barnburner when Bart Palaszewski (fighting out of Wonder Lake, Ill.) trades leather with Zack Micklewright (fighting out of Davenport, Iowa) in lightweight action. After defeating Karen Darabedyan and Anthony Pettis in consecutive fights, the 27-year-old Palaszewski (33-13) has emerged as an immediate title contender. He hopes that a win over his 23-year-old opponent at The Palms will push him closer to a date with lightweight champion Ben Henderson. A solid striker with knockout power, Micklewright made his debut in December with an impressive victory over Muhsin Corbbrey. The Iowan hopes to continue his ascent in the WEC with a win over “Bartimus” in August.
Heavy-hitter Anthony Njokuani (fighting out of Las Vegas, Nev.) faces a stern test on Aug. 18 when he collides with unbeaten Polish newcomer Maciej Jewtuszko (fighting out of Szczecin, Poland). Having earned “Knockout of the Night” honors in three out of his last four fights, the 30-year-old Njokuani believes he is the best fighter in the lightweight division. Standing in his way on the road to the title is the versatile Jewtuszko (7-0). With all of his wins coming by way of stoppage, the dangerous Polish fighter hopes an impressive win in his WEC debut can propel him into the 155-pound elite.
Recognized as one of the sport’s premier grapplers, Javier Vazquez (fighting out of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) returns to WEC after defeating Jens Pulver by first round submission in March. The 34-year-old looks to keep the momentum rolling when he locks horns with once-beaten featherweight Mackens Semerzier (fighting out of Virginia Beach, Va.). An aggressive, well-rounded fighter owning a record of 7-1, Semerzier boasts explosive athleticism and a knack for finishing fights. He’ll try to match wits with the Carlson Gracie black belt Vazquez (14-3) when the two enter the cage on Aug. 18.
An intriguing lightweight fight pits two of the division’s dominant wrestlers against one another when Dave Jansen (fighting out of Troutdale, Ore.) takes on Ricardo Lamas (fighting out of Chicago, Ill.). Training out of the same gym that has produced UFC middleweight star Chael Sonnen, the 29-year-old Jansen enters his third fight in the WEC determined to make a statement. Thus, the 11-1 Oregonian has knockout on the mind when he battles Lamas at The Palms. Having scored one of the year’s most devastating finishes in his last fight in March, the once-beaten Lamas (8-1) plans to beat Jansen to the punch on Aug. 18. The former Division III All-American wrestler looks to extend his winning streak to three with a dominant performance in Las Vegas.
Four-time Brazilian Jiu Jitsu world champion Fredson Paixao (fighting out of Las Vegas, Nev.) scored an impressive submission victory over Courtney Buck in his last fight in March. He’ll look to make it two in a row on Aug. 18 when he takes on Bryan Caraway (fighting out of Yakima, Wash.). A polished striker with a solid ground game, the 25-year-old Caraway (14-4) believes his well-rounded game will guide him to victory next month. Aware of the submission skills possessed by Paixao (9-3, 1 NC), expect the Washington native to test the Brazilian on the feet when the two collide at The Palms.
A member of Urijah Faber’s “Alpha Male” training team, Danny Castillo (fighting out of Sacramento, Calif.) is an explosive athlete boasting both power and finesse. As he prepares for his seventh fight in the WEC, the 30-year-old Castillo (8-3) hopes to rudely welcome newcomer Dustin Poirier (fighting out of Lafayette, La.). An exciting lightweight with a perfect record of 7-0, Poirier believes he can be the next big thing in the WEC’s lightweight division. With all seven of his victories coming by way of stoppage, you can be sure that the Louisiana native will come out swinging on Aug. 18.