World Extreme Cagefighting® proudly confirms the remaining bouts of a tremendous fight card headed to the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, NV on Nov. 18. In addition to the outstanding main event pitting featherweight champion Mike Brown against top challenger Jose Aldo, WEC is pleased to announce nine other quality bouts.
“WEC continually delivers some of the best fights in the business,” WEC General Manager Reed Harris said. “With this event taking place the same week as UFC 106, we guarantee that this will be one of the best fight weeks in the history of the sport.”
Brown vs. Aldo 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 featherweight division’s top stars will collide on Nov. 18 in a bout that could very well determine the next title challenger to the crown. Fresh off a win over John Franchi in his WEC debut in June, judo ace Manny Gamburyan (fighting out of Hollywood, Calif.) hopes to secure a shot at the world championship with a win over heavy-handed Leonard Garcia (fighting out of Albuquerque, NM). Known for his explosive throws and punishing ground and pound, the 28-year-old Armenian Gamburyan (11-5) believes he can diffuse Garcia’s power. Training out of Greg Jackson’s camp in Albuquerque, NM, Garcia (17-5) has won three of his last four bouts, including a win over Jameel Massouh in August. He’ll bring his polished striking game to Las Vegas with the aims of knocking out Gamburyan.
WEC newcomer Karen Darabedyan (fighting out of Los Angeles, Calif.) faces the toughest test of his young career when he battles former WEC lightweight champion Rob McCullough (fighting out of Huntington Beach, Calif.). A training partner of Manny Gamburyan, Darabedyan (8-1) looks to prove that he is a legitimate contender at 155 pounds. Standing in his way is the seasoned veteran McCullough. An 11-fight veteran of WEC, McCullough (17-5) returns to the cage for the first time since defeating Marcus Hicks in March. A hard-hitting kickboxer, “Razor” Rob wants to derail Darabedyan and reclaim his spot as one of the best lightweights in the sport.
Three-time Division I All-American Shane Roller (fighting out of Las Vegas, NV) believes that a November win over Danny Castillo (fighting out of Sacramento, Calif.) could serve as the catalyst for a return bout with WEC interim lightweight champion Ben Henderson. With an impressive win over Marcus Hicks in August, the takedown-savvy Roller (6-2) believes his strong wrestling background will guide him past Castillo. No slouch in the wrestling department himself, Castillo (8-1) had an impressive knockout win over Ricardo Lamas in his last bout. A training partner of former featherweight champion Urijah Faber, Castillo hopes to extend his winning streak to four straight when he battles Roller at the Palms.
Alex Karalexis (fighting out of Boston, MA) could be the hardest-hitting fighter in the WEC. A member of the original season of The Ultimate Fighter™, the 32-year-old Karalexis (10-4) has spent most of the past year improving his strength and conditioning with Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jared Allen. He believes that the rigorous training with Allen will allow him to sack WEC newcomer Kamal Shalorus (fighting out of Austin, TX) next month. An undefeated prospect originally born in Iran, Shalorus was a junior national wrestling champion in his home country. After moving to England as an adult, Shalorus continued his wrestling dominance and competed on England’s 1994 Olympic team. A refined striker with vicious ground and pound, Shalorus (4-0-1) looks to add to his decorated background with a win over Karalexis in his WEC debut.
Closing in on a world title opportunity, undefeated featherweight Diego Nunes (fighting out of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) seeks his third win in the WEC when he faces the gritty L.C. Davis (fighting out of Davenport, IA). A phenomenal Muay Thai striker with wins over Cole Province and Rafael Dias in his WEC career, Nunes (13-0) boasts precise standup and good cage awareness. Those assets will prove valuable when he meets the crisp Davis in Las Vegas. Having defeated Javier Vazquez in his WEC debut in August, Davis (14-2) believes he can leapfrog Nunes in the 145-pound division by using his strong wrestling and fast hands.
A pivotal bout in the featherweight division pits hard-nosed wrestler John Franchi (fighting out of Cortland, NY) against ground ace Cub Swanson (fighting out of Orange County, Calif.). Known for his powerful takedowns and athleticism, Franchi (5-1) will look to outmuscle the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt when the two collide on Nov. 18. No stranger to tough grappling sessions, Swanson (13-3), who has spent much of the past few months training with Donald Cerrone, Joe Stevenson, and Leonard Garcia in New Mexico, Swanson (13-3) believes he can neutralize Franchi’s wrestling and regain his place in the title hunt.
Antonio Banuelos (fighting out of Arroyo Grande, Calif.) continually competes in fights that are considered among the year’s best. His last fight against Scott Jorgensen in June was no different. For three, high-energy rounds, Banuelos and Jorgensen traded leather, with Banuelos eventually earning a narrow decision victory. Riding the emotional high of the win, Banuelos (17-5) now turns his attention to Japanese striker Kenji Osawa (fighting out of Tokyo, Japan). A former top contender in the Shooto organization, Osawa (15-8-2) is a solid boxer with a sturdy chin. He’ll look to outbox and outwork Banuelos when the two lock horns at the Palms.
Lightweights James Krause (fighting out of Lee’s Summit, MO) and Ricardo Lamas (fighting out of Chicago, IL) meet in a bout between two fighters with 16 combined pro wins. A lanky, slick ground fighter, the 23-year-old Krause is a handful for most fighters in the 155-pound division. With excellent submissions and a long-reach in the standup, the Rob Kimmons-trained Krause (10-1) could pose problems for his Chicago-based opponent. A Division III All-American wrestler at Elmhurst College, Lamas (6-1) is an explosive athlete with good all-around skills. With a win over Krause next month, Lamas hopes to prove that he is worthy of his status as one of WEC’s hot prospects.
Bantamweight submission artists Frank Gomez (fighting out of Albuquerque, NM) and Seth Dikun (fighting out of Victorville, Calif.) are also set to do battle at the Palms in Las Vegas. Both fighters are coming off crowd-pleasing submission wins in June. Gomez (7-1), who trains under the tutelage of the renowned Greg Jackson, bested Noah Thomas via submission in his last fight. Not to be outdone, Dikun also scored a submission victory on the same June card, using a flying triangle to stop Rolando Perez. On Nov. 18, the world will find out which grappler will reign supreme and push himself closer to the likes of Brian Bowles and Miguel Angel Torres atop the 135-pound class.