Two legendary names in the world of mixed martial arts return on Saturday, March 6 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio in what is shaping up to be one of the deepest World Extreme Cagefighting® cards ever. WEC General Manager Reed Harris confirmed today that former bantamweight champion Miguel Angel Torres (36-2) will face top-ranked contender Joseph Benavidez (11-1), while former UFC® lightweight champion and featherweight star Jens Pulver (22-12-1) begins his trek back to the top with a bout against seasoned veteran Javier Vazquez (13-3).
“Joseph Benavidez and Miguel Torres both want a shot at the winner of the Brian Bowles-Dominick Cruz title fight,” Harris said. “So we expect these two to leave it all in the cage when they collide in Columbus on March 6. The same goes for Jens and Javier. Both guys are well-respected in this sport and both guys want to prove that they have what it takes to win the featherweight championship. It’s going to be a tremendous night.”
Tickets for WEC: Bowles vs. Cruz are on sale now and priced at $125, $75, $45, and $25. Tickets may be purchased at the Nationwide Arena Ticket Office, at all Ticketmaster locations, online at www.ticketmaster.com or by phone at (800) 745-3000. Tickets are also available at the FOX Sports Ohio Blue Line store at The Mall at Tuttle Crossing and ticket outlets at Chiller Dublin, Chiller Easton and Chiller North. Tickets are subject to service charges.
WEC: Bowles vs. Cruz will be televised nationally live on VERSUS beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/7:00 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 winner of 17 out of his last 18 fights, former bantamweight champion Miguel Angel Torres is on a mission to reclaim the world title. Owning wins over the likes of Chase Beebe, Manny Tapia, and Takeya Mizugaki in his stellar career, the 28-year-old Gracie Jiu Jitsu black belt plans to make a statement when he faces Benavidez in Columbus.
“I can’t wait to get back in the cage and show what I can do,” Torres, a native of East Chicago, Ind., said. “Benavidez is probably the top contender at 135 right now and I want to prove that I’m still the best in this division. I want to earn my way back to the belt.”
Fresh off a devastating knockout win over Rani Yahya in December, Joseph Benavidez looks to continue his impressive rise in the bantamweight division with a win over Torres. The 25-year-old, who trains alongside WEC stars Urijah Faber and Danny Castillo in Sacramento, Calif., knew that he and Torres would cross paths at some point and is eager to lock horns with the former belt holder.
“I have envisioned us fighting for a long time,” Benavidez, who owns notable victories of Yahya, Jeff Curran, and Danny Martinez since joining WEC, said. “I think fans are in for one of the best fights of the year. I think I’m capable of beating him. I’m really looking forward to proving myself against someone people have considered a legend and the best in the world.”
From BJ Penn to Takanori Gomi and Caol Uno, Jens Pulver has traded leather with some of the best lighter weight fighters of all-time. Universally known for his powerful left hand and strong wrestling, the 35-year-old Midwest native feels rejuvenated heading into his March 6 fight against Vazquez. With that said, “Lil’ Evil” hopes to begin another run toward a world title when he steps inside the cage to meet “Showtime” in Ohio.
“I’m pretty jacked to be fighting in the Midwest,” Pulver, who began his career training in Bettendorf, Iowa, said. “I’m ready to go in there and show people that I’m not done. Javier is always tough, so I’m excited to fight a guy like him.”
Calling it the biggest fight of his career, 16-fight veteran Javier Vazquez did not hesitate one bit when WEC officials offered him a bout against Pulver. A Gracie Jiu Jitsu black belt who has been fighting professionally since 1998, Vazquez has long sought a fight with Pulver. Understanding Pulver’s iconic status in the sport, Vazquez looks to propel himself into immediate title contention with a win over the crafty southpaw.
“I wanted this fight seven or eight years ago,” Vazquez said. “So I’m really excited that the opportunity is finally here. He is such a big name in this sport and I respect him a lot. I’m glad this fight is happening because it could prove to be a turning point in my career.”
Remaining bouts for WEC: Bowles vs. Cruz will be announced at a later date. For more information, visit www.wec.tv. Follow WEC at http://twitter.com/WEConVERSUS.