3 MMA title fights coming to Vegas on March 24


3 MMA title fights coming to Vegas on March 24

Press Release: World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) announced today that it will hold its second event in Las Vegas live in The Joint at the world-famous Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.  Featuring three championship bouts, the WEC will take place Saturday, March 24, 2007.

With three title bouts on tap, the WEC’s second Las Vegas show has fans buzzing with anticipation, as serious stakes are in play. The lineup features the main event of John “The Natural” Alessio vs. Carlos Condit in a battle for the vacant WEC Welterweight crown.  The card also presents WEC Featherweight Champion Urijah “The California Kid” Faber, aiming to make his second title defense against tough scrapper Dominic Cruz. In the third title tilt, fans finally get to see WEC bantamweight champion Eddie Wineland collide with tough Chase Beebe.

“Fans are in for a great night of action,” said Scott Adams, WEC co-founder and head of talent relations.  “This card is the best lineup in the history of the organization, and our January 20 card was a warning shot fired across the bow of the MMA world. We're bringing the best and baddest fighters every time, so fans can enjoy top-quality matchups.  On March 24 we're presenting three championship fights and a card loaded with fighters who are some of the best in the world.”

“The WEC is looking forward to holding another top quality show at a great venue,” said Peter Dropick, WEC Vice President of Event Operations & Production. “We are looking forward to this highly anticipated fight card, and many more down the line.  The WEC is gunning to be the premiere MMA organization by showcasing the world's most talented fighters.”

Fighting out of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., John Alessio (18-10) is a seasoned veteran of MMA and a former title holder in three other organizations.  Having established himself as a world-class striker, Alessio is out to defeat Condit and capture the vacant WEC Welterweight title.  He is coming off a big victory over Brian Gassaway, submitting him at 4:50 of the first round on the WEC's Jan. 20 show.

“I’m looking forward to fighting Condit,” said Alessio. “I know his reputation of having a fast and aggressive style. But I’m confident I can beat him standing or on the ground.  My experience in this game gives me a clear advantage over my opponent, and he's going to feel the pain when that cage door closes and the bell rings.  Fans can expect an action-packed fight, but I'm going home with my hand being raised and a title belt around my waist.”

Condit (19-4) fights out of  Albuquerque, and is coming off four straight victories. He is a submissions whiz with potent stand up skills, and a penchant for sudden, destructive knockouts. And he's looking to bring the WEC welterweight crown back to Albuquerque on March 24.

“I’m looking to prove that I’m the best welterweight in MMA,” said Condit.  “I’m positive I can control the fight on the ground or standing up. Alessio says he's going to bring it, but no one is going to get in my way of the title.”

WEC featherweight champion Urijah Faber (17-1) is a fierce ground and pounder with a punishing grappling game, and “The California Kid” is emerging as the top fighter in the world in the 145-lb. weight class.  After a bruising opening-round stoppage of Joe Pearson in his first title defense, Faber again puts his title on the line against Dominic Cruz (9-0). 

Faber has reeled off nine consecutive victories, all of them inside the distance, and says he can’t wait to defend his title against another tough challenger.

“I’m excited the WEC is giving me the chance to show what a true champion is, and that’s fighting hungry guys like Cruz who are going to give the fans their money‘s worth,“ said Faber, who beat six foes in a busy 2006. “But anybody that’s seen me fight knows they’re in for a rough night, and if you’re going to take this belt, you better be willing to go through hell to get it. I am sending a message with each match to the world’s 145-pounders, and it‘s that ‘The California Kid‘ is the big dog in this division.”

Undefeated Dominic Cruz (9-0-0) is an aggressive fighter with top-notch conditioning. Known for his stand up-and-bang mentality, the San Diego native is hungry for the opportunity to fight one of the best fighters in the world.

“Urijah is a great champion and everybody knows what an aggressive fighter he is,” Cruz said. “I’m ready for anything he can bring. I just want to remind him to bring that title belt come March 24, so he doesn’t have to pay postage to mail it to me in San Diego.”

Eddie Wineland, fighting out of  Highland, IN., is the current WEC bantamweight world champion. Wineland showed the world that he is capable of fighting anyone, by knocking out Antonio Banuelos at 2:36 of round one with a devastating right hand in his last outing. On March 24, he’s looking to knock off upstart Chas Beebe and send a message to future title challengers.

Chase Beebe (9-1) is a four-time state high school wrestling champion. This 21-year-old Chicagoan is looking to take the title back to the Windy City. Beebe’s nine victories have come by way of submission, and he is looking to add the champ as his next submission victim, and take Wineland’s belt in the process.

Additional information about the card will be announced in the near future. Tickets for WEC will go on sale Sunday, Feb. 25 at noon at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino box office and all Ticketmaster locations. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (702) 474-4000.  Tickets also are available for purchase at www.wec.tv or www.ticketmaster.com.