Las Vegas, NV (USA) – In addition to a lightweight title unification bout between Jamie Varner and Ben Henderson, as well as Urijah Faber’s return against top featherweight Raphael Assuncao, World Extreme Cagefighting® proudly confirms eight bouts that will be included on a tremendous card headed to ARCO Arena in Sacramento, Calif. on Jan. 10. What’s more, WEC General Manager Reed Harris confirmed that former 145-pound champion Mike Brown will return to take on newcomer Anthony Morrison in what should be an explosive fight.
“Mike Brown is hungry to prove that he is still the best featherweight in the world,” Harris said. “He asked for us to put him in a fight as soon as possible against a world-class opponent. Morrison is a dangerous fighter and certainly someone that poses major problems for Brown. This is an incredible match-up.”
Bud Light® presents Varner vs. Henderson 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.
Mike Brown (fighting out of Coconut Creek, Fla.) returns on Jan. 10 with a vengeance to reclaim the WEC featherweight title. Brown (22-5), who owns wins over Jeff Curran, Leonard Garcia, and Urijah Faber (twice), begins his road back to the belt when he faces hard-nosed fighter Anthony Morrison (fighting out of Philadelphia, Pa.). A winner of back-to-back fights, Morrison (15-6) is a versatile athlete who scored a victory over UFC vet Alvin Robinson in his last bout. He’ll look to make an immediate statement by besting Brown when the two collide next month.
Two of the lightweight division’s rising stars collide when Kamal Shalorus (fighting out of Austin, Texas) wages war with Dave Jansen (fighting out of Troutdale, Ore.). Thanks to a devastating knockout win over Will Kerr in his WEC debut in November, many believe the Iranian-born Shalorus has the potential to one day rule the 155-pound division. Effectively mixing power with staunch grappling, the former Olympic wrestler Shalorus (5-0-1) seeks his second win in the organization when he battles his Team Quest-trained opponent. Unbeaten in 11 professional fights, Jansen was equally impressive in his WEC debut, dominating seasoned veteran Rich Crunkilton last October. He’ll look to join the division’s elite with a victory over Shalorus at ARCO Arena.
After bursting onto the featherweight scene last October with an outstanding, first-round submission victory over Wagnney Fabiano, Mackens Semerzier (fighting out of Virginia Beach, Va.) returns to the WEC with his sights set on climbing one step closer to a world title shot. A training partner of former bantamweight champion Miguel Angel Torres, “Da Menace” believes his quest to the championship runs through Deividas Taurosevicius (fighting out of Copiague, N.Y.) at ARCO Arena. Originally from Lithuania, Taurosevicius (11-3) is unbeaten in the WEC, having defeated Javier Vazquez in his last fight in October. Boasting judo, sambo, and kickboxing prowess, the 32-year-old is eager to derail the athletic Semerzier (7-0) when the two meet in Sacramento.
A former top-ranked competitor in the Shooto organization, Akitoshi Tamura (fighting out of Osaka, Japan) is an extremely versatile fighter who loves to trade leather. Riding the momentum of a victory over former title contender Manny Tapia last April, Tamura (13-7-2) is prepared for an all-out war when he meets Charlie Valencia (fighting out of Ontario, Calif.) in bantamweight action. With back-to-back wins over Seth Dikun and Ox Wheeler in his last two contests, the 35-year-old Valencia (11-5) has proved to be one of the most aggressive fighters in the 135-pound class. The fiery veteran, who will be making his eighth appearance in the WEC on Jan. 10, hopes to extend his win streak to three when he battles Tamura in a highly-anticipated bantamweight clash.
One of the best grapplers in the sport makes the cut to 135-pounds for a January clash with newcomer Clint Godfrey (fighting out of Rapid City, S.D.). Wagnney Fabiano (fighting out of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), a former 145-pound contender who trains alongside featherweight champion Jose Aldo at the renowned Nova Uniao team in Brazil, is anxious to make a statement at bantamweight. The 34-year-old, who boasts a 12-2 record, hopes a win over the young gun Godfrey is the first step toward securing a date with champion Brian Bowles. Eager to derail Fabiano’s plans, Godfrey (11-1) hopes to use his strong wrestling and effective striking to best the Brazilian when the two collide at ARCO Arena.
Canadian star Mark Hominick (fighting out of London, Ontario, Canada) returns to the WEC for the first time since Feb. 2008 to take on WEC rookie Bryan Caraway (fighting out of Goldendale, Wash.). A superb striker who also competed in the UFC, Hominick (16-8) hopes to reinsert himself in the WEC featherweight title picture. Training alongside UFC vet Sam Stout and WEC lightweight Chris Horodecki, the 27-year-old believes his experience will guide him past Caraway. With 12 of his 14 professional wins coming by way of submission, the 25-year-old Caraway (14-3) has shown a knack for slick grappling. The Dennis Hallman-trained rising star hopes to make a name for himself by defeating Hominick on Jan. 10.
The bantamweight division welcomes one of its largest fighters, as 6’1″ George Roop (fighting out of Las Vegas, Nev.) drops to 135 pounds with his sights set on a world title. A former UFC lightweight contender, the Shawn Tompkins-trained Roop (10-5) believes the fresh start at bantamweight is just what he needs to kick off 2010. He faces a stern test in his first fight at 135 pounds when he takes on former bantamweight champ Eddie Wineland (fighting out of Chesterton, Ind.). A superb striker who owns wins over Antonio Banuelos and Manny Tapia in his four-year WEC career, Wineland (15-6-1) believes he has what it takes to reclaim the 135-pound crown. A win over Roop could be just what the 25-year-old needs to spark his run back to the title.
Expect fireworks when Will Campuzano (fighting out of Dallas, Texas) battles Coty “Ox” Wheeler (fighting out of Albuquerque, N.M.) in bantamweight action. After engaging Damacio Page in an explosive bout in his WEC debut in October, the 23-year-old Campuzano (6-1) turns his attention to Page’s training partner Wheeler on Jan. 10. A native of Acapulco, Mexico, Campuzano hopes to push the pace against the unpredictable Wheeler (10-2), a fan favorite for his aggressive, free-swinging approach who sees derailing his wiry opponent as the perfect way to kick off 2010.
WEC 46 Fight Card:
- Jamie Varner vs. Benson Henderson
- Urijah Faber vs. Raphael Assuncao
- Mike Thomas Brown vs. Anthony Morrison
- Mackens Semerzier vs. Deividas Taurosevicius
- Dave Jansen vs. Kamal Shalorus
- Akitoshi Tamura vs. Charlie Valencia
- Wagnney Fabiano vs. Frank Gomez
- Mark Hominick vs. Bryan Caraway
- Eddie Wineland vs. George Roop
- Will Campuzano vs. Coty Wheeler