NEW YORK, N.Y. – VERSUS, the cable television home of World Extreme Cagefighting® (WEC®), will air its fourth live fight of the year on Wednesday, August 18, at 9 p.m. ET, live from The Pearl at The Palms in Las Vegas, Nev. The main event will feature bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz (15-1) as he defends his title against Joseph Benavidez (12-1), one of the most conditioned athletes in MMA. All WEC events are presented in HD and Spanish language SAP where available.
Cruz won his bantamweight title in March with a second-round TKO of then undefeated champion Brian Bowles. Undefeated since dropping weight to 135 pounds three years ago, Cruz prides himself on his unorthodox stand-up and aggressive wrestling techniques. Title challenger Benavidez is a seasoned wrestler who is coming off two impressive career wins. Last December, he scored a phenomenal knockout over grappler Rani Yahya in the first round and then became the first man to submit former bantamweight champion Miguel Angel Torres. Cruz and Benavidez have fought once before in August 2009, with Cruz winning by unanimous decision.
The second fight on the card will feature a bout between Shane Roller (8-2) and Anthony Pettis (9-1), two of the world’s top lightweight fighters, as they battle for a chance at a title fight. An All-American wrestler from Oklahoma State University, Roller has used his expert grappling skills to spur a three-fight winning streak. The 23-year-old Pettis has an impressive record and will use his high-level jiu jitsu and lethal striking skills against his opponent.
The night’s undercard action will highlight different weight classes with featherweight, lightweight and bantamweight action in the cage. First it’s a battle between Chad Mendes (7-0) and seasoned WEC veteran Cub Swanson (14-3). Since joining the WEC earlier this year, the undefeated Mendes has gained two victories by defeating Erik Koch and Anthony Morrison. Swanson is no stranger to the cage and is ready to battle Mendes in this featherweight match. Scott Jorgensen and Brad Pickett will then face-off in a bantamweight battle. Finally, Bart Palaszewski (33-1) trades blows with Zack Micklewright (9-1) for a highly-anticipated lightweight brawl.