CURRAN AND BENAVIDEZ PLAN TO STEAL
THE SHOW IN CHICAGO
BANTAMWEIGHT CONTENDERS FIGHT TO STAY ALIVE IN THE HUNT FOR A TITLE SHOT
WEC® BANTAMWEIGHT CO-MAIN EVENT
JEFF CURRAN vs. JOSEPH BENAVIDEZ
Live From UIC Pavilion in Chicago, Sunday, April 5
When Miguel Angel Torres steps inside the cage to defend the WEC® bantamweight title against Takeya Mizugaki on April 5, the entire mixed martial arts world will be focused on the championship bout. Yet in the midst of the electric atmosphere at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago, no one will be more interested in the outcome than the winner of the night’s co-featured bout.
Just moments before the Torres-Mizugaki clash, bantamweight contenders Jeff “Big Frog” Curran (31-10-1) and Joseph Benavidez (9-0) meet in a fight that will further narrow the field of contenders battling to get a coveted 135-pound title shot. For that reason, both competitors plan on being at their best come April 5.
“I am so ready to mix it up with Joseph,” Curran, a native of nearby Island Lake, IL, said. “He looks like such an exciting fighter and that leaves me no choice but to be exciting.”
Benavidez echoed similar sentiments.
“It’s a great opportunity to fight someone with the name, skills, and experience of Jeff Curran,” Benavidez, a training partner of former WEC featherweight champion Urijah Faber, said. “I think his talent and style will bring out the best in me. I'm excited to fight a guy like him.”
Stylistically speaking, the Curran-Benavidez fight should have fans at the UIC Pavilion on their feet. Curran, a former featherweight contender, is making the cut to 135-pounds in search of the best fights available. A balanced, yet aggressive fighter, the 31-year-old has waged war with the likes of Mike Brown, Urijah Faber, and Matt Serra. He thinks the Benavidez matchup is one that could become an instant classic.
“I think he is a skilled fighter, but not better than me at anything,” said Curran, who is targeting cross-town rival Torres after the Benavidez fight. “I am really hoping he tries to stand and trade with me so I can show the Chicago fans my KO abilities.”
The San Antonio-born Benavidez is no stranger to tough bouts. The 24-year-old burst onto the MMA scene in 2006 and has reeled off nine consecutive victories, six coming by way of submission. A speedy, well-conditioned workhorse, Benavidez respects Curran’s talent, but sees no reason why “Big Frog” won’t become his tenth victim.
“At the end of the day, he is just another opponent,” Benavidez said. “So I'm going to try and do what I have done to the rest of them.”
Tickets for World Extreme Cagefighting® are on sale now and available for purchase through the UIC Pavilion, online at www.ticketmaster.com or by calling Ticketmaster at 312-559-1212.
World Extreme Cagefighting will be televised live nationally on VERSUS beginning at 9:00pm ET/6:00pm PT. All live WEC events are presented in Hi-Definition (HD) where available. For more information and how to find VERSUS in your local viewing area, visit http://www.versus.com/findversus.
In the main event, Chicago’s Miguel Angel Torres (35-1) defends the WEC bantamweight title against striker Takeya Mizugaki (11-2-2).
With four straight WEC wins, Torres has rapidly become one of the most feared fighters in the sport. The 28-year-old’s blend of speed, striking, and submissions will be on display when he takes on renowned Japanese star Mizugaki.
Unbeaten since 2007, Mizugaki is heralded for his Muay Thai striking and willingness to trade. The 5’7”, 135-pound challenger makes his U.S. debut in Chicago on April 5 and has vowed to knock out the hometown champion.
All bouts subject to change. For more information about current WEC fight news, visit wec.tv.