WEC announces Torres-Tapia & New Weight Class Lineup

Las Vegas, NV (USA) – With two spectacular wins that sky-rocketed him into the pound-for-pound stratosphere, WEC® bantamweight champion Miguel Angel Torres has been one of 2008’s great success stories. But the only man standing between him and likely recognition as Fighter of the Year is one of his greatest rivals, Manny Tapia, an unbeaten contender who has been waiting six months for his shot at the 135-pound weight class’ greatest prize. The World Extreme Cagefighting® organization is pleased to announce that on Wednesday, December 3rd, at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, these two warriors will finally meet in an explosive contest guaranteed to produce fireworks.

World Extreme Cagefighting will be televised live nationally on VERSUS beginning at 9:00 pm ET/6:00 pm PT. All live WEC events will be 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.

Tickets for World Extreme Cagefighting go on sale on Monday, Oct. 6 at 10am PT and will be priced at $225, $175, and $75 (not including applicable services or taxes). Tickets are available 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 online through http://www.wec.tv or www.ticketmaster.com.

The WEC also announced that, starting in 2009, the organization will focus on four weight classes: welterweight (170 pounds), lightweight (155 pounds), featherweight (145 pounds), and bantamweight (135 pounds). The WEC will no longer actively promote light heavyweight and middleweight fights after the Dec. 3rd event. This increased attention to the sport’s lighter divisions makes the WEC the undisputed home of the most exciting lighter weight fighters in mixed martial arts.

“With every fight, the WEC has proven itself to be a powerful and growing presence in sports, both with our live events and our programming on VERSUS,” said Peter Dropick, WEC Vice President, Operations and Production. “Exciting matchups like Torres vs. Tapia on Dec. 3 and the incredible fights we have planned for 2009 under this new structure will no doubt establish WEC as the home of the best lighter weight fighters in the world.”

WEC Bantamweight
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Champion Miguel Angel Torres (34-1) captured the attention of the worldwide MMA community when he put on a groundfighting clinic against Chase Beebe, capturing the title with a guillotine choke just 3:59 into the championship bout. His place among the elite was solidified in June, when he stopped tough Yoshiro Maeda at the end of the third round in one of the best fights of 2008. After years of fighting, Torres has finally earned his place as one of mixed martial arts’ best, pound for pound, but his reign won’t be complete until he defends his title against Manny Tapia.

Manny “The Mangler” Tapia (10-0-1) is a television favorite due to his aggressive style and KO power. He burst onto the WEC scene with an impressive TKO over Brandon Foxworth, and then followed that victory up with a three round war against veteran Antonio Banuelos that he won via a hard-fought decision. Having shown both heart and skill in the cage, now all he needs is a belt around his waist, something he hopes to take from Torres on December 3rd.

The remaining bouts for WEC: Torres vs Tapia will be announced in the near future. All bouts subject to change. For more information about WEC: Torres vs Tapia and current WEC fight news, visit http://www.wec.tv.

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