WEC Invades the Southwest Scene


The Feb. 13 WEC will feature New Mexico's Carlos Condit (Pictures) in a 170-pound title defense and Arizona's Jamie Varner (Pictures) in a 155-pound title shot. However, the fights that you may not see on the WEC live broadcast are also filled with top fighters from the neighboring states.

A fight booked to be a showstopper pits Arizona's Del Hawkins (Pictures) against Albuquerque bantamweight Coty Wheeler. Hawkins fights with a solid wrestling base. Wheeler, on the other hand, can throw a variety of submissions at his opponent. The duel on the ground will decide the outcome of this contest.

The WEC will also welcome Leonard Garcia (Pictures) back to the featherweight division. A native of Plainview, Texas, Garcia will not have a chance to dip his toes back into the weight-class pool when he faces off with perennial top-five contender Hiroyuki Takaya (Pictures).

Arizona's Jesse Moreng (Pictures) was scheduled for the opening match at the WEC, but he has withdrawn from his 135-pound bout against Scott Jorgenson (Pictures) due to a broken right foot.

"He was going for the takedown -- it wasn't even a bad move -- and he just felt a snap," Gustavo Dantas, Moreng's BJJ coach and the head jiu-jitsu instructor for Arizona Combat Sports, told Sherdog.com. "He sat out one round and kept going. He kept saying how it was hurting, and it kept getting worse."

According to Dantas, Moreng hurt his right foot last week but did not discover it was broken until getting an MRI on Feb. 7.

"He tried to train [Thursday] thinking he just could fight through it, but there was no way," Dantas said. "He couldn't stop shots or anything. There is always a chance for injuries when you're training a lot and cutting weight."

The UFC heavyweight division recently acquired an athletic prospect out of Colorado. Denver's Shane Carwin (Pictures), who stands 6-foot-4 and walks around at 280 pounds, should debut in the Octagon in May or June.

Carwin's last win took place at Ring of Fire 30 in December, when he ran through UFC vet Sherman Pendergarst.

A few weeks ago he seemed set to fight Antonio Silva in an EliteXC-promoted bout. After negotiations fell apart, it was the UFC that called the Ring of Fire heavyweight champion.

In MMA the demand for heavyweight talent is always high, as the supply continues to become scarce. Carwin upped his stock by closing out 2007 on a three-fight win streak that pushed his record to 8-0. Now he is excited about signing with the biggest promotion in the sport.

"I love this sport and have a passion for it which gives me motivation to improve," said Carwin, a longtime training partner of veteran Ron Waterman (Pictures). "I will keep training my ass off and continue to learn and become a better fighter. Signing with the UFC means better competition, and I am extremely excited for this opportunity."

AZ Combat Sports member and former Arizona State University wrestling product C.B. Dollaway has been chosen for the upcoming middleweight edition of "The Ultimate Fighter," according to sources close to the fighter.

Dollaway, who hails from Mt. Gilead, Ohio, was a junior college star at Colby College in Kansas. Wrestling at 184 pounds for ASU, Dollaway placed second in the PAC-10 each of his final two years with the Sun Devils.

In his 14-month MMA career, Dollaway has amassed a 6-0 record that includes a victory over Hans Marrero (Pictures) at the first HDNet Fights card.

Don Frye (Pictures) returned stateside Jan. 26 to headline No Limits' first foray into the state of Texas. The MMA legend turned advice columnist shared the main event billing with journeyman Bryan Pardoe (Pictures), who is infamous for fighting Frank Shamrock (Pictures)'s in the WEC.

In typical Frye fashion, he charged Pardoe upon hearing the opening bell and unleashed a flurry of punches that dropped his opponent less than 10 seconds into the fight. Looking for the knockout, Frye briefly paused before pouncing on Pardoe. He then locked in a front choke before ending the fight with strikes from the top position.

Warriors Collide II is scheduled for Feb. 9 in Pueblo, Colo., 100 miles south of Denver. The main event features a solid featherweight fight between local Manuel Gallardo against Brandon Shuey (Pictures).

The next week, on Feb. 16 in Pharr, Texas, E3 Promotions will give south Texas a card titled "New Blood." Austin native James King and undefeated John Springer are scheduled to fight.

Back in Colorado, Battlequest returns to the Denver area on Feb. 22 with a 10-fight lineup. The final bout of the evening will feature Colorado Springs' Brett Roller versus Tyler Tone.

A pro-am show at the Dickerson's Event Center in Las Cruces, N.M., closes out the month on February 23.

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