Much like another famous Wild West gunslinger Billy the Kid, Carlos Condit (20-4) is blazing a trail back home to New Mexico. "The Natural Born Killer" headlines the WEC: "Condit vs. Prater" event on Wednesday, February 13, 2008, from the Santa Ana Star Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
The WEC live event, which will feature not one, not two but three championship fights, is slated to air on The Versus Network at 9 p.m. ET. It marks the first time since the Zuffa purchase that the WEC will venture outside the confines of Las Vegas, Nevada to host an event.
Jiu-jitsu ace Condit defends his welterweight belt in front of his hometown crowd against the formidable Carlo Prater (21-5-1). The Albuquerque native looks to avenge his first ever pro loss at the hands of Prater. Prater hopes that history repeats itself as his previous victory over Condit was four years ago in Albuquerque.
In what promises to be an exciting lightweight championship match, Muay Thai knock-out artist "Razor" Rob McCullough (15-3) defends his title against submission specialist Jamie "The Worm" Varner (13-2). The two fighters have had a total of only five fights go the distance, so this one is likely to end early, either with Varner taking a nap or McCullough tapping.
Miguel Torres (20-1) comes into his bantamweight championship fight riding an amazing 13-fight win streak with three knockout wins and 10 submission victories. Champion Chase Beebe (13-1) has also been on a roll, winning his last six fights with four submissions and two decisions. Both fighters hail from Chicago, so Windy City supremacy is on the line as well as the WEC bantamweight championship.
The undercard features a hard-hitting fighter climbing his way up the bantamweight ranks, Manny Tapia. "The Manger" puts his undefeated mark on the line against undersized Antonio Banuelos in what could be a quick night of work for Tapia.
Leonard Garcia — who was in a UFC 2007 "Fight of the Year"-type battle with Roger Huerta -- makes his WEC debut against K-1 and Shooto veteran, Hiroyuki Takaya, in a battle of entertaining featherweights.
Nineteen-year-old featherweight phenom and WEC newcomer, Josh Grispi, faces a stern test in his bout with the proven Mark "The Machine" Hominick. American Top Team member and brother of Ultimate Fighter Cole Miller, Micah Miller and former WEC featherweight title challenger, Chance Farrar, meet in a bout of once-beatens.
And the always-exciting Charlie Valencia locks horns with experienced Japanese fighter Yoshiro Maeda in bantamweight action.
Here's the complete line up for WEC: "Condit vs. Prater:"
170lbs: Carlos Condit (20-4) vs. Carlo Pater (21-5-1) vs. for the WEC welterweight title
155lbs: Rob McCullough (14-3) vs. Jamie Varner (10-1) vs. for the lightweight title
135lbs: Chase Beebe (12-1) vs. Miguel Torres (18-1) vs. for the bantamweight title
135lbs: Manny Tapia (9-0-1) vs. Antonio Banuelos (15-4)
145lbs: Hiroyuki Takaya (9-4-1) vs. Leonard Garcia (14-3)
145lbs: Josh Grispi (10-1) vs. Mark Hominick (12-7)
135lbs: Del Hawkins (22-12) vs. Coy Wheeler (6-1)
135lbs: Charlie Valencia (9-3) vs. Yoshiro Maeda (22-4-2)
145lbs: Micah Miller (8-1) vs. Chance Farrar (5-1)
135lbs: Scott Jorgensen (4-1) vs. Jess Moreng (8-1)
This is going to be a fantastic night of fights — don't miss it!
Note: MMAmania.com reader Stephen Roe contributed to this write up.