Friday, February 23, 2007

Canadian John Alessio to fight for World Extreme Cagefighting title

By Neil Davidson

(CP) - Canadian mixed martial arts fighter John (The Natural) Alessio will take on American Carlos Condit next month for the vacant World Extreme Cagefighting welterweight crown.

The 170-pounder from Vancouver, who now calls Las Vegas home and is training out of Randy Couture's gym, is coming off an impressive WEC submission win over Brian Gassaway last month.

In other title action March 24 at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, WEC featherweight champion Urijah (The California Kid) Faber faces Dominic Cruz. And WEC bantamweight champion Eddie Wineland takes on Chase Beebe.

The March card marks the second since the UFC bought out World Extreme Cagefighting. The UFC is running WEC as a separate circuit, looking to make it slightly edgier. The Octagon is slightly smaller than the UFC version and the show comes complete with a DJ.

Alessio's record is 18-9 (2-0 in WEC competition) compared to 19-4 for Condit, who is based out of Albuquerque, N.M.

"He's a tough guy, pretty well-rounded. Good Muay Thai. He's a tall lanky guy so he's going to have a little bit of reach and height on me," the five-foot-nine Alessio said of the 6-1 Condit.


UFC 70: The UFC has confirmed that Croatian heavyweight Mirko (Cro Cop) Filipovic will fight Gabriel Gonzaga at UFC 70 on April 21 in Manchester, England.

Assuming he gets past Gonzaga, Cro Cop is expected to take on the winner of the UFC 68 heavyweight title bout between champion Tim Sylvia and Couture. That fight is set for March 3 in Columbus, Ohio.

Other UFC 70 bouts include Andrei Arlovski versus former Pride heavyweight Fabricio Werdum and light-heavyweight Forrest Griffin versus Lyoto Machida.

Machida looked good in an undercard win over Sam Hoger at UFC 67. The Brazilian already has wins over Rich Franklin, B.J. Penn and Stephane Bonnar.

English light-heavyweight Michael Bisping tackles Elvis Sinosic.

The card is the UFC's first in Britain since UFC 33: Brawl at the Hall in July 2002.


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