Monday, March 19, 2007


By Mick Hammond

At this weekend’s upcoming WEC event at The Joint in the Las Vegas Hard Rock Casino, the future of the promotion’s welterweight division could very well be shaped by the outcome of the fight between UFC veteran Brock Larson and KOTC fighter/commentator Erik Apple.

Both fighters have impressive records and both could be a few fights away from the UFC, but for the time being, they represent some of the better talent in the WEC’s 170lb weight class and the winner could very well set themselves up for a WEC title shot in the future.

For Larson in particular this is an opportunity to further sharpen himself for a serious run in the UFC should he do well in the WEC, and justify his multi-fight contract with Zuffa.

So it’s understandable to know that he’s taken this fight as seriously as possible.

“I feel really good,” said Brock. “I’ve had six good, solid weeks of training. I’ve changed up my cardio a little bit, so I’m going to have a little more gas in my tank for this fight.”

Larson continued, “My submissions are coming along real well. I feel probably the best I’ve felt [in a long time]. I’m injury-free and feel really good going into this fight. My stand-up is getting better. So everything’s looking pretty good.”

When it comes to his opponent this Saturday, Erik Apple, Brock doesn’t seem worried at all, considering Apple’s lack of experience against top opposition.

“I’ve watched a couple of his fights, [but] it’s hard to judge a guy who’s never fought anybody top [caliber],” commented Larson. “He’s fought three guys with winning records. Two of them that he’s fought are like 5-4, and his last fight was against a guy who was 14-11 I believe.”

“So it’s hard to really judge how good he is. He’s more athletic and stronger than everybody that’s he’s fought, but it’s really hard to tell how he’s going to do under pressure,” added Larson.

As Brock sees the fight, it’s going to be a contrast in styles, where he feels a distinct advantage in one aspect.

“I think it will be a good ‘striker versus grappler’ type of deal,” exclaimed Larson. “While my striking is good, but he’s better there probably, to be honest, but I think my grappling is going to be way above and beyond his.”

Brock further stated, “I train with four Dave Camarillo black belts and two Pedro Sauer black belts in Jiu-Jitsu, so I think my training there is going to be beyond his. I do train striking with Thai boxers at Minnesota Martial Arts Academy, so it’s not going to be unfamiliar ground for me.”

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