For the 23-year-old Condit, Brock Larson is quite possibly his toughest opponent to date, but the champ doesn't seem shaken: "I respect his ability on the ground and I admire his willingness to fight anyone at anytime, but I’m coming into this fight in the best shape of my life, and no one has the skill or the heart that I have."
Larson is a beast who brings into the cage a power and fury rarely seen at 170 lbs. "Condit is a great fighter, but my time is now. I will be leaving Las Vegas with the belt. If he wants to stand I will stand, and if he wants to take it to the ground I’ll beat him on the ground. One way or the other I’m going to punish him," says the Minnesota native.
Standing between Joe Doerksen and WEC middleweight glory is Brazilian Top Team's Paulo Filho, a former Pride middleweight star whom many believe should be contending for the UFC 185-lb. belt. And Filho doesn't disagree. Still, he remains focused on the task at hand: "I’m looking forward to fighting on a world stage and impressing the American audience. Joe is a well rounded competitor with strong striking, and he is in for the fight of his life come August 5.”
MMA veteran Joe Doerksen, who holds impressive wins over Dennis Kang, Chris Leben, Patrick Cote, and Ed Herman, would like to pad what is an already impressive resume and show the MMA world that he's still got it. “I know Filho is considered one of the best middleweights on the planet; that is why I’m training harder for this fight than any other fight in my life. Filho hasn’t fought someone as well rounded as myself, and I’m going to look to finish him early in the fight."
I happen to like Doerksen's strategy for this fight. Filho is an extremely powerful wrestling machine whom you do not want to take into later rounds. Then again, finishing him off early has proven to be easier said than done. Filho has yet to lose a professional MMA fight.
The action will start at 9 PM (New York time) on the Versus channel, which is for free for most of you. WEC boasts some great fighters (Condit, Larson, Filho, "Razor" Rob, Urijah Faber, "Mayhem" Miller, Cub Swanson) and has been putting on excellent shows, so make it a point to tune in and see what MMA talent there is outside the UFC!