Pettis Draws Karalexis at WEC 48

By Brian Knapp Mar 15, 2010
Dave Mandel/

Anthony Pettis will meet UFC veteran Alex Karalexis in a preliminary lightweight matchup at WEC 48 “Aldo vs. Faber” on April 24 at the Arco Arena in Sacramento, Calif., has learned. The two lightweights were originally scheduled to collide at WEC 43 in October. Instead, they will tangle at the promotion’s first pay-per-view event.

Pettis bounced back from the lone defeat of his career -- a split decision loss to International Fight League veteran Bart Palaszewski -- with a rousing head kick knockout against Team Alpha Male’s Danny Castillo at WEC 47 on March 6. A third-degree black belt in tae kwon do, the 23-year-old Duke Roufus protégé has delivered eight of his nine career victories by KO, technical knockout or submission. Pettis, a Milwaukee, Wis., made his promotional debut in 2009, when he submitted Mike Campbell with a triangle choke at WEC 41. Such versatility has many touting him a future title contender at 155 pounds.

Spawned by Season 1 of “The Ultimate Fighter,” Karalexis has battled a series of injuries that have kept him out of the cage since he stopped Greg McIntyre on first-round strikes at WEC 39 a year ago. The 32-year-old Boston native holds notable victories against EliteXC veteran Thomas Denny, Josh Rafferty and Olaf Alfonso. Karalexis has lost two of his last three fights in the WEC.

A showdown between featherweight champion Jose Aldo and former titleholder Urijah Faber will headline WEC 48. In addition, WEC lightweight champion Benson Henderson will defend his crown for the first time against Donald Cerrone in a rematch of their 2009 “Fight of the Year.” Finally, American Top Team standout Mike Thomas Brown will take on “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 5 runner-up Manny Gamburyan.
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