UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez will make his second public appearance in Fresno this year in the town that kick-started his professional martial arts career.
Velasquez, headliner for the Fox network's first UFC show Nov. 12, will be on hand for Saturday's Up & Comers 7, NorCal Finals at Sierra Sport and Racquet Club on Blackstone Avenue.
Doors open at 5 p.m. and the first of 12 bouts starts at 6 p.m.
The 29-year-old Velasquez (9-0), whose mother was born in Fresno and who has family in the area, hasn't fought since injuring his right shoulder. He'll be facing Brazilian Junior Dos Santos (31-1), considered one of the leading heavyweight contenders in the Ultimate Fighting Championships, at the Honda Center in Anaheim.
Last October, Velasquez, who in 2006 made his pro debut in Fresno, surprised Brock Lesnar by technical knockout to become the first fighter of Mexican descent to win an MMA heavyweight title. He suffered a torn rotator cuff.
Several local fighters will be competing in the eight bouts to decide Northern California championships and qualifiers for the state finals next month:
Kingsburg's John Mathison at 230 pounds; Madera's Anthony Montez, 205; Madera's Emilio Suarez, 145; Fresno's Nick Bustamante, 170; Hanford's Benjamin Castaneda, 135; Clovis' Tim Eastom, 155; and Kerman's Leo Cantu vs. Visalia's Jorge Casco, heavyweight.
Locals in other bouts: Galen Williams, Tulare, vs. Samuel Pryor, Modesto, 135; Juan Barrera, Kerman vs. Leo Quesada, Orosi, 205; Sandor Escobar, Visalia, vs. James Spear, Fresno, 145; Nic Contreras, Selma, vs. Andrew Skyers, Lemoore, 140.