by Mick Hammond – MMAWeekly.com
These are interesting times for World Extreme Cagefighting welterweight contender Brock Larson.

Just under a year ago, he had his nine-fight winning streak broken by WEC champ Carlos Condit. Quickly rebounding with a win over Troy Allison to close out the year, Larson looked to make his case for a return match with Condit in 2008.

In something of a grudge match set up by disparaging comments made by John Alessio towards Larson’s legitimacy as a title contender, Larson came out on top when Alessio was flagged for an illegal knee strike, ending their bout. Shortly thereafter a scuffle broke out between the two and the war of words has continued to rage on from Alessio.

Amidst the controversy and verbal jabs, Larson has remained focused and recently signed to face fellow former title contender Carlo Prater at the upcoming WEC 35 event on Aug. 3 at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

“I think it’s a good match-up for myself,” said Larson of his pending match-up. “Prater’s tough, but I think I match up well against anybody. It should be a good night for me.”

Like Larson, Prater is currently riding a two-fight winning streak after being submitted in his title shot by Carlos Condit.

With Alessio out of the promotion, there’s a very good chance that the winner of the Aug. 3 bout could become the top contender for the welterweight title, to be defended that same evening by Condit against Hiromitsu Miura, who will be moving down from middleweight for the fight.

“(A title shot is) what I’m looking for. As long as the fight goes well and there isn’t no weird stuff that goes on, like the last Alessio fight,” said Larson. “That’s the plan – to fight Condit by the end of the year.”

Speaking of Alessio, Larson says he has moved on and has no interest in further confrontation, verbal or otherwise with him.

“I’ve moved on right away. Unfortunately Alessio can’t figure it out,” he stated. “It’s one of those things where it happens, and I’ve moved on and I’m ready for my next fight and am looking forward.

“I’ve got thick skin, so it takes more than someone like that to get me worked up. I’m just staying focused and training for Prater.”

Even though he has amassed an impressive 23-2 record over his six-year fight career, Larson still feels there is something left to prove, and the chip on his shoulder can only be remedied with championship gold.

“After everybody sees me on national TV take out Prater, and then move onto the title fight and redeem my loss, it will open everybody’s eyes,” he exclaimed.

“You want to be the best and fight the best, and this is the way to go. Just keep winning and get to where you want to be and beat the world champion, whoever it may be.”

In just a few short weeks, Larson may just earn his opportunity to exorcize his demons and lay claim to not just a belt, but also the recognition of being one of the best in the world at 170 pounds.

“Tune in Aug. 3; it’s going to be a great card,” he closed out. “The WEC is awesome; it’s where it’s at for exciting fights. So tune in and watch me destroy Prater – it’s going to be fireworks.”