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Joey Villasenor has had an up and down week. He was told last Friday that his opponent, Murilo “Ninja” Rua, did not get his medicals cleared as required in the State of California. Then he was told that he would be fighting Falaniko Vitale in a regular three-round bout instead of the title fight that he and Ninja were scheduled for at tonight’s Strikeforce and EliteXC co-promoted event.

Just two days ago, Ninja had follow-up medical work approved and the fight is now back on. Villasenor and Ninja are once again slated to battle for the first-ever EliteXC Middleweight Championship at the “Shamrock vs. Baroni” event at HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif.

At the other end of the spectrum, Duane “Bang” Ludwig has had a quiet ride into San Jose. He is on a two-fight winning streak, most recently defeating Shinya Kumazawa at Ring of Fire. Tonight he steps into the cage to face the challenge of another proficient MMA striker in Cage Rage British Welterweight Champion Paul Daley.

MMAWeekly caught up with both Joey Villasenor and Duane Ludwig in their final hours leading up to tonight’s fight. Watch both interviews now In The Cage in the new and improved MMAWeekly Premium Members’ section.

If you’re not already, sign up to become an MMAWeekly.com Premium Member. You not only get instant access to the interview with Phil Baroni, but also the entire MMAWeekly Radio Archives and Video Library.