Anthony Njokuani vs. Shane Roller targeted for "WEC 48: Aldo vs. Faber" in April
Two of the WEC's brightest lightweight stars will likely meet in an intriguing contest with title-shot implications undoubtedly on the line.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has learned from sources close to the organization that Anthony Njokuani (12-2 MMA, 3-1 WEC) and Shane Roller (7-2 MMA, 4-1 WEC) have verbally agreed to meet at "WEC 48: Aldo vs. Faber."
Bout agreements are expected to be finalized shortly.
Featuring a featherweight title fight between current champ Jose Aldo and an ever-popular challenger in Urijah Faber, WEC 48 takes place April 24 at the ARCO Arena in Sacramento, Calif. The event marks the organization's first foray into the pay-per-view market.
Njokuani, a Nigerian native who grew up in Dallas but now resides in Las Vegas, comes to the fight with a three-bout win streak. All three of the wins came via TKO, and all three of the wins resulted in the devastating striker being awarded the evening's "Knockout of the Night."
Njokuani's lone WEC loss came to current lightweight champion Benson Henderson in January 2009. "The Assassin's" only other loss was delivered courtesy of fellow contender Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone in a 2007 matchup under the Ring of Fire banner.
Njokuani has found himself in high demand following a spectacular high-kick finish of Chris Horodecki this past December.
Meanwhile, Roller currently carries a two-fight win streak into the cage. The Team Takedown fighter earned "Submission of the Night" honors at this past November's WEC 44 event when he latched in a third-round rear-naked choke on Danny Castillo in a bout Roller appeared to be less than 90 seconds away from losing.
Roller also toppled Marcus Hicks at WEC 42 in August 2009.
Roller's lone WEC loss also came to current champ Henderson at WEC 40 in April 2009. In one of the more exciting sub-two-minute bouts in recent memory, Roller opened aggressively and dropped Henderson before "Smooth" quickly turned the tide in earned a TKO win just 1:41 into the bout.
The winner of the Njokuani-Roller matchup will undoubtedly have the inside track on a lightweight title fight in their next outing.
VARNER LIKELY TO MEET SHALORUS AT WEC PPV
The upcoming WEC pay-per-view card will look to add some more fire to the lightweight contender's race as former champion, Jamie Varner, is expected to meet Kamal Shalorus in a bout on the April 24 card.
Varner told MMAWeekly.com in an interview on Monday that is the fight he is expected to take for the upcoming show in Sacramento.
"Looks like I'm fighting Kamal Shalorus on that card," said Varner on Monday.
Jens Pulver: 'The athlete in me ain't ready to die yet'
"I was very close. I was done. I just didn't make the announcement. I told Dana and everybody that it was over. The name Jens Pulver was done.... That's the mortality I was talking about after the fight. People were rushing me to say goodbye to something I've done my whole life. I got really bitter about it. This is all I've known my whole life. This stuff saved my life. And people are gonna tell me when I'm done? F**k that."
After leaving family to study jiu-jitsu, WEC's Jose Aldo returned home a champion
Jose Aldo (16-1 MMA, 6-0 WEC) is a mix of tradition and rebellion.
The WEC featherweight champion's parents did not want him to move to Rio de Janeiro to learn fighting. They thought he was crazy; he should get a regular job and blend in. But at 16 years old, Aldo had already made up his mind. He wanted to be a world champion in jiu-jitsu.
Aldo's love of Capoeira, which started at the age of 14, had transformed into a desire to learn jiu-jitsu when he visited a local dojo in his hometown of Manaus, Brazil. Capoeira was beautiful, but it was soft. And though he was a nice guy and made good grades by Brazilian school's standards, Aldo could hardly be considered soft.
Courtney Buck Replaces Caraway On March 6 WEC Card
A change has been made to the upcoming WEC card in Columbus, OH as Bryan Caraway has been forced off the show with a knee injury. Stepping in to replace him will be Courtney Buck who will now face Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu ace, Fredson Paixao in a featherweight contest.
Antonio Banuelos inked to face Damacio Page at WEC 48 in April
The WEC's first pay-per-view effort now has its first 135-pound match-up.Bantamweight fighters Antonio Banuelos (17-5 MMA, 8-4 WEC) and Damacio Page (15-4 MMA, 3-1 WEC) have signed to fight at "WEC 48: Aldo vs. Faber." MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) confirmed the fight Wednesday with sources close to the event.
Sacramento Kings to host 'Urijah Faber Night' on Feb. 23
The Sacramento Kings will pay tribute to former WEC Featherweight Champion and local fight favorite Urijah Faber with a special night planned in his honor on Feb. 23 when the Kings host the Detroit Pistons at the ARCO Arena.Fans who purchase two tickets will receive a free Urijah Faber "Form Athletics" hoodie with the first 500 to be signed by "The California Kid" himself.
Willing to jump weight classes, WEC's Urijah Faber open to rematch with UFC's Tyson Griffin
LAS VEGAS – In Urijah Faber's dominant days as WEC featherweight champion, he always had a blemish on his perfect record.
In September 2005, an unknown 21-year-old upstart named Tyson Griffin handed him his first loss in nine fights to take the Gladiator Challenge lightweight title. Shortly after, Faber realized he was too small for the division and dropped 10 pounds to fight at featherweight.
Fans and media often ask if he'd like a rematch with Griffin, and the answer always has been no; 145 pounds suits him just fine.
But during a Q&A session for UFC Fight Club members on Thursday, Faber said he recently had reconsidered that longstanding statement.
WEC on PPV- Aldo, Faber, Cerrone, Henderson, and Brown.
Finally the WEC has made it to PPV. Somewhat disappointing that it's $44.99 as opposed to free on Versus, but they deserve to be. WEC has been putting on great cards and great fights for the fans for a long time and now their expanding.
Featured fights include Urijah Faber vs. Jose Aldo (Featherweight Championship)
Donald Cerrone vs. Benson Henderson (Lightweight Championship)
Mike Brown vs. Manny Gamburyan