Faber to face Assuncao at WEC 46
The long-awaited return of World Extreme Cagefighting fan favorite Urijah Faber is now set.
MMAWeekly.com sources on Thursday confirmed that Faber would return at WEC 46 on Jan. 11 to face fellow featherweight contender Raphael Assuncao. They have verbally agreed to fight when the promotion returns to Faber’s backyard of Sacramento, Calif., at the ARCO Arena.
Chris Horodecki signs with WEC, likely to meet Anthony Njokuani at WEC 45
Chris Horodecki (13-1 MMA, 0-0 WEC), one of the biggest stars to come out of the now-defunct International Fight League, has signed with World Extreme Cagefighting and is expected to make his promotional debut against fellow lightweight Anthony Njokuani (11-2 MMA, 2-1 WEC) in December at WEC 45.
The WEC announced the signing via Twitter, and company officials told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) he's expected to debut in December.
Although the WEC couldn't confirm an opponent, MMAjunkie.com has since learned it'll likely be Njokuani.
Takeya Mizugaki vs. Damacio Page in the works for WEC 45 in December
A bantamweight contest between sluggers Takeya Mizugaki (12-3-2 MMA, 1-1 WEC) and Damacio Page (12-4 MMA, 3-1 WEC) is currently in the works for December's as-yet-unannounced WEC 45 event.
Page, who's 4-1 in his past five fights, looks to build on back-to-back wins in the WEC. "The Angel of Death" has needed just 80 seconds total during his 2009 wins over Will Campuzano (submission) and Marcos Galvao (TKO).
Mizugaki, who made his WEC debut in April in a "Fight of the Year" loss to then-champ Miguel Torres, currently has a 1-1 record in the promotion. Mizugaki earned a razor-thin split-decision win over Jeff Curran at August's WEC 42 event for his fifth win in six fights.
Anthony Pettis Off WEC 44
The recently completed card for November's "WEC 44: Brown vs. Aldo" will once again need a little attention. Anthony Pettis is now off due to injury, leaving original opponent Rob McCullough without an opponent for now. No word yet on a replacement for the 11/18 fight.
Urijah Faber Not Happy With Dominick Cruz Acting Like An "Immature Punk"
As we all know, normally Urijah Faber is one of the coolest cats in MMA, always a good sport and not a punk, but even he can be pissed off. In a recent interview on Pro MMA Radio, Faber told host Larry Pepe that he does have a little history with WEC Bantamweight Dominick Cruz, apparently stemming from when they and other fighters signed posters for charity and Cruz signed his name over Faber's face on the poster-rather "immature". So although Faber isn't exactly being Donald Cerrone when it comes to Jamie Varner, Faber says he would like to drop to Bantamweight and fight Cruz at some point.
Shawn Tompkins: Chris Horodecki Heading to the WEC
According to trainer Shawn Tompkins, MMA lightweight Chris Horodecki will be heading to the WEC. "It looks like Chris Horodecki will be showing up in the WEC," Tompkins revealed in a recent conversation with FightHype.com. Although contracts have yet to be finalized, Tompkins seemed confident that a deal would be in place within the next couple of days.
Bart Palaszewski set to return at WEC 45
Bart Palaszewski (32-13 MMA, 1-2 WEC) will look to snap a two-fight WEC losing streak when he returns to the organization in December.
AOL Fanhouse was the first to report Palaszewski's return at the as-yet-unannounced WEC 45 event in December, and MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has since confirmed the news with sources close to the event.
Palaszewski's opponent has not yet been determined.
Additionally, MMAjunkie.com has learned that WEC officials hope to release details on the December show as soon as next week.
WEC 45 Likely For December 19 In Vegas
Although no official announcement has been made yet, WEC 45 likely will be December 19 in Vegas. The Saturday event was to have been held at The Pearl at The Palms, but with a scheduling conflict they could return to their old homebase, The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. The event may be headlined by Jamie Varner vs. Benson Henderson but that's in question because of a Henderson injury. The only other fighter set for the event at this time is Bart Palaszewski.
Province Suspended 9 Months, Fined $4K
The NSAC today fined WEC fighter Cole Province $4,000 and suspended him for 9 months for failing a post-fight drug test after WEC 42 in August. The fine equals 1/3 of his show money for the fight plus his entire win bonus. Province can return in May 2010.
Rumor: Varner-Cerrone 2 Maybe Next With Henderson Hurt
Although Benson Henderson beat Donald Cerrone last week to win the WEC Interim Lightweight Title and apparently ruin plans for a Cerrone-Jamie Varner rematch, it seems those plans may be un-ruined now. On ESPN's "MMA Live" this week, guest host and Cerrone teammate Rashad Evans said it looks like Cerrone gets the next title shot despite the loss because Henderson could be out longer than expected (and longer than WEC wants to wait) due to an eye injury suffered in the fight.
Former WEC Champ, Urijah Faber, Eyeing January Return
Former World Extreme Cagefighting featherweight titleholder Urijah Faber expects to return to action in January, but an opponent has yet to be named for "The California Kid."
Faber confirmed during the WEC 43 broadcast on Oct. 10 that Jan. appears to be when he'll fight again. "That would be perfect timing for me," Faber told MMAWeekly.com "I'm hoping it's January."
No opponent has been named, but the 30-year old fighter anticipates a tough match up.
"I imagine I'll get a tough opponent. That's the way mixed martial arts is, the best fights the best. I'm looking forward to challenging myself and putting the smack down on somebody," said Faber.
WEC 43: 419,000 Viewers On Versus
Reports are now out that WEC 43 did a total of 419,000 viewers Saturday night on Versus. This was down 37% from WEC 42 in August, but this can partly be blamed on Versus not being available on satellite provider DirecTV due to a pricing dispute with Comcast, and it being the rare WEC show to not feature one of their major draws-Urijah Faber, Miguel Torres, or Mike Thomas Brown.
Jamie Varner: ‘I want to apologize to Donald Cerrone for every ill word I ever said about him’
What was fast-becoming one of the most heated feuds in Mixed Martial Arts could be simmering down now thanks to an apology issued by current WEC Lightweight Champion Jamie Varner on the popular Underground forum.
His statement comes on the heels of a hard-fought bout between personal rival Donald Cerrone and newly crowned interim champ Ben Henderson this past Saturday night. It reads as follows:
First of all I want to apologize to Donald Cerrone for every ill word I ever said about him. I’d also like to apologize to all his fans and anyone else I may have pissed off by my actions. Donald is a great fighter that fights with all heart and he’s my toughest fight to date. I wish him nothing but the best and it was an honor to fight a fighter with such heart and skill.
I have a tough test ahead. I’m really looking forward to getting back in there and proving to all of you why I am the WEC lightweight champ. I know there are always gonna be haters. I hope most of you accept my apology because you guys are the reason why I’m able to do what I love for a living. Thanks for taking the time to read this and its time to go train.
Ben Henderson says WEC 43 "Fight of the Year" just next step on path to greatness
New WEC interim lightweight champion Benson Henderson (10-1 MMA, 3-0 WEC) defeated Donald Cerrone in what is being widely referred to as 2009's "Fight of the Year" in the main event of this past Saturday's WEC 43 event.
Henderson, who claimed the organization's interim lightweight title with the win, isn't sure his win qualifies as the best scrap of the year, but he today told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio) that the bout was a step toward establishing him as one of the sport's great fighters.
"I think you have to have those fights where you're just dominant and you show the world that you're that much better than your opponent," Henderson said. "But you have to have those fights where the fans, the crowd knows that you were pushed to your limit, and you went out there and you showed your heart and soul – you gave it everything you had.
"To be a great champ, to be known as one of the greatest fighters, you have to have both of those."
Officiating & Sunlight’s Disinfecting Properties
For their Saturday night theatrics, Benson Henderson and Donald Cerrone may well take "Fight of the Year" honors when Sherdog staffers convene in January to talk about awards hardware for 2009. It will likely get my vote. But it's not the lightweight fight from the night I want to talk about.
Lost in the post-event excitement that a truly great fight breeds -- never mind the upset special delivered by Mackens Semerzier -- is the horrific job that referee Jon Schorle did in officiating the Dave Jansen-Rich Crunkilton fight. Completely missing a blatant (albeit inadvertent) knee to Crunkilton's groin -- to which he reacted visually and audibly -- was bad enough on its own. However, with the fight on the line in the third round, Schorle saw fit to repeatedly stand Jansen up from top control instantaneously, as the unbeaten lightweight prospect was trying to steal the round and the fight. For the last half of the final stanza, the eventually victorious Jansen fought both Crunkilton and the inane whims of Schorle.
But this is not an op-ed about an isolated incident in which Referee X did his unwitting best to ruin a fight. It's not even just about the act of refereeing itself. People reacted to Schorle's mishandling as if he were a local misfit referee who just cropped up that evening. Media reports used the name "Jon Schorle" without a sense of context. The commentary booth, including an increasingly agitated Frank Mir, referred to him only by the disparaging title of "this referee."
If you're a boxing fan, you'll be dismayed to find out that Schorle, a Californian-based official now splitting time in Texas, was the referee who stood by while Vic Darchinyan beat Victor Burgos until he had a blood clot in his brain, resulting in emergency surgery and an induced coma following the bout. He was the third man in the ring for Vitali Klitschko beating hapless Corrie Sanders to a pulp. He oversaw the Erik Morales-Zahir Raheem bout -- which he allowed to devolve into a clinch-filled slip-and-slide on a soaked canvas -- as well as Joel Casamayor-Michael Katsidis, in which a thrilling bout was compromised by Schorle's all-around inattentiveness. Schorle's reputation is such that before the rubber match in his epic trilogy with Rafael Marquez, Israel Vazquez's camp fought viciously and successfully to have Schorle removed as the bout's referee and replaced with Pat Russell. These are just a few recent examples.
Ben Henderson ‘definitely’ beat Donald Cerrone
“No excuses. I take my hat off to the guy. He did what he had to do. No excuses. It was a great fight and I’m ready to do it again anytime … I think he won the fight. Some people say it might not have gone that way, but he definitely won the fight.”
Henderson-Varner WEC Title Fight Will Be in Early 2010; Arizona Targeted
"Jamie Varner's comeback will have to wait a little longer.
While the WEC had hoped to stage a matchup between lightweight champion Varner and new interim champion Ben Henderson in December, such a scenario has essentially been ruled out by Henderson's camp after the five-round thriller that took place this weekend.
After the grueling 25-minute struggle, Henderson will need some time off before jumping back into a new training camp, and the title fight will take place in the early months of 2010, Henderson's manager Jason Genet told FanHouse."
Cowboy Takes a Step Back, Will Earn His Return
"Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone came up short against Ben Henderson at WEC 43, but gave the fans a true show.
The lightweights went toe-to-toe in an immediate Fight of the Year candidate, with Henderson emerging as the new interim lightweight champion. Undisputed champion Jamie Varner waited cageside, ready to take on the new challenger."
For WEC's Dave Jansen, proof is in the pudding (that he no longer has to serve)
SAN ANTONIO – Mixed martial arts wins often mean very different things to different people.
For lightweight Dave Jansen (13-0 MMA, 1-0 WEC), his WEC 43 victory over Rich Crunkilton (16-3 MMA, 8-2 WEC) on Saturday night means he doesn't have to bring you a sandwich.
"I made it," Jansen told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) after the bout. "I get to do what I love. I quit cooking, serving, bartending and waiting tables for unhappy patrons. Now I get to scrap for a living."