WEC 43 draws 5,176 spectators; Harris says he's "sure" promotion will return to Texas
SAN ANTONIO – The WEC's second trip to Texas drew less attendees than the first visit, but promotion officials insisted they were still pleased with the result.
At Saturday night's "WEC 43: Cerrone vs. Henderson" post-event press conference, WEC officials announced the card drew a total of 5,176 spectators to AT&T Center in San Antonio.
A live gate figure was not immediately available.
"The attendance was good," WEC general manager Reed Harris said. "You saw we had a pretty full house."
Miguel Torres eyes January return, targets Brian Bowles with or without the belt
SAN ANTONIO – Former WEC bantamweight title holder Miguel Torres (37-2 MMA, 5-1 WEC) has come to terms with his shocking August loss to new champion Brian Bowles (8-0 MMA, 5-0 WEC).
And as Torres told the gathered crowd at a Q&A session following Friday's "WEC 43: Cerrone vs. Henderson" weigh-ins, getting his title back is now a primary focus.
That shot could come in a 2010 rematch with Bowles, but Torres said he wants to redeem himself against the HardCore Gym product whether his opponent is wearing a belt or not.
"I want a shot with Brian Bowles," Torres said. "I want to fight him again."
Jamie Varner on Donald Cerrone: "We can run it back and see who the real man is"
SAN ANTONIO – Being Jamie Varner (16-2 MMA, 4-0 WEC) just isn't easy.
After the WEC champ entered a post-WEC 43 weigh-ins Q&A session to a chorus of boos, one of the first questions asked was if he could explain the feeling of "living on his knees" rather than be willing to "die on his feet."
But as Varner later explained to the San Antonio crowd, dealing with haters is just a part of the business, and he's more than willing to deal with Donald Cerrone (10-1 MMA, 3-1 WEC), too.
"Fans are difficult," Varner said. "They love you when you're on top and knocking people out. But if there's any sort of downfall or controversy?
Conquistadors of the Cage
"As a young boy in East Chicago, Ind., Miguel Torres watched his father and uncle, tears in their eyes, cheer for arguably the greatest boxer of their generation. Pride stained their faces. Torres never forgot how much Julio Cesar Chavez meant to the two men he admired most.
It was a scene that played out countless times in countless Mexican-American households, and it resonates to this day with one of the world’s most accomplished and respected mixed martial artists. "
Flattered by his shot at interim title, Benson Henderson promises to entertain at WEC 43
Benson Henderson (9-1 MMA, 2-0 WEC) is not the biggest star in the WEC.
But with back-to-back impressive wins in the organization, Henderson has earned himself a shot at the WEC's interim lightweight title, and "Smooth" promises to make the most of his chance when he faces Donald Cerrone (10-1 MMA, 3-1 WEC) in the main event of Saturday's WEC 43 event in San Antonio, Texas.
"It's a huge opportunity," Henderson said on a recent media call promoting the Versus-broadcast event. "I'm really appreciative of it, and it's a big stage to showcase something I've been working on for a long time and to show people hey, this is what I do."
For Cowboy, Henderson is next step to Varner
Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone doesn’t get out of bed in the morning for Ben Henderson, even though that’s his next fight. It’s an important fight, too; the interim WEC lightweight title is up for grabs.
Instead, current lightweight champion Jamie Varner gets him up.
WEC deal in hand, Faber plans January return
Former World Extreme Cagefighting Championship featherweight titleholder Urijah Faber recently inked a six-fight contract with the organization. Faber got the deal he wanted, but the biggest factor in reaching an agreement was that the WEC is where he's going to face the best competition.
"It was just a matter of getting some things worked out and kind of getting an understanding about what everyone wanted," Faber told MMAWeekly.com about negotiating his contract. "I feel like I'm with the best team. I've got the best stable of fighters to fight against, and I want to be a world champion and that's the place to do it.
"I'm a competitor first. When I started in this sport, my first fight I got paid $250 to show and $250 to win, and I was fighting as much as six or seven times in one year. It was never about the money to me. It's about testing myself and proving that I'm the best," added the Team Alpha Male trained fighter.
4 Prelim Fights Announced For WEC 44
WEC today announced 4 prelim matches for its upcoming WEC 44 event in November, bringing the card to 6 total fights so far. 3 previously rumored fights were confirmed while a 4th one-Ricardo Lamas vs. James Krause-was added. These join the previously announced Mike Brown-Jose Aldo and Leonard Garcia-Manny Gamburyan fights.
Former WEC featherweight champ Urijah Faber signs new multi-fight deal
Former WEC featherweight champion Urijah Faber (22-3 MMA, 7-2 WEC) has ended all speculation regarding a potential move to a competing organization and has signed a new multi-year, multi-fight deal with the WEC.
WEC general manager Reed Harris announced the new deal while a guest on today's edition of MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). Harris called in from San Antonio, where the WEC exec is currently promoting Saturday's "WEC 43: Cerrone vs. Henderson" event.
"I had been talking to Urijah for months," Harris said. "I told him six weeks ago, 'We'll get this thing done.'"
Small Time: Does the WEC Still Matter?
"On Oct. 10, the Versus network will present the 43rd installment of World Extreme Cagefighting. The most recognizable name on the program is Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone, who will face Benson Henderson.
And yet Cerrone is far from well known, achieving character-actor status at best. The promotion’s two major attractions -- Urijah Faber and Miguel Torres -- have had their titles ripped away by fighters better on the nights it counted. And the potential audience for the series has shrunk by roughly 14 million from WEC 42, all thanks to some corporate sniping between the cable station and DirecTV. (Is money the problem? Better question: When isn’t money the problem?)"
WEC "Definitely" Doing PPV In 2010
While WEC executives wait for a resolution that will get Versus and thus WEC back on DirecTV, WEC GM Reed Harris also revealed that the promotion will "definitely" go to the PPV model in 2010. No date yet but Harris says it depends on the Versus schedule, particularly with the schedule for the Tour De France, which airs in the US on Versus.
WEC Veterans Yoshiro Maeda and Chase Beebe Clash at DREAM.12
The latest addition to DREAM's "white cage" show was announced today during a press conference at DEEP Official Gym in Tokyo, and it features two fighters well acquainted with DREAM's new fighting surface of choice. One time WEC title contender Yoshiro Maeda (25-7-2) will meet former bantamweight champion Chase Beebe (12-4) in a 139-pound scrap at Osaka Castle Hall on October 25th. Both men will be looking to get back in the swing of things after being eliminated from DREAM's Featherweight Grand Prix earlier in the year.
WEC 43: Mackens Semerzier To Replace Injured Erik Koch vs. Fabiano
An injury in training has forced Erik Koch to withdraw from his featherweight battle against Wagnney Fabiano at the upcoming WEC 43: “Cerrone vs. Henderson” from the The AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas, on Sat., Oct. 10, according to NWI.com. Filling in on about two weeks notice will be 28-year-old United States Marine and current Miguel Torres pupil, Mackens Semerzier. Fabiano will be the first foe Semerzier is facing who is not making his MMA debut.
Razor Rob gets fish hooked
What happens when you let MMA fighters loose on the high seas for a bachelor party/shark fishing trip? You guessed it, Team Punishment ended up catching a Razor Rob, a rare creature of the sea known for his vicious striking and propensity for slugfests.
Fighters aren't known for their fishing prowess, which was painfully apparent by this video which shows former WEC lightweight champion "Razor" Rob McCullough with a fish hook stuck all the way through his thumb.
Fortunately, McCullough's pal, Tito Ortiz, a former UFC light-heavyweight champion and amateur trauma surgeon, was on hand to, first, grab the video camera to preserve this memory and, second, to operate on the fish-hooked appendage.
Guess what happened when Team Punishment ran out of bait after chumming the waters with fish guts and blood for a half hour? That's right, "The Huntington Beach Bad Boy" jumped into the chum infested waters to grab a chunk of fish the crew could use as bait.
McCullough's thumb is fine, nobody on the WEC or UFC roster got eaten by a shark and the entire crew is back on dry land.
McCullough talked about his bachelor party, his upcoming wedding to Lexxi Tyler, how his training has been going, his fight against Anthony Pettis and UFC 103 vs. Floyd "Money" Mayweather on the latest edition of "The Razor's Edge."
Check it out right here:
WEC to Hold More Frequent Events (Once a Month)
"World Extreme Cagefighting began it's organization on June 30, 2001 in Leemore, Calif. and held it's first 24 events there before being purchased by Ultimate Fighting Championship parent company Zuffa in 2006. Their next seven events took place in Las Vegas. Beginning in Feb. 2008, the fight promotion took it's show on the road.
In 2008 the WEC went to Albuquerque, Sacramento and Hollywood, Fla. Thus far in 2009, they've only held one event in Las Vegas but have traveled to San Diego, Corpus Christi, Chicago and Sacramento with their next show on Oct. 10 scheduled for San Antonio."
Gamburan Ready for Garcia; Eyeing Title Shot
"Manny Gamburyan had success as a lightweight fighter, making it to the finals of The Ultimate Fighter 5, but dropping to the featherweight division and jumping for the Ultimate Fighting Championship to World Extreme Cagefighting was a move he knew he was going to have to make."
Texas product Will Campuzano replaces injured Akitoshi Tamura at WEC 43
One man's misfortune is another man's gain; look to WEC newcomer Will Campuzano as proof.
Campuzano (6-0 MMA, 0-0 WEC), a Dallas-based bantamweight, makes his WEC debut as a replacement for injured Akitoshi Tamura (14-7-2 MMA, 1-1 WEC) and meets Damacio Page (11-4 MMA, 2-1 WEC) next month at WEC 43 in Texas.
The move was first reported by Ariel Helwani of Versus.com, and MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has since confirmed the change with a source close to the organization.