WEC 42: Frank Mir on 'Phenomenal' Takeya Mizugaki vs. Jeff Curran
Former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir will be the color commentator for WEC 42 Sunday night on Versus, and all this week he's providing his insight into the WEC fights. Today I ask Mir about Takeya Mizugaki vs. Jeff Curran.
Michael David Smith: The last time we saw Takeya Mizugaki was in his loss to Miguel Torres at WEC 40, in one of the fights of the year. How do you think he matches up with Jeff Curran?
Frank Mir: I think that is a very exciting fight. Both guys have excellent hands. Jeff might try to be a little bit of a grappler in this fight, but I don't think it's going to go to the ground much. I think we're going to see a very explosive fight, with both guys going at it. I don't see this fight going to the ground or going the distance.
IN THE SHADOW; WEC GROWTH DEMANDS EXPANSION
While most of the attention over the past couple of weeks has been on Affliction’s downfall, Fedor’s dealings with the UFC and subsequent signing with Strikeforce, and the UFC’s first foray into Philadelphia, World Extreme Cagefighting has gotten lost in the shuffle a bit.
But come Sunday night, when the No. 1 bantamweight fighter in the world, Miguel Torres, defends his belt against the No. 2 bantamweight fighter in the world, Brian Bowles, everyone will likely remember why much of the talk around the WEC lately isn’t just on the show immediately ahead, but it’s expansion plans for this year and beyond.
Wagnney Fabiano vs. Erik Koch set for WEC 43
A featherweight bout pitting decorated Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Wagnney Fabiano up against WEC newcomer Erik Koch has been inked for WEC 43.
The news of the match-up between the two comes via Fabiano himself who revealed that the contracts have recently been signed for the bout in an interview with Tatame.com.
WHERE HE WANTS TO BE, BENAVIDEZ READY FOR CRUZ
No longer in the shadow of his mentor and friend, Urijah Faber, Joseph Benavidez has risen through the ranks to stake claim as the next big thing in the 135-pound division.
Set to face Dominick Cruz on Aug. 9 as the co-main event under current champ Miguel Torres at WEC 42, the supporting slot has become a comfortable trend for the New Mexico native. His fight with Cruz will mark the third time in three WEC appearances that Benavidez will be on the same card with Torres headlining. Needless to say, he has taken notice.
TORRES READY TO PUSH BOWLES TO NEW LIMITS
Known as one of the hardest workers both in training and in the fight, WEC bantamweight champion Miguel Torres has once again gone through the rigors of preparing to defend his title, this time against possibly his toughest test to date in No. 2 ranked Brian Bowles.
Still, Torres isn't fazed by the level of skill his opponent possesses. Not that he doesn't respect Bowles, but he knows that every fighter that steps into the cage with him is gunning to take away all that he's earned in his career.
Hominick vs. Taurosevicius, Corbbrey vs. Njokuani in the works for WEC 43 in Ohio
Recently announced WEC signee Mark Hominick (16-8 MMA, 0-2 WEC) has agreed to meet fellow Affliction import Deividas Taurosevicius (10-3 MMA, 0-0 WEC) at WEC 43, while Anthony Njokuani (10-2 MMA, 1-1 WEC) meets former EliteXC contender Muhsin Corbbrey (7-3 MMA, 0-0 WEC) on the same card.
Sherdog.com was the first to report the additions to the card, and sources close to the event have informed MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that the bouts are "in the plans" for the event.
WEC 43: Richard Crunkilton vs Dave Jansen in the works for Sept. 2
A lightweight battle between former WEC lightweight number one contender Richard “Cleat” Crunkilton (16-2) and Dave Jansen (12-0) is being assembled for the WEC 43 card at the Covelli Center in Youngstown, Ohio on September 2.
“Cleat” will be making his third attempt at a return to the cage after being sidelined for the past 16 months due to injuries. He was first scheduled to square off against former International Fight League standout Bart Palaszewski at WEC 39 but had to bow out with a knee injury. And again he was forced to withdraw from a high profile fight on the WEC 41 card against the current division number one contender Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone three months later.
WEC AND UFC BACK-TO-BACK LIKELY IN FUTURE
It’s not especially convenient logistically for Zuffa, LLC, the parent company of the Ultimate Fighting Championship and World Extreme Cagefighting, to have the two promotions running events on back-to-back nights, but it makes for an enticing weekend of mixed martial arts for fans.
Damacio Page vs. Akitoshi Tamura Added To WEC 43 Fight Card
A bout between two top 10 bantamweights has been signed for WEC 43 on Sept. 2 in Youngstown, Ohio.
FanHouse has learned that Damacio Page (11-4) will take on former Shooto 143-pound champion Akitoshi Tamura (13-7-2) at the event headlined by an interim lightweight title bout between Donald Cerrone and Ben Henderson.
WEC 42 To Be Online PPV For NON-NORTH AMERICAN Fans
Although WEC actually doesn't plan to put on PPV events until sometime in 2010, they will sort of test the waters at WEC 42. The promotion will make a live online feed of the show available via the official websites-wec.tv and ufc.com-for $9.99 with Versus commentary. The catch? It's only available outside of North America due to Versus broadcast rights. Thank the Japanese fans for this, as strong interest among them in seeing Takeya Mizugaki in action factored into this.
FABER SAYS HAND WILL BE 100% IN A MONTH
Having suffered a severely broken hand in his rematch with Mike Brown at the beginning of June, Urijah Faber on Monday provided fines with an update on his healing progress via his Twitter account.
“The 4th metacarple is is completely healed. The 5th is filling in. Strength training on my hands starts today!” the former WEC champion posted.
TORRES IS READY TO SHUT MAYWEATHER UP
WEC bantamweight champion Miguel Torres is looking for a fight, and it's nothing against his current opponent, Brian Bowles, but he believes a boxing champion needs to step up and compete in the true fighting art before he smack talks a sport that is sweeping the world.
Recently, former pound-for-pound boxing king Floyd Mayweather Jr., in an interview with CBS Sports, hounded the sport of MMA saying it was for "beer drinkers" and the reason the sport was created was because "there's no white fighters in boxing that's dominating." Torres, who proudly hails from a Hispanic background, is ready to prove Mayweather wrong and he's ready any time, any place.
Kenji Osawa out, WEC newcomer John Hosman in against Rani Yahya at WEC 42
A foot injury has forced Japanese bantamweight Kenji Osawa (15-8-2 MMA, 1-1-1 WEC) out of his WEC 42 contest with Rani Yahya (14-4 MMA, 3-1 WEC), and WEC newcomer John Hosman (13-4-1 MMA, 0-0 WEC) has agreed to take the contest on short notice.
VERSUS.com was the first to report the change, and MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has since confirmed the switch.
Miguel Torres Says He Will Smash Floyd Mayweather's Butt
OK, that wasn't the word he used, but clearly his being a "cocky *******" is the main reason Miguel Torres wants to fight Floyd Mayweather. Torres notes that what works for Floyd in boxing is probably the end of him in MMA. On a side note, Floyd's next fight is actually fights on September 19-against both Juan Manuel Marquez and UFC 103.
Nova Uniao Supplants Brazil's Old Guard
When Pride Fighting Championships met its end, the value of mixed martial arts teams seemed to diminish, too, as athletes were emphasized more for their own value, independent of the team they represented.
This trend has increased even more in Brazil, as Brazilian Top Team and the Chute Boxe Academy suffered several cuts and stars such as Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, Paulo Filho, Wanderlei Silva and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua left their respective training camps. The only team not to suffer any major losses during this period was Nova Uniao. Names like Vitor “Shaolin” Ribeiro, Thales Leites, Wagnney Fabiano and Jose Aldo -- born and raised on a team led by Andre Pederneiras -- continue to shine in international events.
According to Pederneiras, Nova Uniao has about 50 professional athletes on its roster, including Ribeiro and the young Eduardo Dantas, who fought Masakatsu Ueda for the Shooto 132-pound championship last weekend.
Made famous in the 1990s by the brilliant showings of its lighter weight athletes in Brazilian jiu-jitsu competitions, the team made a seamless transition to MMA, winning titles in major events like Shooto (Ribeiro), Cage Rage (Ribeiro), the International Fight League (Fabiano) and Pancrase (Marlon Sandro).
“Our team went from BJJ to MMA,” Pederneiras said. “As we already had a very strong team in the lighter weights, basically my BJJ team migrated with the same success to MMA, so we just continued the work. But we’ve also proven that we can do it with heavier guys. Thales Leites is an example. The more that come here, the more we’ll do it.”
Although the recognition has come only in recent years, the team began to take its first steps more than a decade ago, with Pederneiras himself fighting in international events and Rafael Carino emerging victorious at UFC 9 in 1996.
“Rafael Carino was my first athlete who fought in MMA, then Joao Roque and some others,” Pederneiras said. “Even when I fought, I did not have an MMA team. I called some people for training, but most of them had never fought MMA before. Only when Shaolin began fighting MMA could I bring in more people. Then we really had a team.”
WEC signs undefeated lightweight Dave Jansen, debut set for WEC 43 in September
World Extreme Cagefighting has signed undefeated lightweight prospect Dave Jansen (12-0) to a multi-fight deal, and the 29-year-old Team Quest fighter will make his promotional debut at WEC 43 in September.
WEC officials today confirmed the signing with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, and an opponent had not been determined for the WEC newcomer's debut fight.
Muhsin Corbbrey signs five-fight deal with WEC
Professional mixed martial artist, kickboxer and boxer Muhsin Corbbrey has signed an exclusive five-fight deal with the WEC.
The announcement of the signing comes courtesy of a recent report made by the Savannah Morning News.
A lightweight with an MMA record of 8-3, Corbbrey has finished seven of his eight victories on his own terms, with 6 of his wins coming by way of submission, and just one coming by knockout.