Injured Brian Bowles out of WEC 52, replacement search underway
An undisclosed injury has forced former World Extreme Cagefighting bantamweight champion Brian Bowles (8-1 MMA, 5-1 WEC) out of his WEC 52 bout with Wagnney Fabiano (14-2 MMA, 4-1 WEC), and a search is underway for a replacement.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) today confirmed the card change with sources close to the event.
WEC 52 takes place Nov. 11 at The Pearl at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, and Bowles vs. Fabiano tentatively was slotted for the night's Versus-televised main card.
Ed Soares wants Aldo to fight Frankie Edgar
"To be honest with you, if you were to say, ‘What would be your dream fight for [Aldo]?' I think a dream fight for him, which I think would just be a fight that everyone would love to see, would be Frankie Edgar vs. Jose Aldo. That fight to me is the fight that everybody would want to see simply just because, not to disrespect anybody at the 155-pound division to think that Jose has the right to go up there without fighting in it, I just think that, as their styles, the way they match up, it would be one of the greatest fights of all-time, I think. It has the potential to be, just because of their styles."
WEC 51 medical suspensions: Brown, Hominick, Varner, Banuelos out six months
Colorado's Office of Boxing has suspended eight fighters from this past week's WEC 51 event, and half of them could be out of action for up to six months.
Ofelia Duran, program director for the regulatory body, today emailed the list of suspensions to MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
Among those facing possible half-year suspensions are main-card fighters Jamie Varner and Mark Hominick and preliminary-card fighters Mike Brown and Antonio Banuelos.
WEC 51 took place Sept. 30 at the 1STBANK Center in Broomfield, Colo., and the night's main card aired on Versus.
If you think Jose Aldo is pound-for-pound king, Dana White thinks you're (expletive) nuts
"Are you (expletive) nuts? [Aldo is] POTENTIAL FUTURE pound for pound king. Anderson Silva hasn't lost since 2006! He's never lost in the UFC! ... Anderson Silva is a pain in my ass. This isn't Chuck Liddell, we aren't best friends. But you can't deny what the man has done. He (Silva) HASNT LOST in the UFC! The guy has not only cleared out his division, he's gone up to 205 and beaten a guy like Forrest Griffin, who beat Rampage Jackson AND Shogun Rua. And Frankie Edgar is right there too. I might actually put him at No. 2. This guy is for real. He beat BJ Penn twice, and kicked his ass in their last fight. I love and respect Manny Gamburyan, but he's no BJ Penn. And the only thing keeping GSP out of the top 3 is (a KO loss) to Matt Serra."
Raphael Assuncao vs. L.C. Davis official for November's WEC 52 event
A featherweight bout between Raphael Assuncao (14-3 MMA, 2-2 WEC) and L.C. Davis (16-3 MMA, 3-1 WEC) is now official for next month's WEC 52 event.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) first reported the bout two weeks ago, though bout agreements had not been signed at the time.
Now official, the fight is slated to take place Nov. 11 at The Pearl at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas.
The night's main card airs on Versus, though Assuncao vs. Davis is expected to be part of the night's unaired preliminary card.
WEC 51 ratings rebound 54 percent, "Aldo vs. Gamburyan" draws 486,000 viewers
This past Thursday's Versus-televised WEC 51 event scored an average audience of 486,000 viewers, an increase of 54 percent over August's WEC 50 event.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) today confirmed the ratings information with an industry source.
WEC 51 took place Sept. 30 at The Pearl at the 1STBANK Center in Broomfield, Colo., and featured a featherweight title fight between champion Jose Aldo and challenger Manny Gamburyan.
Overall, the event drew a 0.49 household rating.
Chinese import Tiequan Zhang encouraged by pressure of representing a nation
BROOMFIELD, Colo. – Any time a fighter enters the cage of the WEC or UFC for the first time, nerves are certain to factor into the combatant's performance.
Fighting on the biggest stage in the world, no one wants to let himself down, much less his fans, coaches or training partners.
But lightweight Tiequan Zhang (12-0 MMA, 1-0 WEC) had a few more people on his mind when he stepped in the cage for his WEC debut at Thursday's WEC 51 event – like the 1.3 billion citizens of his native China.
WEC 51 bonuses: Roop, Torres, Cerrone and Varner earn $10K awards
BROOMFIELD, Colo. – George Roop, Miguel Torres, Donald Cerrone and Jamie Varner each earned $10,000 "Fight Night" bonuses for their performances at Thursday's WEC 51 event.
Roop earned the night's "Knockout of the Night" award, Torres picked up the "Submission of the Night" bonus, and Cerrone and Varner earned "Fight of the Night" honors.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) learned of the bonus winners and award amounts while in WEC 51's post-event press conference.
WEC 51 took place at the 1STBANK Center near Denver in Broomfield, Colo., and the night's main card aired on Versus.
WEC champ Jose Aldo says plenty of challenges still await in featherweight division
BROOMFIELD, Colo. – WEC featherweight champion Jose Aldo (18-1 MMA, 8-0 WEC) might as well get used to the question.
After his latest destruction of a top contender – this time, a WEC 51 win over Manny Gamburyan in Broomfield, Colo. – MMA pundits and fans alike once againwere forced to ask, "Is there anyone who can beat Aldo in the 145-pound division?"
Aldo says he believes there are plenty of deserving contenders on the horizon, and while he's not opposed to moving up in weight someday, he's just fine where he's at right now.
Cerrone credits rodeo for WEC 51 win, says mental hurdle finally cleared
BROOMFIELD, Colo. – It was tough to tell what meant the most to WEC lightweight contender Donald Cerrone (12-3 MMA, 5-3 WEC) after defeating his arch-rival, Jamie Varner (16-4-1 MMA, 4-2-1 WEC), in a rematch at Thursday night's WEC 51 event.
Was it defeating his nemesis in sound fashion? How about displaying a newfound set of wrestling skills? Finally getting out of the blocks quickly? Or maybe proving he actually can win the big fight when the pressure is on?
For the "Cowboy," who credited his rodeo roots for one of the best performances of his fighting career, it was all of the above.
Despite resisting "ghetto bloodlust" urges, WEC's Torres still a work in progress
BROOMFIELD, Colo. – Despite earning a convincing win over Charlie Valencia at Thursday's WEC 51 event, Miguel Torres (38-3 MMA, 6-2 WEC) sat down at the evening's post-event press conference looking like someone had just stolen his lunch money.
Torres' second-round TKO victory came under must-win circumstances, and the result snapped the first-ever two-fight skid of the former bantamweight champion's lengthy career.
But for Torres, the win was just a small step along a lengthy path back to the top of the 135-pound division, and the time for celebration will come much later.
No Longer His Own Boss, Miguel Torres Turns to Firas Zahabi for WEC 51
BROOMFIELD, Colo. – Brad Pitt, as Tyler Durden in "Fight Club," says, "It's only after you've lost everything that you're free to do anything."
To say Miguel Torres "lost everything" might be something of a stretch. But after back-to-back losses for the first time in a career spanning 40 professional fights (and a dozen others that exist off the books), Torres definitely reached that type of moment of critical mass.
After years of training himself at his Torres Martial Arts Academy in Hammond, Ind., near his hard-luck, blue-collar hometown of East Chicago, Torres was living the good life as his own boss. Sure, he made sporadic trips to drill with coaches like Robert Drysdale and Mark DellaGrotte. He rolled with Frank Mir and Kenny Florian, Rashad Evans and Kurt Pellegrino.
But when you've never been knocked out and someone pops you in the chin and puts you to sleep and takes your gold, and when you've never been made to quit and someone cracks your head open and chokes you until you tap ... it must feel like you've lost everything. So you go out and get a coach.
Jamie Varner Believes Donald Cerrone 'Has Set MMA Back About 10 Years'
If it feels like Jamie Varner and Donald Cerrone have been at each other's throats for two years, well, it's because they have.
The two first fought in January 2009. Varner won via technical decision after Cerrone landed an illegal knee to Varner's head in the fifth round of their title fight.
Varner was winning the bout on most people's scorecards up until that point (I had him winning four rounds to none), but Cerrone, who was beginning to put the heat on Varner in the fifth stanza felt like the then-champion was looking for a way out.
WEC champ Jose Aldo says maintaining title not his primary focus
BROOMFIELD, Colo. – At just 24 years old, things are going pretty well for WEC featherweight champion Jose Aldo (17-1 MMA, 7-0 WEC).
A relatively unknown Brazilian prospect just 18 months ago, "Junior" is now widely considered among the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world.
But while some MMA observers and even WEC brass have pondered Aldo's potential to someday hold belts in multiple weight classes, the phenom himself is more focused on what it will be like someday when he can't be called a champion in any division.
WEC Prospect Alert: Is the 'Mongolian Wolf' the Next 'Korean Zombie'?
On Thursday, Zhang Tie Quan will become the first fighter from mainland China to compete in the WEC. The China Top Team featherweight product will close out the preliminary portion of WEC 51 against Pablo Garza — who just made a brief appearance on TUF 12 as a lightweight hopeful — after being originally scheduled to face Alex Karalexis (out, injury) and then Jason Reinhardt (out, bad vision). It's a big moment for Chinese MMA, as well as for Zuffa, which has been angling toward expansion in Asia, but is generally short on Asian rising stars in its promotions. With "The Mongolian Wolf," they couldn't have picked up a better prospect.
WEC 53 Title Doubleheader set With Henderson-Pettis And Cruz-Jorgensen
World Extreme Cagefighting will close out the 2010 season with a bang and a championship double-headliner. Officials today announced WEC 53 features lightweight champ Ben Henderson vs. Anthony Pettis and bantamweight champ Dominick Cruz vs. Scott Jorgensen. Although not announced today, Bart Palaszewski vs. Kamal Shalrous is also expected for 53.
Jason Reinhardt Off WEC 51, TUF 12 Castmember To Face Quan (Updated)
Although the exact reason for the change couldn't be disclosed, Jason Reinhardt is now off WEC 51 due to failing his pre-fight medical exam, possibly due to a vision problem. He was to have faced debuting Chinese fighter Zhang Tie Quan. Pablo Garza, who competed on the current 12th season of The Ultimate Fighter but lost early to Michael Johnson, is the short-notice replacement.
Update: The reason is because Reinhardt's contact lens prescription is too heavy. “We were informed Thursday by the WEC that Jason's contact lens prescription was too heavy,” said Justin Reinhardt, Jason's brother and PR agent. “The State of Colorado does not allow a fighter to wear contact lenses in competition and therefore would not pass Jason to fight without his contacts. He has fought 11 years including UFC 78 with his contacts.”
Manny Gamburyan Ready to Wrestle the Title Away From Jose Aldo at WEC 51
When he dropped from the UFC to the WEC - and from lightweight to featherweight - no one was sure what to make of Manny Gamburyan. Was his skill set too limited? Did he have enough to compete at that stacked weightclass? Did his time pass?
After dropping his last two fights in the UFC at lightweight, he's rattled off three consecutive wins in the WEC at featherweight. And he's never looked more well-rounded in his professional MMA career.