PALASZEWSKI VS KARALEXIS IN WEC 37 ON DEC. 3
As World Extreme Cagefighting gets ready to close out 2008 with its Dec. 3 show in Las Vegas, MMAWeekly.com has confirmed that Bart Palaszewski is set to make his promotional debut against former “Ultimate Fighter” season 1 cast member Alex Karalexis.
The fight was confirmed by sources close to the situation.
Palaszewski makes his move to the WEC after spending the last couple of years fighting for the now defunct International Fight League, amassing a record of 8-4 with the promotion, 29-11 overall. By the time of the fighter, it will have been nearly six months since he last saw action, defeating UFC veteran Jeff Cox by TKO at the inaugural Adrenaline MMA event.
CURRAN OUT OF BANTAMWEIGHT DEBUT AT WEC 37
Jeff Curran, who is currently ranked at No. 7 in the featherweight division by MMAWeekly.com, had been planning move to bantamweight on Dec. 3 at WEC 37 in Las Vegas.
Sometimes the best-laid plans go awry, however, as have Curran's. Walking around UFC 90 in Chicago this past weekend with his hand bandaged, a source close to the fighter's camp has confirmed that Curran's injured hand has forced him to withdraw from his planned 135-pound debut.
He will now sit out the rest of 2008, looking to bounce back as soon as possible in 2009.
Always a small lightweight fighter, where Curran had to spend much of his career due to the economics of the fight game, he signed with the WEC where the focus has been on the lighter weight classes. He immediately emerged as a contender to current 145-pound champion Urijah Faber, but lost to him and a subsequent bout to Mike Brown, who faces Faber on Nov. 5.
Economy Falling Out, WEC's Stock Rising
Despite the economic fallout in the U.S., World Extreme Cagefighting is poised for its biggest year ever.
That's no small feat. Since being purchased by Zuffa (the UFC's parent company) in late 2006, WEC had seven events in 2007 and will have six in 2008 by the end of the year. They have also made inroads to the masses with a television deal on the Versus network, the rebranded Outdoor Life Network.
Vice president Peter Dropick says that the promotion currently has plans to run more events in 2009 than it ever has in the past, albeit only slightly more, but that is just the initial plans, which are open for expansion.
WEC 36 Card Finalized
WEC today announced the full final card for the rescheduled WEC 36 on November 5. The event, headlined by WEC Featherweight Champion Urijah Faber vs. Mike Brown and WEC Middleweight Champion Paulo Filho vs. Chael Sonnen, was scheduled for September 10 but postponed due to Hurricane Ike.
Cowboy Bebop: Donald Cerrone branding the WEC lightweight division
Donald “The Cowboy” Cerrone (8-0) is set to face “Razor” Rob McCullough (16-4) at WEC 36 at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida on November 5, airing live on the Versus Network at 9 p.m. ET.
It will be Cerrone’s third fight for the Zuffa-owned promotion, after making a mockery of the lightweight division in Ring of Fire.
In addition to being undefeated in eight fights, he’s finished all eight of his opponents by submission.
Not bad for a U.S. Muay Thai Champion that went 28-0 in his Muay Thai career. In fact, Cerrone admits to being bit of a late bloomer in the grappling department.
“I remember when I first started training I was like ‘Man, I don’t know why people always submit people, that’s gay, I just want to stand on my feet’. Then I started learning jiu-jitsu and now here I am submitting people, it’s funny.”
What isn’t funny is the $3,000 fine and eight month suspension he served after testing positive for diuretics following his match against Kenneth Alexander at WEC 30 - a match he won via armbar in just 56 seconds.
Analyzing Zuffa's Plans for the WEC & UFC
Zuffa’s plan to fold World Extreme Cagefighting’s middleweight and light heavyweight divisions into the UFC in 2009 leaves the sport with more questions than answers.
Parallel champions in the WEC suggested co-promotion would happen between the two organizations at some point. But talent-thin divisions in the WEC at 185 and 205 pounds were viewed as impediments and instead will be worked into the UFC fray.
Jake Rosholt vs Nissen Osterneck WEC 36 fight set
We reported yesterday that Danillo Villefort was having trouble getting back into the United States because of visa issues, forcing him to be pulled from the WEC 36 card on November 5. He was scheduled to face Jake Rosholt (4-0) in a middleweight bout.
Today, MMAmania.com can confirm that undefeated submission specialist Nissen Osterneck (5-0) has been tapped as his fill-in.
Osterneck is a very dangerous threat toward Rosholt’s undefeated record. He’s an accomplished grappler, sporting a record of (64-4) on the jiu-jitsu circuit and holds a purple belt under the legendary Relson Gracie.
He’s the Gracie Fighting Championships Evolution Champion, the Fight Party Full Throttle 8 Champion, the Gracie Proving Ground Champion, the International Sport Combat Federation Invasion Champion, the four time South Carolina Grappling Champion, and the 2006 Gracie National Champion after submitting 13 guys in one day to win the title.
In short, his jiu-jitsu is sick.
- TOP 10 FEATHERWEIGHTS CLASH AT WEC 37
IFL featherweight champion Wagnney Fabaiano will make his World Extreme Cagefighting debut on Dec. 3 as he takes on former Shooto lightweight champion Akitoshi Tamura at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. MMAWeekly.com was also able to confirm the fight with sources close to the fight.
Johny Hendricks vs. Alex Serdyukov moved to WEC’s Dec. 3 event; Shane Roller vs. Mike Budnik added
The debut WEC debut of former NCAA champion Johny Hendricks has been postponed for the second time, as his planned welterweight bout vs. Russian Alex Serdyukov has been moved from WEC 36 on Nov. 5 in Florida to WEC 37 on Dec. 3 in Las Vegas.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com confirmed the news with Hendricks’ manager, Team Takedown’s Ted Ehrhardt, after being alerted to the news by an unnamed source earlier in the day.
Hendricks and Serdyukov had been scheduled to face each other past September at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Fla. but the entire fight card had to be postponed as a result of Hurricane Ike.
Hendricks was a standout wrestler at Oklahoma State and is a perfect 3-0 since making his MMA debut in September of 2007. Known for being a charismatic competitor throughout his All-American career, Hendricks has won all three of his pro fights inside the distance.
Escudero turns wrestling into MMA/UFC career
Efrain Escudero grew up in Somerton, Ariz., wanting to fight. Now the Grand Canyon University wrestler is doing it professionally.
Escudero, who is still attending the Christian university, was selected by Ultimate Fighting Championships for "The Ultimate Fighter," a Mixed Martial Arts reality show based in Las Vegas.
Josh Grispi vs Diego Nunes WEC 37 fight likely Dec. 3
Josh “The Fluke” Grispi (9-1) will face off against Brazilian Diego Nunes (10-2) in a featherweight bout on the WEC 37 card at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, on December 3, according to InTheGuard.tv.
“The Fluke” is currently riding a seven-fight win streak, including his most recent first round destruction of Micah Miller at WEC 35. In fact, each of his nine career wins have been ended in the first frame (five by (T)KO and four by submission).
The Boston area fighter is among the WEC’s youngest and brightest up-and-coming stars. At only 19 years old he’s already developed into a very dangerous mixed martial artist and he still has a world of potential in front of him.
This will be his third fight in the WEC cage. He previously defeated Mark Hominick with a first round rear naked choke at WEC 32 and Miller at WEC 35 by technical knockout.
Miguel Torres vs Manny Tapia WEC 37 title fight set for Dec. 3
Miguel Torres will once again put his 135-pound title on the line when he takes on Manny Tapia at WEC 37 at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Wednesday, December 3.
Torres is in the midst of a breakout year despite years of dominating his competition in smaller shows throughout the nation. In fact, he has what some would consider a cult-like following from those who watched him shine in and around the Chicago area before signing with the Zuffa-owned promotion.
Fans likely now know the reason for all the underground buzz after “Angel” scored a thrilling third round technical knockout win over Yoshiro Maeda earlier this year in one of the best fights of 2008 to date.
Torres — a Carlson Gracie protégé with sick Muay Thai skills — submitted Chase Beebe prior to defeating Maeda to capture the WEC bantamweight title.
World Extreme Cagefighting Eliminates Middleweight and Light Heavyweight Divisions
"With every fight, the WEC has proven itself to be a powerful and growing presence in sports, both with our live events and our programming on Versus," said Peter Dropick, WEC Vice President, Operations and Production. "Exciting matchups like Torres vs. Tapia on Dec. 3 and the incredible fights we have planned for 2009 under this new structure will no doubt establish WEC as the home of the best lighter weight fighters in the world."
Industry insiders have speculated for months as to when the move would actually happen and according to officials at the WEC, 2009 will move the focus to the lighter weight classes with the light heavyweight and middleweight classes leaving the promotion.
The WEC made no statement as to what would happen to the fighters currently competing in those weight classes, but it has long been assumed that at least champions like Paulo Filho and Steve Cantwell would make the move along with fighters such as Brian Stann, who has a tremendous fan following.
Current middleweight champion, Paulo Filho, is still slated to defend his WEC title in November against Chael Sonnen, but that may be the last scheduled fight for the weight class.
WEC's Marcus Hicks takes role in upstart Texas-based organization
Marcus Hicks (8-1) appears at ease when fighting.
Three straight submission victories in the WEC lightweight division earned the Texas native a shot at the title. In an August fight with current WEC lightweight champion Jamie Varner, the 33-year-old suffered his first career loss after absorbing a brutal flurry of strikes from the champ.
In his well-deserved rest period following that WEC 35 bout, Hicks has entered another side of the MMA business.
"The Wrecking Ball" has joined forces with a new promotion in the Dallas area, Supreme Warrior Championship. Hicks has been installed in the role of an adviser for the upstart organization.
Hicks discussed his position in the SWC while a guest on Wednesday’s edition of TAGG Radio (www.taggradio.com), the official radio partner of MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
WEC CHAMP MIGUEL TORRES DEFENDS IN DECEMBER
Top ranked bantamweight Miguel Torres is gearing up to defend his World Extreme Cagefighting title in December, and while his opponent has yet to be named, he expects it to be undefeated Manny "The Mangler" Tapia.
"I fight Dec. 3. I don't know who I'm going to fight yet, but I'm going to fight whoever they bring to me," Torres told MMAWeekly.com. "I don't know the venue. I think it might be in Vegas."
While he will fight whomever the WEC lines up, he has his sights set on Tapia. "Like I said, I'm down to fight whoever they have in my weight class. I think Manny Tapia will be an exciting fight because he'll want to bang the whole time. Brian Bowles too, is very explosive standing up and has a good ground game. But I'm hoping to fight anybody," said Torres.
"They have a long list of guys for me to fight, but I think the guy next in line is going to be Manny Tapia. I think him first and then after that, whoever."
Faber May Move Up Or Down For Megafights
The latest fighter to express interest in changing weight classes for megafights is WEC Featherweight Champion Urijah Faber. He's talking about not only moving up to 155 for a couple fights-namely a Tyson Griffin rematch-but also down to 135 for a couple fights while still making his home at 145.
Urijah Faber video interview on Sherdog (Faber vs. Torres? Griffin? Penn?)
From the interview with T.J. De Santis, Things that make you go "hmm..."
Mike Brown is obviously next for you, but after that, at least Stateside, there's not too many guys left for you. A Kid Yamamoto fight has always been elusive for you. Would you ever consider going down to 135 and making a mega-fight with Miguel Torres?
I would contemplate that; I don't think now is the time, really. I feel like there's still some tough '45-pounders out there that are established but haven't been seen by the public yet. So I want to keep fighting at 145. I'd definitely be down for going down to 135, maybe go up to 155 at some point for some super-fights, but my home is the '45s.
The dream matchup for you at '55 is a rematch with Tyson Griffin. Is that something you'd be interested in?
That would be one thing that I am definitely interested in, but I would also like to do a Champion-vs-Champion thing in the UFC. Right now it's B.J., I don't know if he's planning to come back down, [or] what's going to happen with that belt. At some point before my career is over, I could see that happening, but like I said, I'm still looking to establish the 145s, and I've got a lot of guys coming after the belt.
Anderson: “Paulo Filho is the best middleweight”
Pointed for many as the best pound for pound MMA fighters, Anderson Silva has no doubts on pointing his favorite athlete in his own division. “Paulão (Paulo Filho) is no comments, he’s complete. I think he’s absolute in this division, there’s nobody to beat him. In my opinion, he’s the best middleweight”, said Anderson, that doesn’t think about unifying the WEC and UFC belts in a fight against Filho.
“I would never fight with Paulão. We almost train together, we’re always helping each other and (Josuel) Distak is our coach. There’s no chance to happen. People can complain, scream, whatever, but it won’t happen”, said the UFC middleweight champion.