Filho: “I’m a new person now”
Just a few days before his second fight with Chael Sonnen at WEC, Paulo Filho spoke to TATAME about the thoughts of the fight, his problems with depression, his training with André Galvão, the possibility to face Anderson Silva, a friend and UFC champion, and analyzed Rousimar Palhares’ bout against the former pride champion, Dan Handerson. “The depression is over and now is just happiness, I’m ready for the war”, guarantees the champion, on the exclusive interview.
WEC To PPV in 2009
An article on Yahoo! Sports MMA discusses the Zuffa’s plans to cut some of the divisions in the WEC and in the discussion this little bit of info was dropped:
That’s particularly true given White’s plan to add pay-per-view shows to the WEC’s offerings, perhaps as early as May.
The ability for the WEC to draw on PPV will be more dependent on the company’s ability to sell the 135 and 145 divisions. Part of being able to draw successfully is convincing your customer they are receiving a world class product. That case can be easily made at the 135 and 145 levels, and would be next to impossible with the 185 and 205 weight classes. The 205 class isn’t worth much discussion at all, while the 185 class has a world class fighter in Paulo Filho, but a collection of journeymen, rookies, and never will be’s underneath him…not the most marketable of collections.
The WEC have the luxury of having two marketable stars in those lower divisions with champs Miguel Torres and Urijah Faber. Getting rid of the 185 and 205 divisions will allow them to concentrate and build up the fighters in the lower weight classes, boosting the profiles of the champs but also building up the other fighters in those divisions so that they are seen as plausible contenders. An example of this would be the upcoming Faber vs Mike Brown fight. If you are a hardcore fan, you know that Brown is a plausible contender, but the ability to sell him as such kind of gets lost in the shuffle when some of the WEC cards are being filled with non-starters at the 185 and 205 level on Versus.
Donald Cerrone reveals that a win at WEC 36 over Rob McCullough gets him a LW title shot
Hundreds of thousands of democrats have migrated West to Denver, Colorado this week for the Democratic National Convention. And relatively close by, 12 fighters from Greg Jackson’s MMA have flocked from Albuquerque, New Mexico to Vail, Colorado, in search of high altitude training to give them an additional edge for upcoming fights.
One of those fighters is none other than 8-0 WEC lightweight sensation Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone, who is quickly converging on lightweight title contender status following two victories in his first two fights with the promotion.
WEC’s Brian Bowles says he could be one win away from a shot at Miguel Torres
For many years now bantamweight fighters have performed under the shroud of almost total anonymity. Unless you were a hardcore fan who followed smaller Japanese promotions such as DEEP and Shooto, chances are that you didn’t really care about the 135 lbs. division in MMA.
But times care changing, thanks in large part to World Extreme Cagefighting, which has helped expose many U.S. fans to the tremendous talent that exists in the smaller weight classes. And thanks in large part to the exploits of WEC bantamweight king Miguel Torres, the interest in the 135 lbs. division in this country has never been greater.
With guaranteed title shot on line, Rob McCullough finalizing game plan
Eight months after losing his WEC lightweight title to Jamie Varner, "Razor" Rob McCullough (16-4) is finalizing preparations for his bout with undefeated up-and-comer Donald Cerrone (8-0).
And according to McCullough's recent comments to TAGG Radio (www.taggradio.com), the official radio partner of MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com), the winner of the bout will be next in line for a title shot.
"That's the word around the campfire," McCullough said. "This is a No. 1 contender fight. Whoever gets this one goes for the belt."
McCullough and Cerrone are scheduled to meet on the main card of "WEC 36: Faber vs. Brown" on Sept. 10. Held at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Fla., the bout will air live on VERSUS.
WEC Promises Garcia Shot At Faber If He Beats Pulver
Should all go according to plan as he's been told, meaning he beats Jens Pulver and Urijah Faber beats Mike Brown at WEC 36, Leonard Garcia reportedly would be Faber's next challenger for the WEC Featherweight Title. And Garcia could have home-cage advantage: The fight could be in his native Mexico.
Tim McKenzie Out of Sept. 10th WEC Fight
The upcoming World Extreme Cagefighting show set for Sept. 10 has undergone another change. MMAWeekly.com has learned that Tim McKenzie has been forced to drop off the card due to an undisclosed injury.
McKenzie was set to take on David Avellan in the 205-pound division, but as of now it appears the fight may get scrapped all together with Avallan’s opponent out of the bout.
Following a disappointing return to the WEC that saw McKenzie lose to now champion Steve Cantwell, he got back to his winning form with a submission over Jeremy Lang in June.
No word has come down as to the medical reason behind McKenzie’s departure from the show.
As of now, the WEC show still boasts a total of 10 bouts, which could mean that David Avellan could be bumped to a future show, unless a last minute replacement steps in.
Wagnney Fabiano signs w/ WEC
The last remaining International Fight League champion, Wagnney Fabiano, has signed on with a new organization. The IFL's only ever 145-pound champion will now compete in World Extreme Cagefighting, according to the fighter in an interview with Tatame.com.
The Brazilian stand out was dominating during his time with the IFL, actually making it to the finals of the promotion's Grand Prix tournament in the lightweight division. Instead of him competing in that weight class, the organization allowed him to move to his natural 145-pound division and compete for a title there.
Fabiano defeated L.C. Davis to win the title and then went on to decimate highly touted youngster Shad Lierley in his only title defense.
Now the former IFL fighter will step into possibly the best featherweight class of any organization in the world, including current champion and recognized No. 1 featherweight Urijah Faber.
“Faber is the best of the world now,” said Fabiano in the interview with Tatame. “To beat him, I think you have to be in a good shape. He’s an expert fighter and he has good gas. It’s complicated to beat a guy like him. You have to set a good gameplan and be calm and watch the elbows, because if he hits you it can change the whole fight.”
No official word on when Fabiano could possibly debut with the organization, but with the next WEC show slated for Sept 10, he may have to wait until a proposed show currently dated for Dec. 3.
Yoshiro Maeda vs. Rani Yahya WEC fight booked for Hard Rock
A solid bantamweight fight between Yoshiro Maeda (23-5-2) and Rani Yahya (12-4) was announced by the WEC today for its at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Fla., on September 10.
We all remember Maeda from his three round war against division kingpin Miguel Torres at WEC 34 in June. Unfortunately for the Japanese fighter, he wasn’t able to answer the bell for the fourth round because of a doctor’s stoppage.
But he was able to open a lot of eyes with the way he went toe-to-toe with the champ, who is widely considered to be a top 10 pound-for-pound fighter in the world. It’s a step up in competition for anyone when they face Torres, and Maeda was ready for the challenge.
However, he can’t expect a huge drop off in talent when he faces Rani Yahya. Obviously, the 23-year-old Brazilian has a long way to go in his development as a complete mixed martial artist, but the kid is a submission whiz, boasting 10 wins by way of tapout.
Official "WEC 36: Faber vs. Brown" fight card revealed
World Extreme Cagefighting today revealed its entire Sept. 10 fight card, which features WEC featherweight champion Urijah Faber (21-1) vs. challenger Mike Brown (15-4) in the night's main event.
Also on tap for the event is a middleweight championship rematch bout between title-holder Paulo Filho (16-0) and Chael Sonnen (22-9-1), and an intriguing featherweight fight between Leonard Garcia (11-3) and former top contender Jens Pulver (22-9-1).
WEC 36, which airs live on Versus, takes place at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Fla.
The full WEC 36 card includes:
Champ Urijah Faber vs. Mike Brown (for featherweight title)
Champ Paulo Filho vs. Chael Sonnen (for middleweight title)
Leonard Garcia vs. Jens Pulver
Jake Rosholt vs. Danillo Villefort
Donald Cerrone vs. Rob McCullough
David Avellan vs. Tim McKenzie
Danny Castillo vs. Ed Ratcliff
Johny Hendricks vs. Alex Serdyukov
Yoshiro Maeda vs. Rani Yayha
Jens Pulver vs Leonard Garcia WEC fight official for September 10
Former UFC lightweight champion Jens Pulver will return to 145-pound action against Leonard Garcia at WEC 36 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on September 10, according to an announcement today.
In fact, the showdown was among several bouts confirmed for the first-ever show for the promotion in the “Sunshine State.” To check them all out click here.
Pulver recently lost a five-round fight to current featherweight champion Urijah Faber. It was the first loss for him at his natural weight. “Lil Evil” won his WEC debut, submitting Cub Swanson with a nifty choke just seconds into round one.
He was rumored to face Alexandre Noguiera until he was suspended for a failed drug test.
With “Pequeno” out of the picture, insert Leonard Garcia who also has a lot to prove. Garcia debuted with WEC in Febuary with a first round technical knockout over Hiroyuki Takaya. The celebration was short lived, however, when Garcia was arrested for alleged participation in a drug-ring in Texas.
Since then, Garcia has been cleared of most if not all of the charges and has the green light to resume life as he knows it as a fighter.
WEC 36 is headlined with a championship doubleheader — Mike Brown will challenge featherweight king Urijah Faber and 185-pound champ Paulo Filho will rematch Chael Sonnen for the WEC middleweight title.
Mark Munoz Off WEC 36
In perhaps a case of potentially unfortunate timing, WEC Light Heavyweight Mark Munoz, coming off an impressive debut, is now off WEC 36 due to an undisclosed injury. No replacement named yet for his opponent, Steve Steinbeiss. The winner could've been in line for a title shot.
VARNER'S SIGHTS ALREADY SET ON NEXT CHALLENGER
World Extreme Cagefighting lightweight champion Jamie Varner showed once again why he is considered one of the elite 155-pound fighters in the world when he dispatched of top contender Marcus Hicks at WEC 35.
The now defending champion has been very happy with his home in the WEC and looks forward to any top challenger they bring in to fight him for his title.
“I love my home in the WEC and would not rather be in any other organization,” said Varner during a recent appearance on MMAWeekly Radio. “I’m not too worried about the lack of opponents or opposition in the WEC. They’re always going to find somebody for me to fight and people want to be in that organization. I’m so proud to be a part of the WEC.”
WEC 35 drug test results come back clean for ‘Condit vs Miura’ event
MMAmania.com has confirmed that drug tests for all 10 fighters from WEC 35 who were tested have come back negative. The Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) conducted random testing for the August 3 event, with only half of the fighters required to undergo screening.
The following fighters all tested negative for drugs of abuse (including marijuana, cocaine, etc.), as well as for steroids: Carlos Condit, Hiromitsu Miura, Steve Cantwell, Brian Stann, Jamie Varner, Marcus Hicks, Brian Bowles, Josh Grispi, Brock Larson and Scott Jorgensen.
Other fighters, including Damacio Page, Micah Miller, Carlo Prater, Blas Avena, Dave Terrel, Shane Roller, Todd Moore, Mike Budnik, Greg McIntyre and Kenji Osawa, were not required to undergo screening.
Held at the “The Joint” at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, WEC 35 featured three title fights, including one of the better fights of the year in the main event between WEC Welterweight Champion Carlos “The Natural Born Killer” Condit (23-4) and Hiromitsu Miura (9-5).
Palaszewski to WEC; Curran drops to 135
Bart Palaszewski will be the latest talent to join the WEC’s ranks on the heels of the demise of the rival International Fight League promotion. Palaszewski (29-11) has been offered a six-fight deal with the Zuffa-owned organization and said he will be ready to compete as early as its Sept. 10 event in Hollywood, Fla.
Jeff Curran, Palaszewski’s longtime friend and coach, made the announcement Sunday at the opening of his new training facility in Crystal Lake, Ill., unbeknownst to the Polish-born lightweight.
Curran, who unsuccessfully challenged champion Urijah Faber for the WEC featherweight crown last December, also announced his own intentions to move down to the promotion’s bantamweight division.
Miguel Torres ‘itching’ for next WEC fight in December
“I’m itching real bad. I want to get down. I hate going to fights and sitting in the stands. I would have loved to have stepped in the cage on Sunday. I guess I just have to wait my turn…. I think [Manny] Tapia is at the front of the line, but he just messed up his knee. So I don’t know. I’ll fight [Brian] Bowles — he looks good. And if he doesn’t get the next shot I’m sure we’ll cross paths one of these days if he keeps winning. I don’t really care. I’ll fight anybody, anywhere. He doesn’t even have to be 135 pounds.”
WEC Bantamweight Champion Miguel Torres talks about his eagerness to return to action in a recent interview against possibly Manny Tapia or Brian Bowles. Torres appears to indicate that Tapia has the inside track to challenge for his 135-pound belt next if he’s fit. Otherwise, we could see Bowles — who recently stopped Damacio Page — get the nod. Either way it should be a tough fight for either fighter — Torres sounds fired up.