Bantamweight

Hosman to Replace Osawa at WEC 42


Kenji Osawa. Photo property of World Extreme Cagefighting.

Midwest Training Center product John Hosman has been tapped to replace an injured Kenji Osawa against submission specialist Rani Yahya in a bantamweight bout at WEC 42, which takes place on August 9 at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

World Extreme Cagefighting confirmed the previously rumored switch on their official website earlier today. Osawa suffered a foot injury during a recent training session and will be sidelined indefinitely.

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Benavidez vs. Cruz Confirmed for WEC 42


Joseph Benavidez. Photo property of World Extreme Cagefighting.

A previously rumored bantamweight bout between rising contenders Joseph Benavidez and Dominick Cruz has been officially confirmed for WEC 42, which will take place on August 9 at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

World Extreme Cagefighting confirmed the bout via their official website earlier today. The winner of the aforementioned matchup is expected to face the winner of Miguel Torres’ WEC bantamweight title defense against Brian Bowles on the same night.

Benavidez, a protege of former longtime WEC featherweight champion Urijah Faber, remains undefeated thus far in his professional career. Following a unanimous decision win over Danny Martinez in his WEC debut, Benavidez made waves with a three-round handling of veteran Jeff Curran at WEC 40 in April.

 

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Quick Hits: “Kid” Yamamoto to Added to K-1 Max, Hallman Gets New Foe & More


Kid Yamamoto. Photo courtesy of Fighting and Entertainment Group.

Here are your quick hits for the afternoon of June 18, 2009.

— Former pound-for-pound phenom Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto will return to action a little less than two months after suffering his first professional MMA loss in seven years at K-1’s “World MAX 2009” event on July 13 in a kickboxing bout. “Kid” will be fighting Jae hee Cheon in a three-round matchup. Other notable MMA fighters competing include Tatsuya Kawajiri and Atsushi Yamamoto. [Japan-MMA.com]

— Longtime veteran Dennis Hallman will now be facing training partner Justin Davis in a catch-weight bout at tomorrow night’s “Strikeforce Challengers: Villasenor vs. Cyborg” event at the ShoWare Center in Kent, Washington. Hallman was originally slated to take on Cedric Marks, who was forced out of the bout after reportedly competing this past weekend and acquiring a medical suspension because of it. A lightweight bout between Jorge Gurgel and Conor Heun will also now be contested at a catch-weight of 160 lbs. [MMA Junkie]

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Quick Hits: Kyle to Replace Hamman at Strikeforce, Thomas Signs With WEC & More


Mike Kyle. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Here are your quick hits for the evening of May 27, 2009.

— Heavyweight knockout artist Mike Kyle has reportedly been tapped to replace Jared Hamman against Brazilian light heavyweight prospect Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante on the preliminary portion of Strikeforce’s “Lawler vs. Shields” event on June 6. Hamman was forced to withdraw after suffering a broken nose during a recent training session. Kyle last competed at JG and TKT Promotions “Fighting 4 Kidz” event last August, where he won a unanimous decision over Mychal Clark. [MMA Weekly]

— World Extreme Cagefighting announced on Wednesday that TKO Championship Fighting and Ring of Fire featherweight champion Noah Thomas, a cast member on the fifth season of “The Ultimate Fighter” that was actually kicked off the show and banned from the UFC for fighting castmate Marlon Sims on the show, has signed a deal with the promotion. He will replace injured former WEC bantamweight champ Eddie Wineland on the WEC 41 undercard and take on Frank Gomez. [MMA Junkie]

— Streaking Brazilian prospect Ronny Torres is expected to make his long-awaited UFC debut at UFC Fight Night 19 in September against an opponent yet to be determined. Torres was originally slated to face “Ultimate Fighters” alumnus Melvin Guillard at UFC Fight Night 18 in April, but was forced out of the bout after suffering torn ligaments in his right knee during training. [Tatame.com]

Fight Announcements: Johnson-Brown Set, Hamman Tapped to Face Feijao & More


Anthony Johnson. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Here are your fight announcements for the evening of April 23, 2009.

— A welterweight bout between rising contenders Anthony Johnson and Matt Brown has been confirmed for the main card of “The Ultimate Fighter 9 Finale”, which will take place on June 20 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Johnson was last seen earned a first-round TKO of Luigi Fioravanti at UFC Fight Night 17 in February while Brown recently scored a brutal stoppage of Pete Sell at UFC 96 last month. [UFC.com]

— ShoXC veteran Jared Hamman has been tapped to replace Renato “Babalu” Sobral against rising Brazilian light heavyweight prospect Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante at Strikeforce’s “Lawler vs. Shields” event on June 6 in St. Louis, Missouri. Sobral was forced to withdraw from the bout after learning that the expected birth of his daughter was going to fall too close to the date of the fight. Former UFC heavyweight champion Kevin Randleman reportedly turned down an offer to face Cavalcante. [Sherdog.com]

— Takeya Mizugaki, who received loads of praise after his showing against Miguel Torres at WEC 40 earlier this month, is reportedly likely to face former featherweight title challenger Jeff Curran in a bantamweight bout planned for WEC 42 in August. The fight has not yet been signed, but the promotion as well as the fighters are said to all be interested in the matchup. [MMA Fanhouse]

Three Bouts Added to WEC 40


Manny Tapia. Photo property of World Extreme Cagefighting.

Three additional bouts have been added to World Extreme Cagefighting’s upcoming first venture to Chicago, where the promotion will hold WEC 40 on April 5. The show’s main event features WEC bantamweight champion Miguel Angel Torres defending his title against top contender Brian Bowles.

Added to the event’s televised main card is a lightweight bout between Team Takedown member Shane Roller and Maximum Fighting Championship veteran Ben Henderson. Roller has won two straight WEC fights, submitting both Todd Moore and Mike Budnik via guillotine choke, while Henderson did the same to Anthony Njokuani in his WEC debut in January.

Fresh off of suffering his first professional loss in a failed bid to dethrone Tapia from atop his bantamweight perch back in December is Manny Tapia, who will take on a more experienced opponent in Japanese veteran Akitoshi Tamura. “Ironman” fell in his WEC debut at WEC 37 as well, losing a hard-fought battle to Wagnney Fabiano.

Joining Tapia and Tamura on the preliminary portion of the card will be a featherweight clash between Rafael Dias and Cole Province. Both fighters were defeated in their WEC debuts: Dias fell to Danny Castillo via second-round TKO at WEC 36 while Province dropped a decision to Diego Nunes at WEC 37.

 

Wineland Set to Return to WEC Against Yahya


Eddie Wineland. Photo property of World Extreme Cagefighting.

After a year of fighting in smaller shows, former World Extreme Cagefighting bantamweight champion Eddie Wineland will likely make his return to the organization against jiu-jitsu champion Rani Yahya at WEC 40, which is scheduled to take place April 5 in Chicago, Illinois.

MMA on Tap was able to confirm the bout with sources close to the fight. Both fighters have agreed to the matchup and it is expected to be finalized shortly.

Wineland originally defeated Antonio Banuelos to claim the vacant WEC bantamweight title at WEC 20 three years ago and Zuffa opted to keep Wineland as their title holder when they purchased the promotion soon after.

However Wineland fell in his first and only title defense, losing a hard-fought unanimous decision to Chase Beebe at WEC 26. He has since won two straight fights, most recently defeating Wade Choate at a Corral Combat Classic event in November.

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Ribeiro Awakes From Coma, Doing Well


Will Ribeiro. Photo property of World Extreme Cagefighting.

Ready for some awesome news? WEC bantamweight contender Will Ribeiro has reportedly awoken from an induced coma and is recovering well after being hospitalized since December following a tragic motorcycle accident in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.

According to Tatame.com, Luiz Alves, Ribeiro’s Muay Thai coach, recently visited him in the hospital and was surprised to see that Ribeiro was able to talk to him and is currently under going therapy after doctors stated he had a 50-50 chance to live due to his injuries suffered in the accident.

Almost two months after the serious accident that almost cost his life, Luiz Alves, his Muay Thai trainer, commemorates the excellent recovery of the WEC fighter.

“I had visited him at Christmas and then in January, but I left very sad and swore I wouldn’t return there anymore. He was swollen, very thin… But I was there yesterday and left very happy, because he spoke with me, remember everything that happened, kissed me”, revealed Luiz. “He is already in the ward, it’s better because he can watch TV now, he’s doing physiotherapy, is eating well and is excited”.

Things were looking pretty grim for Ribeiro for a while, but it’s great to hear that he’s doing a lot better. Fighting is obviously the last thing on his plate at the moment, but hopefully a full recovery will be possible.

Report: Beebe to Ink Multi-Fight Deal With DREAM


Chase Beebe. Photo property of World Extreme Cagefighting.

Former WEC bantamweight champion Chase Beebe has reportedly announced his intention to sign a three-fight contract with Japanese-based DREAM in order to compete in the promotion’s upcoming featherweight grand prix later this year.

According to MMA Weekly, Beebe made the decision to travel overseas after a proposed bout against Jeff Curran at WEC 37 in December fell apart. The Chicago native will take on East Coast prospect Mike Easton for the vacant Ultimate Warrior Challenge bantamweight title on February 21 before heading to Japan.

Beebe last at WEC 34 in June, losing a split decision to Will Ribeiro. Beebe captured the WEC bantamweight title during a five-round war with Eddie Wineland in March 2007 and successfully defended it against Rani Yahya in his next bout, but ended up losing the title to Miguel Torres early last year.

Fight Announcements: Griffin, Curran, Stann & More


Jeff Curran. Photo property of World Extreme Cagefighting.

The past few days following the completion of Saturday’s UFC 93 event in Ireland have brought forth a slew of potential fight announcements involving upcoming events being put on by the UFC and WEC. Let’s get right to them:

— One-time WEC featherweight title challenger and longtime veteran Jeff Curran will reportedly make his bantamweight debut against Urijah Faber-protege Joseph Benavidez at WEC 40 on April 5 according to MMA Weekly. The event, which will likely take place in Chicago, will be headlined by WEC bantamweight champion Miguel Torres defending his title against Brian Bowles.

— Former International Fight League standout Bart Palaszewski will reportedly take on Richard Crunkilton in a lightweight bout at WEC 39 on March 1 according to MMA Junkie, which is also stating that the winner of the bout could receive a title shot against the winner of this weekend’s upcoming lightweight title fight between current champion Jamie Varner and top contender Donald Cerrone.

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