Carlos Condit. Photo property of World Extreme Cagefighting.
Las Vegas, NV (USA) – World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) today announced that WEC will add a flyweight division to the WEC championship divisions. The organization will no longer actively promote the welterweight division, continuing its focus on the lighter weight classes including lightweight (155 pounds), featherweight (145 pounds), bantamweight (135 pounds) and flyweight (125 pounds).
Carlos Condit, reigning champion of the WEC welterweight division, and Brock Larson, as well as other top 170 pound WEC fighters will transition to the Ultimate Fighting Championship organization to continue their athletic careers as UFC welterweight fighters.
“With the addition of the flyweight division, the WEC has cemented its status as the home of the greatest lighter weight fighters in the world,” said Peter Dropick, WEC Vice President of Operations and Production. “We are excited to launch the 125 pound championship division, and look forward to giving our fans the best and most action-packed flyweight fights in the sport.”
More information about the WEC flyweight division will be announced at a later date.
Jose Aldo. Photo property of World Extreme Cagefighting.
Fresh off of his first-round stoppage of Rolando Perez at WEC 38 on January 25, fast-rising featherweight contender will reportedly take on WEC newcomer Chris Mickle in a bout that will likely be added to WEC 39, which takes place on March 1 in Corpus Christi, Texas.
According to MMA Junkie, the fight will partially take the place of the canceled WEC welterweight title fight between Carlos Condit and Brock Larson, who are both now headed to the UFC due to the rumored demise of the WEC’s 170 lb. division.
Aldo has won his first three fights in the WEC and another win under his belt could vault him to the top half of the featherweight division. Mickle, who has spent the majority of his career fighting in small shows in the midwest, will come into the bout with a two-fight winning streak.
B.J. Penn. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
If you thought that the war between Georges St. Pierre and B.J. Penn was over, think again. Penn’s camp has informed Sherdog.com that they intend to file a formal complaint with the Nevada State Athletic Commission after officials spotted one of St. Pierre’s cornermen allegedly rubbed Vaseline on his back in between the first and second and then the second and third rounds.
“We are not trying to make excuses, but the NSAC needs to protect the fighters,” Penn told Sherdog.com via text message. “They never notified us or completely wiped his back with water and towels.”
Various reports are circulating that following the conclusion of the first round, Phil Nurse, who has been working St. Pierre’s corner for a number of years, was caught by someone sitting at ringside rubbing Vaseline on St. Pierre’s back and shoulders. It has yet to be confirmed that this person was former UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell, but “The Iceman” was the first to inform UFC President Dana White of the incident after the conclusion of the fight, which St. Pierre won via fourth-round doctor’s stoppage.
Carlos Condit. Photo property of World Extreme Cagefighting.
- It appears that WEC welterweight champion Carlos Condit could be headed to the UFC after all. Days after a Five Ounces of Pain report suggested that the WEC was attempting to match Condit up against Martin Kampmann at UFC Fight Night 18 in April after Condit was forced out of his March 1 title defense against Brock Larson due to injury, MMA Junkie is reporting that has been signed for the event, essentially signaling the end for the WEC’s 170 lb. division. In semi-related news, Dann Stupp and company are also saying that “Ultimate Fighter 8” runner-up Philippe Nover will likely return to action against Kyle Bradley at UFC 98.
Urijah Faber and Jens Pulver. Photo property of World Extreme Cagefighting.
Unfortunately for World Extreme Cagefighting, their latest event was squished in between UFC 93, Affliction Entertainment’s “Day of Reckoning” show, and this weekend’s UFC 94, yet they still managed to pull off the second best rating for a live event in the promotion’s history.
The show did a 0.65 rating and 700,000 viewers, which, while only half of what their first match (Faber vs. Pulver) on 6/1 did, was still the second highest amount of viewers in the history of the promotion.
The advertising on Versus and other cable channels was relatively non-existent this time around compared to the last few shows that the WEC put on, which makes it seem as if fans are spreading news about the show via word of mouth these days. WEC 39 nearly had a great lead-in with the NHL All-Star Game running a tad late, but Versus ruined the potential by running a full episode of Sports Soup and delaying the live start of the main card by 45 minutes. Still, this is a great sign for Zuffa, who has continually been planning to eventually have some WEC events move to pay-per-view in the near future.
We will be going live at 7:00 PM ET with live results of WEC 38: Varner vs. Cerrone, which takes place at the San Diego Sports Arena in San Diego, California. The show will be televised live on Versus in the United States and on TSN in Canada.
The event is headlined by Jamie Varner defending his WEC lightweight title against Donald Cerrone. A rematch between former WEC featherweight champion Urijah Faber and former UFC lightweight champion Jens Pulver will take place as well.
Feel free to leave your thoughts and comments throughout the afternoon and evening. Detailed live results are after the jump.
Jens Pulver. Photo property of World Extreme Cagefighting.
“The opponent, I was more than happy. I’m like great. With my son, and with my friend being murdered – when I say friend, Justin and I go way back when we were 16. He moved out to Iowa and lived with me. It was real hard to lose him. He was somebody I was real, real close to. More than anything, I was hoping to have the holidays and everything, because I knew I wasn’t going to have a full-on six days a week to train. I would have loved to have it in March. I love the opponent. Can I do it in March? They said no and that they needed it in January, so that was the only hesitation was just the timing. You got to do what you got to do. No complaining, no excuses.”
- Former UFC lightweight champion Jens Pulver tells MMA Weekly that despite the birth of his son and death of close friend Justin Eilers, WEC officials refused to allow him to fight Urijah Faber in March instead of this coming weekend, leaving Pulver with the inability to train at the highest possible level for this fight.
In the above video, reigning WEC lightweight champion Jamie Varner discusses his upcoming title defense against Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone at WEC 38 this Sunday night in San Diego, California.
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.
Ed Ratcliff. Photo property of World Extreme Cagefighting.
Ed Ratcliff has reportedly been forced out of his scheduled bout against WEC newcomer Anthony Njokuani at next week’s WEC 38 event after suffering an undisclosed injury during a recent training session.
According to MMA Weekly, Maximum Fighting Championship veteran Benson Henderson will be replacing Ratcliff on the card. Henderson will come into his fight against Njokuani on a six-fight winning streak. The WEC’s official website also lists Jose Aldo with a new opponent, Rolando Perez. No word as to why Fredson Paixao was removed from the card.
In other WEC news, MMA Junkie is reporting that Mike Budnik will be facing former International Fight League competitor John Franchi in a lightweight bout at WEC 39, which is slated to take place on March 1 in Corpus Christi, Texas.