LAS VEGAS – Headlined by two world championship fights and the arrival of a fighting legend, World Extreme Cagefighting is proud to present another explosive night of mixed martial arts action on Wed., September 5 live, at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, NV.
In the championship doubleheader, “Razor” Rob McCullough defends his WEC Lightweight belt against Richard Crunkilton, and WEC Bantamweight Champion Chase Beebe will be making his first title defense when he takes on Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu expert Rani Yahya. Also featured is former UFC lightweight champ Jens Pulver, who will be making his WEC debut against Cub Swanson.
A dangerous standup striker, Rob McCullough (14-3) turned back world-champion kick boxer Kit Cope in January via first round stoppage and he is settling in for a long reign at the top. His next test is the veteran Crunkilton (15-1), whose blend of technically sound grappling and world-class experience makes him a dangerous challenger.
“I come to knock every challenger out, and Rich is going to come right after me,” McCullough said. “That’s why this fight is something fans don’t want to miss, because I’m going to keep my belt with a big knockout.”
Richard Crunkilton blasted onto the lightweight scene with his impressive third round submission victory over Mike Joy at WEC: McCullough vs. Cope. Crunkilton, who trains with the highly respected AKA team in San Jose, Calif., has waited a long time for a title shot and he is determined not to let the chance pass him by.
“McCullough is a good striker, but that is all he brings to the cage,” Crunkilton said. “I’ve waited a long time to get recognized as one of the top lightweights in the world, and Sept. 5 is finally my opportunity to show the world that I’m the best there is in the 155 lb. division.”
Two world-renowned mixed martial artists will battle it out for the WEC bantamweight championship, as Chicago’s own Chase Beebe (10-1) defends his tile against Brazil’s Rani Yahya (11-2).
WEC Bantamweight Champion Beebe (10-1) is a four-time state high school wrestling champion. This 21-year-old is looking to keep the title in the Windy City when he battles it out with Yahya. Out of eleven fights, nine victories have come by way of submission, and he is looking to add another one to his already impressive resume.
“Rani is an impressive fighter with great grappling skills,” said Beebe. “I don’t care if I beat him by knockout or with a submission, no one is taking the title away from me.”
The 22-year old Yahya is a Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and the owner of three world Jiu-Jitsu championships. Yahya, won the prestigious Abu Dhabi world submission grappling tournament in New Jersey, and in his WEC debut he defeated Mark Hominick by submission in impressive fashion. He is looking to take the gold back to Brazil on Sept. 5.
“Beebe is an impressive wrestler, but my submissions will be too much for him to handle,” said Yahya. “I’m not leaving the cage without the belt wrapped around my waist.”
Jens Pulver, the first man to ever hold the UFC Lightweight Championship, begins his campaign in the WEC featherweight division, taking on top contender Cub Swanson. Naturally suited to the 145-lb. class, Pulver’s first WEC match puts him right in the thick of a talented division where champ Urijah Faber is seeking compelling challengers.
“I can’t wait to put my skills on display in the WEC,” said Pulver. “Cub Swanson is a tough opponent and I plan on showing why my nickname is “Lil Evil” by delivering a performance fans will remember.”
Swanson, 10-1, has reeled off ten straight victories since dropping his pro debut, and he’s established himself as a legitimate player in the WEC featherweight division with a stoppage of Tommy Lee prior to decisioning Micah Miller in June. He knows a win over a star like Pulver would be a huge boost for his career and propel him to a likely title shot.
“Jens was a great MMA star and one of the game’s legends,” Swanson said. “But my time is now. Everybody knows both of us come to fight, but “‘Lil Evil”’ is gonna run into a bigger evil in Cub Swanson. I’m going to show the world why I’m the best featherweight in the WEC with a knockout over Jens.”
The remaining bouts for WEC: McCullough vs. Crunkilton will be announced in the near future.