In an interview with Rochester, Minnesota’s Post-Bulletin, Tommy Speer announced that he has been picked up by the WEC and expects to debut with the organization in August. The TUF 6 finalist — who was cut by the UFC after getting knocked-dead by Anthony Johnson at last month’s UFC Fight Night 13 — competed once before in the WEC, knocking out Sidney Silva at WEC 27 last May. Said Speer on his bounce from the UFC:
“I didn’t agree with it right away; it was depressing news. But now I know I lost to a great fighter, and he surprised me and everyone by how well he fought. I don’t think it’s too bad of a thing for me to be going to the WEC. There are great fighters there, too. I need to keep learning and working on my game, and the WEC is a great place to do that.
The WEC’s 170-pound division is certainly respectable, with names like Carlos Condit, Carlo Prater, John Alessio, and Brock Larson populating the roster, but it’s not nearly the threshing machine of the UFC’s welterweight class, and seems like a great place for Speer to develop while still maintaining a decent level of exposure. “The Farm Boy” intended to fight outside of the WEC before his August debut, but his training has been halted by an appropriately rural setback:
“The doctors at Mayo (Clinic) said I was bit by a brown recluse spider (on my calf), so I’m on antibiotics,” Speer said. “They said it might take a month to heal up. So I’m not training now, and I probably won’t be able to fight until August, because I’ll need some serious training time when I get back.”
Speer said he still intends to travel to Missouri to train with former UFC champion Matt Hughes at his gym, H.I.T. Squad, prior to his fights.
In other news…
— Betting odds for DREAM.3 are up. With a +200 line, Tatsuya Kawajiri is the current betting favorite to win the tournament, most likely because Shinya Aoki (listed at +250) is a bit of a question mark due to his various injuries. Also, Jason Miller is an astounding -1150 favorite to beat 2-3 former pro wrestler Katsuyori Shibata, who’s listed at +650.
— Anderson Silva is doing a two-day seminar at Miletich Fighting Systems Houston next weekend. General admission tickets for looky-lous are already sold out, but if you actually want to participate, it’s $130 for one-day, and $200 for both days.