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Tag: Urijah Faber

Hurricane Threat Postpones WEC 36 to November

Urijah Faber WEC MMA
(Mike Brown better be preparing for Tropical Storm Faber.)

WEC 36 — which was scheduled to go down this Wednesday at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida — has been rescheduled to November 5th due to safety concerns related to Hurricane Ike. From an official statement released by the WEC on Saturday:

“Due to the potential of a major hurricane hitting the South Florida area on Wednesday we were compelled to postpone the event,” said Vice President of Operations and Production Peter Dropick. “For the safety of our fans, the fighters and our staff we felt it was in the best interest to make this decision.”

Hurricane Ike is currently a Category 3 storm with sustained winds of 120 MPH and is moving west/southwest toward South Florida according to the National Hurricane Center’s latest advisory. The storm is on track to have impact on the Florida Keys and South Florida on Tuesday (9/9) into Wednesday (9/10).

“With Hurricane Ike approaching our area we have concern for the fans, fighters, our employees and the South Florida community in general,” said Bernie Dillon, Sr. Vice President of Entertainment for the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. “We felt like it would be prudent and in everyone’s best interest to postpone the event. We certainly don’t want to cause any travelers or employees to get stranded here should we have a major storm.”

Unfortunately, the WEC may have jumped the gun a bit, as it now looks like Ike will miss Florida entirely, and make landfall somewhere between Alabama and Texas. Tickets purchased for the September 10th date remain valid and will be honored on 11/5; refunds can be obtained at the point of purchase. After the jump is the card you won’t be seeing on Wednesday…

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WEC, Pride Action Figures Coming Soon


(Toymakers are hard at work trying to capture the essence of Urijah’s chin.)

Not content just to offer UFC action figures — such as the Brock Lesnar figurine complete with phallic chest tattoo — toymaker JAKKS Pacific sent out a press release today announcing that they have signed agreements to produce WEC and Pride dolls as well:

“We are thrilled to extend our relationship with UFC by adding WEC and PRIDE to our action figure roster,” said Stephen Berman, President and COO, JAKKS Pacific. “As the world leader in fighting action figure toys, we plan on dominating the Mixed Martial Arts collector action figure arena. The addition of WEC and PRIDE gives JAKKS a substantial base of fighters with which to work and develop into a broad and exciting line of collectable products for fans.”

“This agreement with JAKKS gives fight fans a premier line of authentic collector action figures,” said Dana White, UFC President. “This is a great partnership that benefits the sport, our athletes and our fans.”

We know what you’re thinking. WEC action figures make some sense, even though they are undoubtedly lesser known than the UFC, but Pride? Aren’t they a little late to the party? That’s like putting out Guns N’ Roses action figures.

To that, we can only say: 1) you would totally buy Guns N’ Roses action figures and you know it, and 2) better late than never.

You’re telling us you don’t want an Igor Vovchanchyn figure, complete with pot belly and extremely tight shorts? Don’t kid yourself. There are tons of great options out there, and hopefully Zuffa has rights to them, since otherwise it doesn’t make much sense what with many of the major Pride stars now in the UFC. We’re just hoping that the Gilbert Yvel figurine comes complete with extended thumbs that fit nicely into the eye sockets of the Don Frye doll. In a perfect world, the Don Frye doll would also have a string that you can pull to make him say, “Gilbert! We can do it again, brother!”

Damn this imperfect world!

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Say It Ain’t So: WEC Headed to Pay-Per-View?

There’s plenty to love about the WEC. Zuffa’s brand of minor league MMA features competitive bouts between lesser-known fighters, including the lighter weight classes that get so little love in other organizations. But does that mean MMA fans are willing to pay extra for it?

Dana White seems to think so, as he told Yahoo! Sports that he plans to put on a WEC pay-per-view event, possibly in 2009. Yahoo! says it could go down “as early as May,” and also says that Zuffa will follow through on plans to absorb the WEC’s light heavyweight and middleweight divisions into the UFC. That means even fewer fighters will be available for the WEC cards that fans will soon be asked to pay for.

Asked how many events the WEC would stage in 2009, White replied, “We’re still figuring that out, but I can tell you this: It’s not going to go down.”

Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t one of the WEC’s main selling points the fact that it was always free on Versus? Why go and screw with that? There’s been a clear dichotomy even in the UFC between fight cards that are good for free TV (i.e. Spike TV) and those that are of pay-per-view quality. As great a year as the WEC has had, asking fans to pay premium prices means expectations go up too. With so many UFC events already stretching the pay-per-view budget of many fans, it could also mean a decline in overall WEC viewership.

I think I speak for all non-independently wealthy MMA fans when I say, damn.

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Quick Hits: IFL’s Wagnney Fabiano Headed to WEC, Noons/Diaz Officially Scrapped

Perhaps the most talented of the unsigned IFL fighters out there — featherweight champ Wagnney Fabiano — may have finally found a new home. Tatame reports that the Brazilian has signed with the WEC, supposedly to fight in the bantamweight division. That already seems a little fishy, and then you add in this garbled quote from Fabiano that mentions WEC featherweight champ Urijah Faber, and it seems like there might be a slight mistranslation problem:

“My objectives is to grown in the event and get the title. Let’s start with a tough and focused work. It won’t chance anything in my life, I’m always serious and go to any event to win. My goal is to fight for the belt and do my best”, said the athlete, that analyzed the champion, Urijah Faber.

“Faber is the best of the world now. To beat him, I think you have to be in a good shape. He’s an expert fighter and he has a good gas, it’s complicated to beat a guy like him. You have to set a good game plan and be calm and watch the elbows, because if you hits you can change a whole fight.”

Well, I’m officially confused. Either Fabiano is planning to drop down to 135 pounds and the remarks about Faber were just for kicks, or Tatame has it wrong and he’s really signing on as a featherweight. With the WEC hurting for challengers to Faber’s throne, the latter seems more likely.

- In other news, MMA Rated reports that the KJ Noons-Nick Diaz bout that Elite XC had hoped to add to their October 4 event on CBS is now officially off. Elite XC VP Jared Shaw said the organization was unable to come to terms with Noons’ agent, Mark Dion, and added that throughout the entire process no one from Elite XC was able to personally speak with Noons. Shaw said they wouldn’t be stripping Noons of the lightweight title just yet, but expressed hope that he would “wake up and smell the Hawaiian coffee.” That’s the kind of remark that should convince him to come around.

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WEC Completes September Fight Card


(Urijah Faber talks upcoming title defense with ESPN)

The WEC has announced the full fight card for their September 10 event in Florida, and once again it’s a fairly stacked show from Zuffa’s minor leagues. Most notable is the official announcement that former UFC lightweight champ Jens Pulver will be taking on Leonard “Just Try and Make Those Charges Stick” Garcia. It also includes Urijah Faber defending his title against Mike Brown, and Paulo Filho making his return to action in a rematch against Chael Sonnen.

Making their WEC debuts are two Team Takedown members — Jake Rosholt and Johny Hendricks — who are definitely worth keeping an eye on in the future.

Here’s the full lineup:

Urijah Faber vs. Mike Brown
Paulo Filho vs. Chael Sonnen
Jens Pulver vs. Leonard Garcia
Danillo Villefort vs. Jake Rosholt
Rob McCullough vs. Donald Cerrone
Rani Yahya vs. Yoshihiro Maeda
David Avellan vs. Tim McKenzie
Johny Hendricks vs. Alex Serdyukov
Ed Ratcliff vs. Danny Castillo

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Almost No One Is Happy to Be in the WEC…But That’s Okay

With the WEC’s next event just around the corner, media coverage has started to ramp up this week. As it does, the one thing that becomes increasingly clear is that the organization’s top fighters are mostly just pissed off that they aren’t in the UFC. USA Today wrote about the UFC’s uncertain attitude regarding the future of the promotion, including a quote from Marc Ratner that reflects what seems to the consensus opinion over at Zuffa:

“There is talk about having the heavier guys come on over (to UFC), and maybe anything under 145 (pounds, the featherweight limit) would be WEC and above 145 would be UFC,” says UFC vice president Marc Ratner. “It hasn’t been put into place yet.”

In the same article, Carlos Condit describes the UFC as “the big show” and says he hopes to move on up. Jamie Varner made similar comments to Sherdog, saying:

“I still got all the doubters out there, and that’s motivation to me,” Varner said. “All the people out there saying this guy in the UFC would beat you or this guy in Dream would kill you. I want to beat everyone that Zuffa puts in front of me and hopefully one day get my opportunity to fight a B.J. Penn and show the world what I’m made of.”

Ordinarily it would be a bad thing to have all your top fighters publicly stating their desire to go and fight somewhere else, but this only reinforces how smart it was of Zuffa to purchase the WEC and use them as a sort of minor league, as well as how dumb it would be to turn it into nothing but featherweights and bantamweights.

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Faber to Defend Title Against Mike Brown at WEC 36

Sherdog has confirmed previous rumors that WEC 36 — which is slated for September 10th at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida — will be headlined by a featherweight championship match between 145-pound king Urijah Faber and highly regarded American Top Team fighter Mike Brown. Brown is coming off an impressive decision win over Jeff Curran at WEC 34, and has won 10 of his last 11 fights in organizations like Bodog Fight, HOOKnSHOOT, AFC, and DEEP. If you’re unfamiliar with his work, check out the above highlight reel from VulgarATT.

All of Faber’s WEC matches to this point have been held in Las Vegas or in his home state of California, but Brown will have the hometown advantage in this one, since he trains with ATT in nearby Coconut Creek, FL. WEC 36 will also feature the middleweight rematch between champion Paulo Filho and Chael Sonnen, as well as bouts between Mark Munoz and Steve Steinbeiss, and “Razor” Rob McCullough vs. Donald Cerrone.

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Urijah Faber vs. Mike Brown at WEC 36?

Mike Brown WEC MMA
(You’re doing a heckuva job, Brownie.)

MMA Mania is passing along a rumor that Urijah Faber could make his next featherweight title defense against Mike Brown at WEC 36 on September 10th. Brown (17-4) is an American Top Team fighter who you may remember from his spot-on parody video of teammate Jeff Monson calling out Kimbo Slice; he’s riding a seven-fight win-streak and holds notable victories over Mark Hominick, Yves Edwards, and most recently Jeff Curran in his WEC debut last month. Brown is a credible challenge to Urijah Faber, though not an ideal one — why the WEC hasn’t rescued Wagnney Fabiano from the IFL yet is anyone’s guess, and the featherweight fantasy fight between Faber and Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto probably won’t happen in our lifetimes.

Speaking of the WEC, Dana White has again voiced his intention of folding the middleweight and light-heavyweight divisions of the Zuffa-owned league and bringing the best fighters over to the UFC. There aren’t many standout 185- and 205-pounders under contract with the WEC, but middleweight champ Paulo Filho (who is slated to defend his title in a rematch against Chael Sonnen at WEC 36) immediately comes to mind. If Anderson Silva decides to leave the UFC’s middleweight division for good, there’d be room for another star at the top, and the fact that Filho has never had his ass kicked by Silva would make him an attractive contender for the UFC’s 185-pound title should it ever become vacant; Filho and Silva are close friends, and have vowed not to fight each other. Still, Dana White might need a little more convincing: “[Filho]‘s a great fighter, but he has a lot of personal problems to overcome,” White told Kevin Iole. Luckily, that doesn’t seem to be a deal-breaker for employment in the UFC these days…

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CagePotato ‘Power Rankings’ Updated

Thiago Alves UFC
(Comin’ for that #1 spot…)

2008 is shaping up to be the busiest and most exciting year in MMA’s history — which is a great thing, unless you’re trying to keep your top ten lists current, in which case it’s a total pain in the ass. Though there aren’t many profound changes in the latest update to our Power Rankings page, recent events have caused some fighters to drop due to losses (i.e., Matt Hughes, Sean Sherk, Hayato Sakurai, Masakazu Imanari) some to jump up after big wins (Wanderlei Silva, Thiago Alves, Power Rankings newcomer Gegard Mousasi), and some to secure their already impressive positions (Lyoto Machida, Urijah Faber, Robbie Lawler). Give it a look, and click on each weight class for additional notes and to leave comments. And stay tuned, as Sunday’s DREAM.4 card could produce some changes in the middleweight list, and July 21st’s Affliction event could lead to a massive re-shuffling of the heavyweight deck.

(BG)

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Faber, Pulver, Maeda Get 6-Month Medical Suspensions

Jens Pulver WEC MMA
(Jens Pulver: Rode hard and put away wet.)

The California State Athletic Commission issued medical suspensions to 11 of the fighters who competed at WEC’s “Faber vs. Pulver” event on Sunday, and fuck are they brutal. 180-day suspensions were handed out to six fighters including Urijah Faber, Jens Pulver, and Yoshiro Maeda; according to the report, only Faber’s and Will Robeiro’s can end early with a doctor’s clearance. So, we hope whatever Maeda took home from his $6,000 salary after taxes, insurance, license fees and everything else can last him until December. Here’s the full list of suspensions, and the ouchies that caused them:

Urijah Faber: 180-day suspension due to a right-hand injury (can be cleared early by doctor)
Jens Pulver: 180-day suspension due to a right-eye orbital injury
Miguel Torres: 60-day suspension due to a cut
Yoshiro Maeda: 180-day suspension due to a right-eye orbital injury
Mark Munoz: 180-day suspension due to a right-hand injury
Chuck Grigsby: indefinite suspension due to a head injury (must be cleared by a doctor)
Rob McCullough: 60-day suspension due to a cut
Will Robeiro: 180-day suspension due to a right-hand injury (can be cleared early by doctor)
Jeremy Lang: 180-day suspension due to a left-ankle injury and a cut
Luis Do Santos: 45-day suspension with no contact for 30 days due to suffering a knockout
Alexandre Nogueira: 60-day suspension due to a cut

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