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Tag: Urijah Faber

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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WEC 34 Salaries Released

Urijah Faber WEC MMA

The California State Athletic Commission has released the official salary figures for WEC: Faber vs. Pulver, proving that just because you’re one of the best fighters in the world, not to mention the marketing face of your organization, doesn’t mean you’ll be paid like a star. The numbers are below; each winning fighter’s salary represents a doubling of their base salary (i.e., Faber earned $22,000 to show, and $22,000 to win). The figures don’t include sponsorship money, undisclosed “locker room” bonuses (which we really hope Yoshiro Maeda received), or deductions for insurance, licenses, and taxes.

Urijah Faber ($44,000) def. Jens Pulver ($33,000)
Miguel Torres ($28,000) def. Yoshiro Maeda ($6,000)
Mark Munoz ($16,000) def. Chuck Grigsby ($3,000)
Rob McCullough ($32,000) def. Kenneth Alexander ($3,000)
Donald Cerrone ($10,000) def. Danny Castillo ($3000)
Mike Brown ($10,000) def. Jeff Curran ($10,000)
Will Ribeiro ($6,000) def. Chase Beebe ($7,000)
Tim McKenzie ($12,000) def. Jeremy Lang ($4,000)
Alex Serdyukov ($6,000) def. Luis Sapo ($3,000)
Jose Aldo ($6,000) def. Alexandre Franca Nogueira ($8,000)
Dominic Cruz ($6,000) def. Charlie Valencia ($7,000)
Total: $260,000

Anyway, it’s just another reason why Faber should move up in weight and head to the UFC, especially now that he’s reached an Anderson Silva-level of domination in his league’s weight class. At this point in his career, the only challenges left are a superfight with Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto — who, by the way, will be fighting a complete nobody at DREAM.5 — and a run at lightweight. How much more can the WEC really do for him?

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Faber Outslugs Pulver in Five-Round Classic at WEC 34; Torres Also Retains Belt

Jens Pulver Urijah Faber WEC MMA

Those left with a bad taste in their mouth from the multiple fiascos of Saturday’s EliteXC show got a palate-cleansing burst of brilliant MMA last night, as WEC 34 in Sacramento featured arguably the two greatest bouts in the organization’s history.

In the featherweight championship match, Urijah Faber solidified his status as one of the best fighters in the world, wearing Jens Pulver down with explosive striking combos and showcasing his scary conditioning during the first 25-minute match of his career. Faber came out hard in his usual style, landing a couple of big punches and knees in the clinch. Though Faber slipped to the mat while attempting a kick, Pulver couldn’t capitalize on the ground and was kicked off. The fight was halted briefly when Pulver was poked in the eye, but Lil’ Evil refused to take recovery time. Pulver took Faber’s back briefly against the cage, and ate a spinning backfist for his efforts.

The second round began with another brief stoppage as Faber accidentally kicked Pulver in the groin following a punch combo. Faber dominated the next couple minutes, taking Pulver down, throwing some big elbows, then landing a vicious punch combination when Faber scrambled to his feet. Pulver looked rocked, but fired back with his own punches, including a sharp uppercut that shook Faber. Faber answered with a takedown attempt, but Pulver sprawled and nearly secured a front choke. Faber escaped and punished Pulver with punches until the bell sounded. Pulver seemed gassed at this point, and clearly frustrated that he was being outboxed.

The third round was probably the most exciting of the match, starting with a sharp head kick from Pulver. After Pulver sprawled on a takedown, Faber was able to take Pulver’s back and slam him to the ground, but Pulver bounced up and began a thrilling striking exchange ending with a devastating body kick that put Faber in serious trouble. Faber shot for a takedown but landed with Pulver on top of him and dropping elbows. Faber reversed the position and landed a couple elbows of his own before the fighters were stood up; Pulver was very slow in getting to his feet.

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WEC 34: Faber vs. Pulver — Fight Card Rundown

Urijah Faber Jeff Curran WEC
(Urijah Faber: Never a dull moment.)

Though EliteXC’s CBS show is grabbing most of the attention for this weekend, WEC is putting on its biggest event to date on Sunday at Sacramento’s ARCO Arena, headlined by the monumental featherweight championship match between Urijah Faber and Jens Pulver, and also featuring Miguel Torres, “Razor” Rob McCullough, Jeff Curran, Chase Beebe, and Charlie Valencia. If you get Versus, you can watch the action live starting at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT. — and judging from recent WEC shows, missing it wouldn’t be in your best interest. Let’s take a look at the four main card fights…

Urijah Faber [champion] vs. Jens Pulver (featherweight title fight)
Don’t let his beautiful anaconda choke of Cub Swanson at WEC 31 fool you — Jens Pulver is still a stand-up banger, and his greatest advantage over the California Kid is his dynamite-loaded striking. Faber will probably try to trade shots for a while, but he’ll eventually employ his superior wrestling to get the fight to the mat and look for a submission or ground-and-pound TKO. If Faber can neutralize Pulver’s boxing and avoid getting caught early, the hometown boy’s relentless aggression and inventiveness will win the day. Prediction: Faber via 3rd-round submission.

Miguel Torres [champion] vs. Yoshiro Maeda (bantamweight title fight)
Miguel Torres owns one of the most impressive records in MMA (33-1, 21 wins via submission), but he didn’t start getting name-checked as one of the best fighters in the world until he tore through Chase Beebe in February to win WEC’s bantamweight title. Torres has never been stopped, and he avenged his sole loss to Ryan Ackerman in 2003 by submitting him two years later. Known more as a striker, Maeda is a seasoned veteran of Pancrase and DEEP, and made his impressive U.S. debut at WEC 32 when he delivered a knockout body-kick to Charlie Valencia midway through the first round. It’ll be a tough test for Torres, but he’s looked incredibly impressive in his last few matches, and he’s got enough momentum to defend his belt. Prediction: Torres extends his streak of five-straight submission victories to six, and does it in the second round.

WEC Versus

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Jens vs. Urijah Video Hype; Randy Couture on ‘Outside the Ring’

Jens Pulver may have said that there would be no trash-talking leading up to his WEC featherweight championship match against Urijah Faber on June 1st, but Faber’s implication that Pulver has stopped evolving with the sport certainly comes close. Our favorite part: Jens punching out the cadence of his words at 1:58. This fight is going to kick so much ass…

Also: Check out this teaser clip for the upcoming first episode of Outside the Ring, hosted by Marika Taylor; for more Marika, go here.

Miss, I was born ready…

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