(Rob McCullough and Jamie Varner face off next to some bored douche with a backstage pass; photo props to MMAWeekly.)
If you rely on this site for MMA news — terrible idea, by the way — you’d hardly be aware that World Extreme Cagefighting is holding an event tonight at the Santa Ana Star Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Apologies; we had other things to deal with. But if the last WEC show was any indication, you could be in store for a wild time if you tune into Versus beginning at 9pm ET/6pm PT, especially since three championship belts are on the line. Here’s what the matchups look like:
Carlos Condit (champion) vs. Carlo Prater (for WEC Welterweight Title)
Rob McCullough (champion) vs. Jamie Varner (for WEC Lightweight Title)
Chase Beebe (champion) vs. Miguel Torres (for WEC Bantamweight Title)
Manny Tapia vs. Antonio Banuelos (bantamweights)
Leonard Garcia vs. Hiroyuki Takaya (featherweights)
Josh Grispi vs. Mark Hominick (featherweights)
Del Hawkins vs. Coty Wheeler (bantamweights)
Charlie Valencia vs. Yoshiro Maeda (bantamweights)
Micah Miller vs. Chance Farrar (featherweights)
Scott Jorgensen vs. Damacio Page (bantamweights)
Let’s take a look at that main card, shall we?
— Garcia vs. Takaya: The last time I remember seeing Leonard Garcia, his face was being punched into burger by Roger Huerta at UFC 69. Following his rough UFC debut, Garcia beat Allen Berubie, lost a decision to Cole Miller, and decided to drop to a more competitive weight of 145 and join the WEC. But he won’t have an easy time against “Streetfight Bancho,” who has been in the cage with stars like Gilbert Melendez, Genki Sudo, and Gesias Calvancante during his residencies with Shooto and K-1. Sure, he lost to those guys, but experience counts, and we think his striking power will be too much for Garcia to handle.
— Tapia vs. Banuelos: If Manny Tapia wins this fight, he could be next in line to challenge for the bantamweight belt after the dust settles on Beebe/Torres. The jiu-jitsu specialist was a destroyer in King of the Cage, racking up an 8-0-1 record before winning his WEC debut last May against Brandon Foxworth. Banuelos is a good friend of Chuck Liddell’s, and even though he’s got the Iceman and John Hackleman feeding him pointers at The Pit, his recent fight history — four wins by decision and two losses by first-round knockout — raises some concerns. Not being able to finish a fight will hurt him against someone as aggressive as Tapia. We’re thinking this is one of those “loss by first-round knockout” kind of nights for Banuelos.