Next Sunday’s WEC 49 might be low on marquee fights, but the organization will be making up for it in a big way at their August 18th show, which is slated to go down in Las Vegas. As reported yesterday, former featherweight champ Urijah Faber will make his bantamweight debut at the event, following a 2-3 stretch in his last five fights — including an agonizing loss to Jose Aldo in his last title challenge. Faber’s opponent is expected to be Takeya Mizugaki (12-4-2, 2-2 WEC), who made his WEC debut in a memorable five-round war against Miguel Torres last year, and has since picked up decision victories against Jeff Curran and Rani Yahya. Faber has stated in the past that he cuts very little weight to make 145 pounds, and a drop to 135 wouldn’t be a problem for him.
Headlining the card will be an even more important bantamweight scrap: Dominick Cruz‘s first title defense against Faber’s teammate Joseph Benavidez, who Cruz previously outpointed at WEC 42. Cruz became champion in March thanks to a brilliant striking performance against then-champion Brian Bowles. Benavidez earned his title shot by choking out Miguel Torres at the same event, and hopes to avenge the only loss on his record. The 8/18 show — which we’ll refer to as WEC 50 until further notice — will be broadcast on Versus.