Tag Archives: WEC

Erik Koch Stays on WEC 52, Meets Newcomer Francisco Rivera

Erik Koch

After losing initial opponent Josh Grispi, Erik Koch (10-1 MMA, 2-1 WEC) now has a new opponent for next week’s WEC 52 event.

The featherweight contender welcomes promotional newcomer Francisco “Cisco” Rivera (5-0 MMA, 0-0 WEC) to the organization in a Versus-televised main-card bout, WEC General Manager Reed Harris today announced.

WEC 52 takes place Nov. 11 at The Pearl at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas.

The night’s five-fight main card, including a Urijah Faber vs. Takeya Mizugaki bantamweight headliner, airs on Versus. It’s the second-to-last show the WEC hosts before a January merger with its sister promotion, the UFC.

Koch initially was expected to fight Grispi in a likely No. 1 contender’s bout. However, once the UFC decided to make a WEC merger official, Grispi was moved to a UFC 125 title fight with Jose Aldo, the final WEC champ who’s now the UFC 145-pound title-holder.

Koch recently rebounded from his first pro loss with a submission victory over Bendy Casmir at WEC 49. Prior to that, Koch took on Chad Mendes and was out-wrestled and suffered a unanimous-decision loss at WEC 47. Koch made his promotional debut at WEC 45 and bested Jameel Massouh on points. The Duke Roufus-trained fighter owns seven submissions among his 10 career wins.

Rivera, who trains with fellow WEC fighter Manny Gamburyan, brings an undefeated record to the organization. The two-year pro has posted three knockouts among his five career wins, and each lasted 52 seconds or fewer. The well-rounded fighter’s most recent bout came back in January, when he topped Fernando Bernstein (3-3 at the time) at a Called Out MMA event in California.

The full WEC 52 card includes:

MAIN CARD

  • Urijah Faber vs. Takeya Mizugaki
  • Joseph Benavidez vs. Wagnney Fabiano
  • Erik Koch vs. Francisco Rivera
  • Chad Mendes vs. Javier Vazquez
  • Demetrious Johnson vs. Damacio Page

PRELIMINARY CARD

  • Raphael Assuncao vs. L.C. Davis
  • Edward Faaloloto vs. Anthony Njokuani
  • Zack Micklewright vs. Dustin Poirier
  • Clint Godfrey vs. Michael McDonald
  • Yves Jabouin vs. Brandon Visher
  • Mackens Semerzier vs. Cub Swanson
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Urijah Faber “Can’t Wait for Superfights” Following UFC Merger

WEC Featherweight Champ Urijah Faber

The MMA world was flipped upside-down Thursday when UFC president Dana White announced they were going to absorb the WEC. While some thought Urijah Faber might be saddened to see the company he helped build be wiped away with a blink of a eye, the WEC poster boy claims he couldn’t be happier. In fact, he says bring on the super-fights.

“I’m stoked. No more explaining to people why I’m not in the UFC,” Faber stated. “We’re finally going to be under one banner, which means bigger opportunities, more exposure and less misunderstandings.”

Although he appreciates the chance to achieve his “dream” of capturing a UFC title, first thing’s first for “The California Kid.” Faber headlines the WEC’s second-to-last show on November 11th against Takeya Mizugaki inside The Pearl at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada.

After an unprecedented title run in the WEC’s featherweight division, Faber lost his belt to Mike Brown at WEC 36 and followed it up with a unanimous decision loss in their mulligan at WEC 41. What sealed the bantamweight deal for Faber must have been when Jose Aldo did THIS to his thigh at WEC 48 in April.

Faber submitted the WEC’s current bantamweight champ in a 145-pound scrap back in March 2007. With an impressive win over the gritty Japanese fighter, it’s possible he could find himself right back in a championship battle. If that doesn’t work, the new powerhouse promotion he now works for can offer up a plethora of intriguing inter-divisional superfights, as well.

See Video Here: Urijah Faber

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UFC and WEC set to merge in 2011. Events to air on Versus and Spike TV

The Ultimate Fighting Championship plans to merge with World Extreme Cagefighting in January 2011. UFC president Dana White confirmed the news earlier today with MMAFighting.com, and a formal announcement is scheduled this afternoon. The merger’s primary intent is to fold the WEC’s bantamweight, featherweight and lightweight divisions into the UFC. “The timing was right,” White said. “The reality is we purchased the WEC, (and) we started getting these lighter-weight guys exposure on television. … Now, as the UFC continues to grow globally, and we’re doing more and more fights, now we’re bringing in those lighter weightclasses.” WEC 52 and WEC 53, scheduled for Nov. 11 and Dec. 16, respectively, will be the final events under the existing promotion. In January, the lighter-weighted promotion will cede its talent to the UFC. White said the WEC’s featherweight champion, Jose Aldo, will become the UFC featherweight champion when he first fights inside the octagon in January. Current WEC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz defends his title against top contender Dominick Cruz at WEC 53. The WEC’s lightweight championship will also be on the line at WEC 53 as current champ Ben Henderson takes on Anthony Pettis. It’s currently unclear what will become of the WEC’s lightweight title, but UFC co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta hinted of a champion vs. champion superfight at the UFC Fan Expo London 2010. “We’d love to see kind of a ‘champion vs. champion’ type bout with Ben and Frankie Edgar or something like that,” Fertitta said. “Ben Henderson is a great fighter, and I think he could do really, really well against some of the top guys in the UFC at 155 (pounds).” Zuffa, LLC, the UFC’s parent company, purchased the WEC in 2006. The lighter-weighted promotion quickly found a new television partner, Versus channel, which aired all but a few of its events. WEC 48 also went to pay-per-view and was considered a rousing success. According to White, four UFC events in 2011 will air on Versus, the current home of the WEC. Additionally, the UFC’s longtime partnership with Spike TV will also remain in place.

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WEC NEWS: Featherweights Josh Grispi and Erik Koch to meet at WEC 52 in November

Two 21 year old featherweight prospects will clash at WEC 52 in November, as MMAJunkie.com reports that Josh Grispi and Erik Koch have agreed to face off on the card, coming to Las Vegas.

Grispi returned to action in June at WEC 49 after a year long layoff. He injured his ankle prior to his fight with Jens Pulver in 2009. He submitted Pulver in the first round in that fight, and then choked LC Davis unconscious in his return bout in Edmonton.

Koch got back on track on that same WEC 49 card in Edmonton this June after suffering his first career defeat at WEC 47 in March. He was out-wrestled by Chad Mendes at the March event, but defeated Bendy Casimir in Canada.

WEC 52 is expected to take place from The Pearl at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas. The event airs on Versus and will be headlined by the WEC bantamweight debut of Urijah Faber as he takes on Takeya Mizugaki.

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