The WEC heads to Colorado for the first time this Thursday night and the Bang! has got your picks and analysis.
Leonard Garcia (14-5-1) vs. Mark Hominick (18-8)
Canadian kickboxer Mark Hominick has been on a bit of a tear since coming to the WEC, going 3-1. His last time in the cage, he recovered from getting knocked down early in the 2nd round to deliver a brutal TKO to Yves Jabouin, earning Fight of the Night honors in the process. He’s looking to take a step up the featherweight ladder when he takes on Leonard Garcia. Garcia became an overnight sensation after his fight with Chan Sung Hung on the Aldo/Faber card. The BJJ brown belt is a WEC veteran, going 4-2-1 in his tenure. He has also fought at lightweight in the UFC, and currently trains at Greg Jackson’s camp in New Mexico. This has the makings of a classic striker vs. grappler fight and as we saw back in April, Garcia has a ridiculous chin.
Chan Sung Hung (10-2) vs. George Roop (10-6-1)
The Korean Zombie earned a ton of fans and respect in his controversial split decision loss to Leonard Garcia in April. Many in the MMA community are looking to that fight as Fight of the Year in 2010. The hapkido practitioner ran off a 9-fight win streak to start his career and is now internationally notorious for his ability to take a ton of punishment and still fight aggressively. Roop was a cast member on The Ultimate Fighter Season 8, but was eliminated in the semifinals and went 1-2 in his tenure in the UFC as a lightweight. In their common opponent, his fight with Leonard Garcia in March ended in a split draw. The BJJ practitioner has spent time training at Xtreme Couture and has fought at bantamweight and lightweight as well as featherweight.
Miguel Torres (37-3) vs. Charlie Valencia(12-5)
The former WEC Bantamweight Champion will hope to get back on track after 2 straight losses. Torres was submitted via guillotine by Joseph Benvinedez back in March. The always intense Torres is equally strong on the ground (black belt in BJJ, 22 submission wins) as well as on his feet (9 KO). He’s currently ranked the #5 bantamweight in the world by Sherdog. Valencia is a WEC vet, going 5-3 in his tenure. The grapple likes his submissions, 5 of his 12 wins have come by tap out and most of those via choke. He currently riding a 3-win fight streak and will likely give Torres a pretty good challenge on the ground. He’s been a grinder of late and Torres will likely want to stay away from Valencia’s takedowns.
Jamie Varner (16-3-1-2) vs. Donald Cerrone (11-3, 1 NC)
These two do not like each other. Varner defended his WEC Lightweight title against Cerrone via technical decision back in January of 2009, with Cerrone calling for an immediate rematch. He sustained a broken hand in the fight and was seen by many as dodging the Cowboy for most of 2009. He lost the title to Ben Henderson back in January and then was a part of a strange draw in June. He’s hoping to regain his reputation and work back towards a rematch with Henderson by going through Cerrone. Since their first fight, Cerrone lost to Ben Henderson for the Interim Lightweight title in what Sherdog called the fight of 2009. The kickboxer and muay thai specialist trains with Greg Jackson and you can see the influence in his record, 10 of his 11 wins have come via submission. This is an intense dislike, with Cerrone pulling a Frank Mir during an interview recently and wishing death upon Varner. Cerrone will probably come out with every intention of knocking Varner out, but it may be better for him to work his ground game. Varner is a solid wrestler and can throw leather. This has got Fight of the Night written all over it.
Jose Aldo (17-1) (c) vs. Manvel Gamburian (11-4) for the WEC Featherweight Championship
Aldo is a Brazilian Ju Jitsu black belt, who doesn’t need to use his mat skills. He did to help him capture the featherweight belt, but his hands have done plenty of talking with 11 of his wins coming by KO. No one can forget his flying double knee KO of Cub Swanson at WEC 41 that got him his tile shot. This knockout artist has KO’d 6 of his 7 opponents in the WEC, taking Uriah Faber the distance back in April. Gamburian is a judo black belt and has had a long a pretty successful career at lightweight. He lost the Ultimate Fighter 5 final to Nate Diaz and was 2-3 overall in the UFC before dropping to 145 and coming to the WEC. He himself has a highlight reel KO of former featherweight champ Mike Brown on the Aldo/Faber card. He has a strong ground game and relies on it more than Aldo. Either way, we can expect the leather to fly when these two get in the cage. With each man being so adept on the ground and with each’s reputations, it’s pretty much expected that most of this fight will be spent on the feet.
Garcia vs. HominickGarciaGarciaGarcia
|Sung Jung vs. Roop||Sung Jung||Sung Jung||Sung Hung|
|Torres vs. Valencia||Torres||Torres||Torres|
|Cerrone vs. Varner||Varner||Cerrone||Varner|
|Aldo vs. Gamburyan||Aldo||Aldo||Aldo|