11 Fights Greenlit for WEC 53

By Brian Knapp Nov 22, 2010
Former bantamweight champion Eddie Wineland (Pictured) will lock horns with once-beaten promotional newcomer Ken Stone at WEC 53 “Henderson vs. Pettis” on Dec. 16 at the Jobing.com Arena in Glendale, Ariz. Eleven fights our now official for the event, which will air live on the Versus network.

Wineland will carry a three-fight winning streak into the match. The 26-year-old last appeared at WEC 49 in June, when he stopped Will Campuzano on a second-round punch to the body at the Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Wineland was slated to meet Damacio Page at WEC 52 on Nov. 11 but withdrew with a shoulder injury; Demetrious Johnson took his place and submitted Page via guillotine choke in the third round. Wins over “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 8 semi-finalist George Roop, one-time WEC bantamweight title contender Manny Tapia and The Pit’s Antonio Banuelos anchor Wineland’s resume. He has secured 13 of his 17 career victories by knockout, technical knockout or submission.

Based at American Top Team, Stone wrestled collegiately at Bridgewater State University in Massachusetts. The 28-year-old has not competed since he submitted Jason Bennett with a first-round guillotine choke under the American Fighting Organization banner in October. A potent finisher, Stone has delivered all nine of his wins by KO, TKO or submission, eight of them inside one round.

Meanwhile, undefeated Chinese import Tie Quan Zhang will meet Daniel Downes in a preliminary lightweight matchup.

Zhang has finished all 12 of his foes, the last 11 of them in the first round. The 32-year-old ethnic Mongolian submitted “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 12 alum Pablo Garza with a guillotine choke in his promotional debut at WEC 51 in September. Spawned by the China Top Team camp, Zhang was the first Chinese fighter to achieve the rank of purple belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

A protégé of former world kickboxing champion Duke Roufus, Downes last competed at WEC 49 in June, when he submitted to a rear-naked choke from 2007 International Fight League lightweight grand prix finalist Chris Horodecki. The 24-year-old Chicago native, a striker by trade, has posted five of his six wins by KO or TKO. Only one of Downes’ seven professional bouts has reached the judges.

Finally, Jungle Fight lightweight champion Yuri Alcantara will make his WEC debut against Ricardo Lamas in a preliminary matchup at 155 pounds.

Alcantara, who replaced the injured Maciej Jewtuszko at the event, will carry a 10-fight winning streak into the bout. He became the first-ever Jungle Fight lightweight titleholder in September, when he defeated highly regarded prospect Francisco Drinaldo and Manuelo Morales at the same show to win the promotion’s grand prix. More than half (11) of Alcantara’s 20 career victories have come via submission.

Training out of the Team Top Notch camp, Lamas has not set foot in the cage since WEC 50 in August, when he defeated Team Quest’s Dave Jansen by unanimous decision at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas. The once-beaten 28-year-old has rattled off three consecutive wins since his August 2009 defeat to Team Alpha Male’s Danny Castillo. Lamas, who earned All-American honors as a collegiate wrestler at Elmherst College, owns notable victories against IFL veteran Bart Palaszewski and former Shooto champion Bendy Casimir.

A pair of five-round title bouts will headline WEC 53, as lightweight champion Benson Henderson defends against Anthony Pettis and bantamweight titleholder Dominick Cruz squares off with Scott Jorgensen, the top contender at 135 pounds.

WEC 53 “Henderson vs. Pettis”
Thursday, Dec. 16
Jobing.com Arena
Glendale, Ariz.

WEC Lightweight Championship
Benson Henderson vs. Anthony Pettis

WEC Bantamweight Championship
Dominick Cruz vs. Scott Jorgensen

Donald Cerrone vs. Chris Horodecki
Bart Palaszewski vs. Kamal Shalorus
Tie Quan Zhang vs. Daniel Downes
Jamie Varner vs. Shane Roller
Brad Pickett vs. Ivan Menjivar
Eddie Wineland vs. Ken Stone
Danny Castillo vs. Will Kerr
Ricardo Lamas vs. Yuri Alcantara
Renan do Nascimento Mota Pegado vs. Chris Cariaso
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