Eddie Wineland (left): Dave Mandel | Sherdog.com
Former World Extreme Cagefighting bantamweight champion Eddie Wineland will likely meet newcomer Ken Stone on the undercard of WEC 53, going down Dec. 16 from the Jobing.com Arena in Glendale, Ariz.
The event will be the last to be held under the WEC banner before the lighter classes are folded into the UFC in 2011. The news was first reported by MMAfighting.com on Tuesday afternoon.
Wineland was the promotion’s first-ever bantamweight champion, defeating Antonio Banuelos at WEC 20 in 2006. Wineland landed a head kick and finished Banuelos with punches, knocking The Pit product out and earning him the inaugural championship belt. His glory would be short lived, however, as Wineland would lose the title in his first title defense against Chase Beebe at WEC 26.
After two years away from the promotion, Wineland returned at WEC 40, succumbing to a Rani Yahya rear-naked choke barely a minute into the first round. The New Breed fighter rebounded strongly, however, rattling off three straight victories over Manny Tapia, George Roop and Will Campuzano. Wineland was expected to face Damacio Page at WEC 52 in November, but he was forced out of the matchup with a shoulder injury.
Stone is an up-and-coming prospect who won his first eight fights before tasting defeat. The once-beaten American Top Team product holds each of his nine career victories by either knockout or submission and has never been finished. In fact, the lone blemish on his otherwise perfect record is a five-round split decision loss to Jason McClean last year. Stone is most recently coming off a snappy, first-round submission victory over Jason Bennett at an American Fighting Organization event in October.
WEC 53 will be headlined by a lightweight title clash between champion Benson Henderson and challenger Anthony Pettis. The fight will decide not only the promotion’s last lightweight titleholder but also the new No. 1 contender for the UFC 155-pound championship. Frankie Edgar will defend the latter belt at UFC 125 on New Year’s Day, as he takes on the only man to ever best him in Gray Maynard.