WEC 39 Lineup Finalized

By Sherdog.com Staff Feb 18, 2009
World Extreme Cagefighting has finalized its March 1 card at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas, the promotion’s debut visit to the Lonestar State.

Brazilian jiu-jitsu ace Jose Aldo (13-1) will look to build on his dynamic first-round TKO victory over Rolando Perez at WEC 38 last January, as he takes on Chris Mickle (26-11-1) in a featured featherweight match. Over half of Mickle’s victories have come by way of submission.

Former WEC lightweight champion Rob McCullough (16-5) meets Marcus Hicks (8-1) in another featured affair. Accomplished kickboxer McCullough traded five knockdowns with Donald Cerrone during their three-round slugfest at WEC 36 in November. Hicks scored three straight submission victories in the promotion –- all by guillotine choke –- before he was stopped by lightweight champion Jamie Varner’s fists at WEC 35 last August.

Lightweight Danny Castillo (6-1) will also face Phil Cardella (7-2). Both are coming off victories against American Top Team’s Rafael Dias –- Cardella earned a unanimous decision in May 2007 and Castillo took a second-round TKO at WEC 36 last November.

Attempting to bounce back from an August loss to Brian Bowles, Greg Jackson-trained Damacio Page (10-4) meets Marcos Galvao (6-2-1) in a bantamweight tilt.

Alex Serdyukov (12-4) and undefeated Johny Hendricks (4-0) will clash in another welterweight bout. The well-rounded Serdyukov is undefeated in his last two WEC appearances. Hendricks, a four-time Div. 1 All-American wrestler, took out Justin Haskins in his promotional debut during the second round at WEC 37 last December.

Striker Kenji Osawa (14-8-2) squares off against Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt and American Top Team fighter Rafael Rebello (5-2), who makes his WEC debut. Osawa and Rebello will meet at 135 pounds.

Also on the card, Mike Budnik (7-1) welcomes promotional newcomer Mike Franchi (4-0) to the lightweight fold, while Rutgers University alum Justin Haskins (4-2) will match wrestling credentials against Mike Pierce (6-2) in a welterweight contest.

In the co-main event, lithe 155-pounder Rich Crunkilton (17-1) takes on seasoned striker Bart Palaszewski (30-11). Crunkilton suffered his second career loss to former champ McCullough at WEC 30 in September 2007, but returned to form with a victory over Sergio Gomez last March. Former IFL standout Palaszewski toppled Karalexis with a second-round TKO in December.

Leading the charge, Texan Leonard Garcia (12-3) challenges featherweight champion Mike Thomas Brown (20-4) in the main event. This will be Brown’s first title defense since wresting the strap from Urijah Faber at WEC 36 last November. Garcia scored big with a first-round knockout of Jens Pulver at WEC 36 last November.

WEC 39 “Brown vs. Garcia”

Featherweight Championship
Mike Thomas Brown (No. 1 FW, No. 10 PFP) vs. Leonard Garcia (No. 3 FW)

Rich Crunkilton vs. Bart Palaszewski
Rob McCullough vs. Marcus Hicks
Jose Aldo (No. 8 FW) vs. Chris Mickle
Johny Hendricks vs. Alex Serdyukov
Marcos Galvao (No. 5 BW) vs. Damacio Page
Mike Budnik vs. John Franchi
Justin Haskins vs. Douglas Lima
Alex Karalexis vs. Greg McIntyre
Danny Castillo vs. Phil Cardella
Kenji Osawa vs. Rafael Rebello
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