Former World Extreme Cagefighting featherweight champion Urijah Faber earned more than a shot at reigning 145-pound king Jose Aldo in his latest appearance.
Faber pocketed a $10,000 “Submission of the Night” bonus after he drew a tapout from Raphael Assuncao in the WEC 46 “Varner vs. Henderson” co-headliner on Sunday at the Arco Arena in Sacramento, Calif. The 30-year-old Californian, long viewed as the WEC’s cash cow, submitted Assuncao with a rear-naked choke in the third round.
Faber’s first appearance in seven months helped anchor an event that drew 10,027 fans for a $550,000 gate to California’s capital city. The 27-year-old Assuncao, an Atlanta-based Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, had never before been finished and entered the matchup on a six-fight winning streak.
Meanwhile, Will Campuzano and Coty Wheeler banked matching $10,000 “Fight of the Night” bonuses after their preliminary encounter went the distance.
The 23-year-old Campuzano rebounded nicely from his submission loss to bantamweight contender Damacio Page in October, as he streaked Wheeler’s face with blood and battered him with strikes en route to a unanimous decision. Scores were 30-26, 30-27 and 30-27. Campuzano threatened to finish his foe late in the third round with a barrage of knees and kicks but settled for a nod from the judges.
Their promotion’s 2010 debut absent a knockout or technical knockout (all four finishes were submissions), WEC officials did not award a “Knockout of the Night” bonus.