Zuffa Fills WEC 44 Vacancies

By Brian Knapp Oct 7, 2009
Affliction and Sengoku veteran L.C. Davis will square off with unbeaten featherweight prospect Diego Nunes in a key 145-pound scrap at WEC 44 “Brown vs. Aldo” on Nov. 18 at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas. Half a dozen of the show’s fights have now been announced by World Extreme Cagefighting officials.

Davis has delivered five wins in his last six bouts, including a split decision victory against Javier Vazquez in his WEC debut two months ago. A former collegiate wrestler, the 28-year-old holds notable victories against Strikeforce veteran Conor Heun, Bao Quach and American Top Team’s Rafael Dias. Davis has secured 11 of his 14 career wins by knockout, technical knockout or submission.

Nunes, meanwhile, has finished seven of his last nine opponents inside one round. The 26-year-old Brazilian last appeared at WEC 42 in August, when he defeated Dias by unanimous decision. Feared for his considerable stand-up skills, the well-rounded Nunes has delivered nearly half (six) of his 13 wins by submission.

In another pivotal featherweight tilt, Cub Swanson will lock horns with International Fight League veteran John Franchi.

Still only 26, Swanson finds himself on the rebound after a brutal eight-second TKO loss to Jose Aldo at WEC 41 in June. Victories over UFC veteran Shannon Gugerty, former King of the Cage champion Charlie Valencia and Dream featherweight grand prix finalist Hiroyuki Takaya anchor his resume. Swanson has never lost back-to-back fights.

Far less experienced than Swanson, Franchi has not competed since his decision loss to “The Ultimate Fighter 5” runner-up Manny Gamburyan four months ago. Based out of the same Bomb Squad MMA camp that spawned unbeaten UFC light heavyweight contender Jon Jones, Franchi opened his professional career with four consecutive finishes, three of them inside the first round. He made his WEC debut in March, edging Mike Budnik by split decision.

A featherweight title match pairing defending champion Mike Thomas Brown with Aldo will headline WEC 44, along with a 145-pound showdown between former championship contender Leonard Garcia and Gamburyan.

WEC 44: Brown vs. Aldo
Wednesday, Nov. 18
Palms Casino Resort
Las Vegas

WEC Featherweight Championship
Mike Thomas Brown vs. Jose Aldo

Leonard Garcia vs. Manny Gamburyan
“Razor” Rob McCullough vs. Anthony Pettis
Diego Nunes vs. L.C. Davis
Cub Swanson vs. John Franchi
Danny Castillo vs. Alex Karalexis
Seth Dikun vs. Frank Gomez
Ricardo Lamas vs. James Krause
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