Renan “Barao” do Nascimento Mota Pegado (right): Gleidson Venga
Brazilian prospect Renan “Barao” do Nascimento Mota Pegado will square off with the once-beaten Chris Cariaso in a preliminary bantamweight matchup at WEC 53 “Henderson vs. Pettis” on Dec. 16 at the Jobing.com Arena in Glendale, Ariz. Zuffa LLC officials on Monday finalized an 11-fight lineup for the event, which will air live on the Versus network.
Spawned by the Novia Uniao camp, Barao made his promotional debut at WEC 49 in June, as he submitted Anthony Leone with a third-round armbar at the Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The 23-year-old Brazilian jiu-jitsu brown belt has secured nearly half (11) of his 23 career victories by submission. Barao has rattled off 13 consecutive wins since his December 2007 encounter with Claudemir Souza ended in a no contest.
Cariaso will carry a four-fight winning streak into the match. The 29-year-old San Francisco-based muay Thai practitioner last appeared five months ago, when he defeated Rafael Rebello by unanimous decision at WEC 49. Training out of the Fight and Fitness gym, Cariaso has posted six of his 10 wins by decision. He suffered his only career defeat under the EliteXC banner in March 2008, succumbing to first-round punches from Mark Oshiro.
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. The event will also play host to another pivotal battle in the 155-pound division, as Donald Cerrone takes on 2007 International Fight League lightweight grand prix finalist Chris Horodecki.
WEC 53 “Henderson vs. Pettis”
Thursday, Dec. 16
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