It doesn’t get any easier for Eddie Wineland. Coming off losses to Urijah Faber and Joseph Benavidez, the former WEC bantamweight champion is scheduled to fight the speedy Demetrious Johnson here in Chicago on January 28th for UFC on Fox 2.
The native of nearby Chesterton, Indiana is happy to fight so close to home. “I love to fight on this card because I’m such a home body and long trips just aren’t my thing,” Wineland told Chicago’s MMA.
While he’s thrilled to be staying close to home, it’s never been Wineland’s dream to fight in front of family and friends, many of whom won’t have to journey far to come see him at the United Center. “The only dream I have set my sights on is that shiny belt buckle,” Wineland said.
The road to obtaining that belt hits a crucial speed bump in the elusive Johnson. This fight will determine if Wineland is still a title contender. A loss to Johnson would be his third in a row, and surely would send him to the back of the bantamweight line.
Wineland’s pro career has been something of a roller coaster ride. He became the WEC’s first-ever bantamweight champ by beating Antonio Banuelos at WEC 20, just a month before his 22nd birthday. He lost the belt to Chase Beebe less than a year later.
He wasted little time in getting another strap. He went out and won the TFC bantamweight title, then returned to the WEC. He fought Rani Yahya here in Chicago at WEC 40, where he was submitted in the first round.
He shrugged off that loss and rattled off four straight WEC victories, which included back to back ‘Knockout of the Night’ honors. Wineland’s power slam KO of Ken Stone in the last-ever WEC event turned heads, went viral across the web and got fans jacked to see him again.
A win over Faber seemingly would have garnered Wineland another title shot, but Wineland couldn’t land the shots he wanted. Now he gets “Mighty Mouse”, who just went five rounds with the champion Dominick Cruz. And he’ll do it here in Chicago on national TV. The perfect place for Wineland to start his climb again.
Looking at the famous 4s in MMA history…
UFC 4: Revenge of the Warriors
|UFC 4 was an 8-man tourney back in 1994. No weight classes or weight limits. No time limits, rounds or judges. Royce Gracie beat Dan Severn with a triangle choke to win the tourney. Gracie had to get by local fighter Keith Hackney (Hackney’s Combat Academy) in the semis to get to Severn.|
WEC 4: Rumble Under the Sun
|WEC 4 took place in Connecticut in 2002. Jeremy Horn won the main event by subbing Aaron Brink in the 1st round. Kurt Pellegrino (pictured) beat Mac Danzig for the WEC Lightweight Title. Mike Swick won in just his 3rd professional fight, as did local fighter Jeff Curran, who beat Bao Quach by decision.|
Pride FC 4
|Pride FC 4 was held back in 1998 at the Tokyo Dome in Japan. “The Smashing Machine” Mark Kerr remained undefeated with his 10th straight win, a TKO of Hugo Duarte. Marco Ruas’ corner threw in the towel in his bout, giving Alexander Otsuka his first professional win. Igor Vovchanchyn KO’d Gary Goodridge, and Rickson Gracie beat Nobuhiko Takada by an armbar near the end of the first round.|
King of the Cage 4: Gladiators
|King of the Cage 4: Gladiators was held in June of 2000. Co-creator of KOTC Tedd Williams won via keylock in round 1. Marvin Eastman defeated Quinton “Rampage” Jackson by unanimous decision. Duane “Bang” Ludwig beat up Shad Smith, whose corner called it quits for him in round 1. And the late Jeremy Williams needed less than one minute to win by armbar.|
Strikeforce: Triple Threat
|Triple Threat was the fourth MMA event held by Strikeforce. Gina Carano beat Elaina Maxwell for her 3rd straight win as a pro. Ruben Villareal’s corner stopped his fight against Paul Buentello in round 2. Cung Le beat Jason Von Flue by TKO after a huge knee opened up a gash over Von Flue’s left eye. Bobby Southworth won the Strikeforce LHW belt by beating Vernon White via unanimous decision.|
Two of the best MMA fighters to ever come out of the Chicagoland area did battle for the WEC Bantamweight title back in February of 2008. Here is the fight between Miguel Torres and Carson Beebe at WEC 32.
The Chicago area will be well represented at WEC 53 in Arizona on Thursday night — the last ever WEC event before the full absorption of the WEC into the UFC. Here’s a preview of the three local fighters that will do battle.
Team Curran’s Bart Palaszewski vs. Kamal Shalorus
Bartimus has been dominating recently and enters the bout with Shalorus on a 4-fight win streak. He’s coming off an impressive performance when he was on the televised card at WEC 50 against Zach Micklewright. In the 2nd round, Bart rocked Micklewright with a barrage of punches, landed a vicious body kick and then finished him with a right hook. Before that he submitted Karen Darebedyan at WEC 47, beat title contender Anthony Pettis by split decision at WEC 45 and TKO’d Tyler Combs at XFO 32
Although the lightweight division is packed with the merger, a win against Shalorus surely gets Bart a solid opponent in his first official UFC fight. He already told us he would like to fight Kenny Florian, but maybe he’d like to avenge a loss he suffered at the hands of another local fighter all the way back at XFO 6: Clay Guida. Wouldn’t that be something?
Duneland Vale Tudo/New Breed Jiu Jitsu’s Eddie Wineland vs. Ken Stone
Duneland Vale Tudo and New Breed Jiu Jitsu’s Eddie Wineland will be a part of two pieces of WEC history after Thursday night. He was the WEC’s first Bantamweight Champion and he will have fought on the last ever WEC card. He’ll get WEC first-timer Ken Stone in the prelims. Wineland injured his shoulder and has to pull out of his fight with Damacio Page, but he told NWI.com’s Matt Erickson that he’s doing great.
“The shoulder is feeling really good, really strong,” Wineland said. “I was really only set back about a week and a half, but three weeks out from a fight could have been devastating — especially against a guy of Damacio Page’s stature.”
Wineland has won 3 straight and 5 of his last 6. He’s also extremely eager to get back into contention for the Bantamweight title.
Roufusport’s Dan “Danny Boy” Downes vs. Tiequan Zhang
Duke Roufus-trained Dan “Danny Boy” Downes was born and raised in the Mount Greenwood neighborhood and is an honors grad of St. Ignatius High School and Marquette University. He fights out of Milwaukee and the Duke Roufus camp. In his debut at WEC 49, you might say that Downes was thrown to the wolves. He was fighting Chris Horodecki in his hometown and he took the fight on short notice. He gets a different kind of wolf this time.
Downes will be battling China’s Tiequan “The Mongolian Wolf” Zhang at WEC 53, with the fight televised all across China. Zhang is unbeaten in 17 fights, including a first-round submission win over current UFC fighter Pablo Garza in his WEC debut back in September. The China Top Team fighter is the first from mainland China to fight in the WEC. A win over Zhang will be huge for Downes. This time he has had a full camp and his father told Chicago’s MMA that Danny says he is in the best shape of his career.
Watch WEC 53 live on Versus at 8pm central.
MMA broadcaster/cage announcer Ray Flores caught up with new UFC Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo to discuss the UFC/WEC merger and his upcoming fight against Josh Grispi at UFC 125. Unfortunately for fight fans, Aldo has had to withdraw from that bout due to compacted vertebrae, which was causing some tingling in his arms, according to Heavy.com.
Former TFC and WEC Bantamweight champion Eddie Wineland has been scheduled to face Ken Stone (9-1) at WEC 53 on Dec. 16 in Glenndale, Arizona. I say scheduled because Wineland’s last 3 scheduled bouts were all changed.
Wineland was supposed to face Damacio Page at WEC 52 in November, but a shoulder injury forced him to withdraw from that bout. Prior to that he was supposed to fight Charlie Valencia at WEC 49, but Valencia backed out because of injury. Wineland instead fought replacement Will Campuzano and KO’d him, winning “Knockout of the Night” honors. In January of this year, Wineland was scheduled to face Rafael Rebello, but then Rebello got hurt. He ended up facing George Roop and beating him by decision.
Wineland has won 3 straight since his loss to Rani Yahya here in Chicago at WEC 40. Now he fights Stone, who will be making his WEC debut.
There are plenty of local fighters currently fighting for the WEC that will get to do battle in the Octagon and the UFC come 2011. One of them is Team Curran’s Bart Palaszewski.
Chicago’s MMA asked Bartimus about the big news and if there is anyone in particular he would like to fight in the UFC.
“That’s a good one. I think a fight with Florian would be fun. Also…who’s another good stand up guy? Anyone who’s willing to sit and trade with me, haha. Any one like that or any of top 5 guys. I was gunning for the WEC belt now I’m gunning for the UFC gold!!! I just want exciting fights– that’s all — none of the lay and pray BS.”
That shouldn’t be a problem, since Bart always seems to make his fights exciting. He’s currently rolling with a 4-fight win streak and will battle Kamal Shalorus at WEC 53.
He’s coming off an impressive performance when he was on the televised card at WEC 50 against Zach Micklewright. In the 2nd round, Bart rocked him with a flurry of punches up against the cage, landed a vicious body kick and then finished him with a right hook at :31.
The picture to the left is one Bart posted to Facebook recently, two weeks before he started his training camp. He already looks like he’s in shape and ready to rock against Shalorus. Shalorus is definitely game and has an amazing wrestling base. But Bart has more speed and much better striking. It should make for a very exciting match.
Palaszewski is also a BJJ black belt under Jeff Curran, and showed off his skills with a 1st round armbar sub against Karen Darebedyan at WEC 47.
The long-rumored merger of the WEC and UFC is finally happening. Dana White confirmed the news to Ariel Helwani and Vs.
“The timing was right,” White said. “The reality is, we purchased the WEC, we started getting these lighter weight guys exposure on television, sending them around the country and arenas. Now, as the UFC continues to grow globally and we’re doing more and more fights, now it makes sense to bring in those lighter weight classes.
“We’re going to add more fights every year and add more countries, more television networks in different countries. So now it makes sense.”
Also interesting from the article was a the mention of Jose Aldo.
“The UFC president also confirmed that the organization offered Aldo a 155-pound fight against Kenny Florian, but for unknown reasons, Aldo turned it down.
“It depends on what he wants,” White said on whether Aldo’s future will be at lightweight or featherweight. “You know, if he wants a few more fights there and then maybe try to move up to 155 — it’s all up to him.”
Danny, 24, was born and raised in Mount Greenwood neighborhood and is an honors grad of St. Ignatius High School and Marquette University. He fights out of Milwaukee and the Duke Roufus camp.
Downes made his WEC debut at WEC 49, when he stepped in for Ed Ratcliff to face former IFL champion Chris Horodecki — in Horodecki’s hometown. He took the fight on just a few days notice. It was a baptism by fire. Downes was eventually submitted by Horodecki, but he won a lot of fans that night with an enormous display of heart and toughness.
“Danny is super-tough. He’s a tough, tough Irish kid.” Horodecki said. “Thank you for stepping up to the plate … Hat’s off to him.”
Now Downes will get to face China’s Tie Quan Zhang. Zhang fought at WEC 51 and defeated Pablo Garza by a guillotine choke in the first round. It was his first fight in America. In China, Zhang was 12-0 with all the wins coming by way of KO or submission. It will be another tough test for Downes, who holds a 6-1 pro record with 5 wins coming by way of TKO and 1 unanimous decision win.
Also on the card is Team Curran’s Bart Palaszewski, who will battle Kamal Shalorus. Bartimus is currently riding a 4-fight win streak.
Miguel Torres is back with more viral video hilarity. Here Miguel takes “The Cinnamon Challenge”. Then he beats on some dude.