The UFC’s baby brother, if you will, World Extreme Cagefighting makes its debut north of the border as they travel to Edmonton for WEC 49. As usual, the WEC has put together a dynamic fight card for fans. There is a contingent of Canadians on the card including a co-main event between Ontario’s Mark Hominick and Quebec’s Yves Jabouin that will determine the top featherweight in Canada. Also on the card, Ontario’s Chris Horodecki takes on WEC newcomer Danny Downes. Plus, Wagnney Fabiano, who trains out of Xtreme Couture Toronto, fights on the preliminary card. The event is headlined by a lightweight contender bout between Kamal Shalorus and former champ Jamie Varner.
WEC 49 is available to watch live across Canada on The Score starting at 9 p.m.
Here is a breakdown of WEC 49:
Kamal Shalorus vs. Jamie Varner
Kamal Shalorus is perhaps the best lightweight in the world that nobody has heard of. Despite eing 37 years old, he is relatively new to MMA, however his competitive resume is vast. The term “world-class” is overused in the sport, but Shalorus is truly a world-class wrestler, even representing Great Britain at the 2004 Summer Olympics. Despite his wrestling pedigree, the Iranian-born ball of muscle likes to throw bombs. This could, however, play into the hands of Jamie Varner, the former WEC Lightweight Champion. Varner is the more versatile fighter and his striking is more evolved. Still, if Shalorus can use his wrestling enough to put Varner on edge and off balance, then he could pull off the upset and earn a title shot.
Shalorus in an upset.
Mark Hominick vs. Yves Jabouin
Don’t blink! These are the two best featherweights in the country and two of the quickest fighters around. This is essentially for the unofficial title of “Canadian Featherweight Champion.” Both men are swift, precise kickboxers that are looking forward to finally getting the opportunity to compete against each another. In fact, this fight has been in the works for nearly eight years. Hominick and Jabouin have been scheduled to fight one another several times, but due to injuries and circumstance, it never came to fruition. The fight is expected to be a dynamic standup showcase, but if the fight goes to the ground it becomes even more interesting. Hominick has shown tremendous improvement, submitting his last two opponents, while Jabouin trains with Georges St. Pierre at the TriStar gym. Jabouin has more T/KO wins, so you could give him a slight edge in power. Hominick, though, has more well-rounded skills and is more technical. This should be a fantastic fight.
L.C. Davis vs. Josh Grispi
A convincing win from either fighter and they could leapfrog Manny Gamburyan to earn a shot at Jose Aldo’s featherweight belt. The biggest obstacle Grispi (13-1) will need to overcome in this fight, besides L.C. Davis’ wrestling, is ring rust. It has been one year since he last fought. But, since he is only 21 years old, inactivity shouldn’t be as big a factor. L.C. Davis (16-2) tries to wear down his opponent by clinching and gaining top control, not always a crowd pleaser, but it gets the job done. If he can control Grispi, there’s a good chance he’ll come away with a decision victory.
Grispi by Submission.
Chris Horodecki vs. Danny Downes
London, Ontario’s Chris “The Polish Hammer” Horodecki was scheduled to fight Ed Ratcliff, however an injury forced Ratcliff off the card. Instead, Horodecki (13-2) will face WEC newcomer Danny Downes, a fellow striker who is undefeated. Being a member of Team Tompkins and teammate of Mark Hominick and UFC lightweight Sam Stout means that Horodecki is a crisp, quick kickboxer that likes to stand and bang. If he comes out reckless against Downes it could spell trouble because five of Downes’ six victories have been by early TKO. Horodecki should be able to methodically and efficiently pick Downes apart with his technical striking. Having the hometown on his side should help as well.
Will Campuzano vs. Eddie Wineland
Wineland is a well-rounded, seasoned veteran who won’t be intimidated by the hungry up-and-comer Will Campuzano. In his last fight, Campuzano looked dynamic in a “Fight of the Night” performance at WEC 46 against “Ox” Wheeler. The winner of this fight moves up the 135lb ladder.
- PRELIMINARY CARD
Karen Darabedyan vs. Will Kerr
Before being submitted by Bart Palaszewski at WEC 47, Karen Darabedyan was showcasing some brutal ground-and-pound. He is aggressive, powerful and full of potential. Will Kerr is a quality opponent, but looked very stiff in his WEC debut when he was KO’d in the first round by Kamal Shalorus. He will need to bring a more evolved standup game to compete with Darabedyan. Look for the Armenyan to get back on track.
Wagnney Fabiano vs. Frank Gomez
Wagnney Fabiano, although Brazilian, will be representing Canada and the GTA as he trains out of Xtreme Couture Toronto along with Hominick and Horodecki. Frank Gomez is a tough opponent, but may not be able to handle Fabiano’s ground game, not many can. Apart from a slip up against Mackens Semerzier, Fabiano has looked nearly unbeatable.
Fabiano by Submission.
Bendy Casimir vs. Erik Koch
Bendy Casimir has nearly three times the experience as his opponent Erik Koch, yet it is Koch that is favoured to win. Koch is coming off his first career loss to undefeated Chad Mendes and looks to rebound.
Rafael Assuncao vs. Diego Nunes
If you didn’t think WEC 49 was good enough already, there is a top-ten ranked featherweight fighting on the undercard. Rafael Assuncao’s only loss in the last three years was his exciting battle with Urijah Faber. His opponent, Nunes, is coming off his first career loss. This should be a close, technical jiu-jitsu match with some occasional strikes mixed in.
Chris Cariaso vs. Rafael Rebello
Cariaso is 9-1 but hasn’t fought top competition yet. Rafael Rebello is 5-1 since 2007 and has fought in the WEC twice before. The step up in competition coupled with possible first time jitters may make it a tough night for Cariaso.
Renan Barao vs. Anthony Leone
Since losing his professional debut in 2005, Barao is 20-0 with one no-contest. He takes on his first non-Brazilian opponent in Leone, who is also making his WEC debut. His impressive record coupled with the fact he is a training partner of WEC Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo should lead to another win for Barao.
** I will be at Rexall Place in Edmonton covering WEC 49 live, so stay tuned to cakechow.com and CanadianProFighter.com for full WEC 49 coverage. **