Published Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2008 | 6 p.m.
Updated Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2008 | 6:52 p.m.
World Extreme Cagefighting announced three more fights for its Dec. 3 card from The Hard Rock casino, which features a main event of bantamweight champ Miguel Torres facing top contender Manny Tapia.
Former International Fight League champ Wagnney Fabiano, who ended five of his six career victories in the first round, and veteran Shooto fighter, Akitoshi Tamura, the owner of a 12-6-2 MMA record, square off in a featherweight showdown.
“I think the toughest fights in my career will without a doubt be in the WEC,” said the 33-year-old Fabiano, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt holder who now lives in Canada. “I will have to make adjustments to fighting in the cage. I don’t know how hard it will be.”
The other two bouts, Brian Bowles vs. Will Ribeiro and Joseph Benavidez against Danny Martinez, represent the WEC’s shifting scene from the light heavyweight and middleweight divisions to the smaller classes — a move that will take place after the Las Vegas event.
Starting in 2009 the WEC’s core classes will include the welterweight (170 pounds) division, lightweight (155), featherweight (145) and bantamweight (135), while its Zuffa-based sister organization, the Ultimate Fighting Championship, will likely pick up the WEC’s top fighters from the light heavyweight and middleweight ranks.
Bowles, a Charleston, W.V. native, is undefeated in his MMA career and 3-0 since his first WEC fight in June of 2007, while earning a first-round submission against Damacio Page in his last effort.
While no one has been able to get to the third round against Bowles, the 28-year-old Ribeiro — a Brazilian fighter with a 9-1 record — appears ready for the challenge after earning a split decision over veteran fighter Chase Beebe in his WEC debut over the summer.
The final added bout includes the debuts of two bantamweights. The 24-year-old, Benavidez, a San Antonio-based fighter with a 8-0 career mark, takes on Tempe, Arizona’s Danny Martinz, a 23-year-old fighter with a 12-2 record and three-fight win streak.