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WEC 40 Lineup Finalized
WEC 40 Lineup Finalized
Wagnney Fabiano, perhaps a win or two away from a crack at World Extreme Cagefighting featherweight champion Mike Thomas Brown, will lock horns with Brazilian jiu-jitsu ace Fredson Paixao at WEC 40 “Torres vs. Mizugaki” on April 5 at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago.
WEC officials this week announced an 11-fight card for the promotion’s debut in the Windy City.
Rooted at the revered Nova Uniao camp, Fabiano (11-1) has finished seven consecutive opponents -- including Akitoshi Tamura and L.C. Davis -- since his controversial split decision loss to Jeff Curran in October 2006. The 33-year-old Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt and former International Fight League champion has stopped seven of the 11 men he has defeated inside one round.
Paixao (8-2), one of the sport’s most decorated submission grapplers, has not appeared on the mixed martial arts scene in almost two years. Even so, he figures to provide a stern test for Fabiano. The 29-year-old Brazilian has never been finished and owns victories against Deep titleholder Masakazu Imanari, three-time Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion Rani Yahya and King of the Cage mainstay Thomas Denny.
Another bout of interest will pair top featherweight prospect Rafael Assuncao with Pancrase and Adrenaline MMA veteran Jameel Massouh in his promotional debut.
Assuncao (12-1), the brother of UFC veteran Junior Assuncao, will carry a four-fight winning streak into the match. Now affiliated with American Top Team, the 27-year-old was the last man to submit UFC lightweight Joe Lauzon and also counts victories against Jorge Masvidal and Joe Pearson among his 12 career wins. Assuncao last appeared in November, when he knocked out Pearson in 12 seconds at an Ironheart Crown show.
The 24-year-old, Massouh (21-4), meanwhile, has won five in a row and seven of his last eight. A proven finisher, he has developed under the tutelage of UFC veteran Dave Strasser.
A bantamweight championship match between Miguel Torres and Takeya Mizugaki will headline WEC 40, which will air live on Versus at 9 p.m. ET on April 5.
Torres (35-1), one of the sport’s top pound-for-pound competitors, will carry a 16-fight winning streak into his third title defense. He was originally slated to face the unbeaten Brian Bowles, who was forced to withdraw from the show with a back injury.
WEC 40: Torres vs. Mizugaki
Sunday, April 5
WEC Bantamweight Championship
Miguel Torres vs. Takeya Mizugaki
Jeff Curran vs. Joseph Benavidez
Benson Henderson vs. Shane Roller
Rafael Assuncao vs. Jameel Massouh
Anthony Njokuani vs. Anthony Pettis
Dominick Cruz vs. Ivan Lopez
Cub Swanson vs. Diego Nunes
Wagnney Fabiano vs. Fredson Paixao
Eddie Wineland vs. Rani Yahya
Manny Tapia vs. Akitoshi Tamura
Rafael Dias vs. Cole Province