by Tom Hamlin – MMAWeekly.com
Former WEC bantamweight champion Chase Beebe has announced his intention to sign a three-fight deal with Japanese promotion DREAM this week. The fighter confirmed his intentions to MMAWeekly.com on Tuesday evening.
Beebe was originally considering a trip overseas in late October after fulfilling the last fight of his WEC contract at WEC 34, but an offer to face Jeff Curran in December’s WEC 37 delayed his decision. When Curran injured his hand and was forced to bow out of the fight, Beebe lobbied for the DREAM contract.
Beebe will move up a weight class for his DREAM obligations, participating in the promotion’s upcoming featherweight tournament in March. He also expects to keep a bantamweight fight with Mike Easton at Ultimate Warrior Challenge on Feb. 21.
Beebe said he would be in the opposite bracket of the man he expected to face in the tournament finals, Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto, however, a Monday report from the Japanese sports website Sports Navi confirmed that Yamamoto would not be participating in the March event due to a persisting knee injury.
As it stands, Beebe’s opponent for the first round of the tournament will likely remain unknown until days before the event, given the last-minute matchmaking of the promotion.
“I’m really excited for the experience, man,” Beebe told MMAWeekly.com. “Getting to go out there and fight for a different culture. I went out there with my buddy Clay French, and it was pretty cool, seeing how it all goes down. Just dead silent… how much respect the fans have for the sport. I think it would be cool to be part of that.
“Obviously, I love fighting in my own country, and the WEC, it’s my home. I’m going to try to make a name for myself out there and come back to WEC, see if I can’t get my belt back.”