by Ken Pishna – MMAWeekly.com
World Extreme Cagefighting suffered a bit of a setback when it had to push its September event back a month, although the delay allowed WEC to land in another new market in San Antonio, Texas. The promotion is turning right around a month later, putting on an explosive featherweight title bout between champion Mike Brown and Jose Aldo at The Palms, a new venue for the UFC’s sister promotion, in Las Vegas on Nov. 18.
MMAWeekly.com has learned from sources close to the promotion that WEC will keep the momentum going with a Christmas present for Las Vegas mixed martial arts crowd, a return to The Palms on Dec. 19 for WEC 45.
The only participant confirmed at this time is Bart Palaszewski, who will make his fourth start for the promotion. A near 10-year veteran of MMA, the Polish fighter has struggled to establish himself in the WEC’s growing lightweight division. He has gone 1-2 in fights for the promotion. Palaszewski has been training hard with coach Jeff Curran, knowing he needs a win to keep his spot on the roster.
The WEC has quickly become thee home for lighter weight fighters in MMA, steadily bulking up its roster with new signees. The promotion is currently negotiating with several more top fighters, some of which could debut as soon as December.
It’s unclear, though, who will headline WEC 45. Healing some bumps and bruises from the San Antonio event, current No. 1 lightweight contender and interim champion Ben Henderson isn’t going to be ready to challenge current titleholder Jamie Varner yet, Brown is defending in November, the ever-popular Urijah Faber isn’t anticipating a return from injury until January, and former bantamweight champion Miguel Torres has business commitments that are likely to keep him from a December bout.
The most likely candidate to main event WEC 45 appears to be a title defense for current 135-pound champion Brian Bowles (8-0). He took the title from Torres in August at WEC 42. Dominick Cruz (14-1) defeated top contender Joseph Benavidez on that same card, placing him as one of the top contenders to the new champ. Don’t be surprised if that fight materializes on the December card.