by Jeff Cain – MMAWeekly.com
Chase Beebe walked away from his WEC debut with the bantamweight belt after he defeated Eddie Wineland at WEC 26 in March. Beebe’s set to defend his title for the first time against Rani Yahya tonight at WEC 30 at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Beebe had fought his entire career as a featherweight (145lbs) before dropping down to the bantamweight division (135lbs) to fight Wineland. “I fought all my fights at 145. My last one was my first time getting down to 135. I’ve been there. I’ve been 145, and I’m kind of a bigger 135-pounder which I like. It’s kind of a rough cut, but I’ve been wrestling my whole life, so it comes kind of natural for me. I’ve got the discipline already, just got to grind down for a couple of weeks, get my weight down and be smart,” the WEC bantamweight champ told MMAWeekly.

Asked if cutting the weight has been difficult, Beebe said, “I’ve got it down. I think I did it pretty good the first time too, but it’s a challenge. It definitely takes a lot of discipline, a lot of concentrating on my diet and my workouts. It comes a lot easier the next time around when you do it. I’ve just got to stop letting myself get so big when I’m not fighting.”

It’s been five months since Beebe last competed. When asked why it’s been so long, he answered, “Actually I broke my hand in probably the first round against Wineland, so I had to sit out for a while. They actually wanted me to fight on the next card, but I wasn’t able to, obviously, because I had a broken knuckle. I had to take some time off, and it resulted in having to wait awhile. I was supposed to fight on the August 5th card, and that got pushed back. I can’t wait. I’m so excited to be in there again.”

His opponent, Rani Yahya, has world class Jiu-Jitsu skills with ten of his eleven wins by way of submission. Chase comes from a wrestling background with nine of his ten wins being submission victories.

Questioned if he had any reservation about going to the ground with Yahya, Beebe replied, “I feel real confident. I’m not too worried about it at all. I mean I anticipate it going to the ground, but I actually want to keep it on my feet. I want to showcase my feet, which is what I plan on doing. And I don’t really see him being able to take me down with my wrestling background. I don’t know. If it goes to the ground, I love it. I’ve just got to watch out for those submissions.”

He continued, “I know he’s going to be slick. He’s going to throw some crazy stuff at me, but I’m pretty confident in my well-roundedness. I mean, I think he thinks I’m just a good wrestler going out there, but I’ve been around the game long enough, and trained hard enough where I’m pretty confident. I’m confident being off my back, on top, anywhere. You know? I’ve just got to keep my arms and legs, my limbs in check, and not let him get a hold of anything and I think I’ll be alright.”

Reflecting on Yahya’s performance in his win over Mark Hominick, Beebe commented, “I wasn’t really that impressed, and I can tell you this, if he comes out doing that to me I’m going to knock him out, personally, if he starts diving in at me because my stand up has kind of been my weakness. I know that…I’ve come a long way, and I think for the first time in my career a knockout potential [in this fight] … If he starts trying to do that I’m going to hit him with some good uppercuts and hopefully get the knockout because I’d love to get a TKO win on my record.”

Heading into tonight’s match up with Rani Yahya, Beebe said, “I definitely want to make it a good fight. I’m going to give it everything I’ve got. It’s going to be a high-paced fight and I’m not going to stop coming at him. You’re not going to see me laying on top of him. If I’m on top of him I’m going to be punching him. Hopefully I can put on a good performance. People want to see good fights, and I want to show people that 135-pounders can produce them.”

He added, “I feel great man. I feel better than ever. I’ve been training real hard all summer, and I feel good. I’m ready to go.”

Providing a prediction, Beebe said, “I definitely don’t plan on gong five rounds. That’s for sure because that was kind of crazy. I say probably second or third [round] either a knockout, or I just cut him up so bad they have to stop it is what in my mind I have planned out. I’d say that would be my prediction.

“I don’t want to get too cocky. I know he’s a tough guy. He’s got good Jits, but I just think he’s just really good at one discipline. I think nowadays, especially at this level, you’ve got to be good at all of them, and I think I’m there, so we’ll see. I’m excited to see what happens.”