While the WEC is recognized as being under the Zuffa umbrella that also is associated with the UFC, which is unarguably the worlds largest leading promotion in the world of mixed martial arts–the WEC does not remain as the red headed stepchild of the group.
The “little” big promotion has made many strides in the last few years, improving their fundamentals and becoming a leading competitor to any organization that embodies the lighter weight classes. Currently, of the WEC’s bantamweight and featherweight classes, most if not all of the top-10 competitors exist within the promotion. And while the WEC has consistently put together solid shows, time after time–WEC 51 will be no exception. In fact, it may be on their better cards to date.
In an interview with MMAWeekly, WEC General Manager Reed Harris discussed the upcoming card in addition to the final lineup that completes this 11-fight deep event which takes place in Broomfield, Colorado at the 1st Bank Center on September 30th.
“The UFC has put on some very successful events in Broomfield and we are hoping to duplicate their success,” said the GM while speaking with MMAWeekly. “This card is absolutely loaded with tremendous fights. In addition to the main card bouts, fans are in store for the return of former featherweight champ Mike Brown and the debut of our first Chinese fighter, Tiequan Zhang. Plus, hometown fighter Tyler Toner competes in his own backyard against a very dangerous Diego Nunes. We are extremely excited to bring this event to Colorado.”
Now with the addition, though previously rumored, of China import Tiequan Zhang, who takes on UFC veteran Jason Reinhardt on the preliminary portion of the nights festivities.
The nights final lineup, which is headlined by a featherweight title fight pitting pound-for-pound great Jose Aldo against number one contender and “The Ultimate Fighter” season 5 finalist Manny Gamburyan, is listed below in it’s entirety.
* Featherweight Championship bout: Jose Aldo (c) vs. Manvel Gamburyan
* Lightweight bout: Jamie Varner vs. Donald Cerrone
* Bantamweight bout: Miguel Torres vs. Charlie Valencia
* Featherweight bout: Chan Sung Jung vs. George Roop
* Featherweight bout: Leonard Garcia vs. Mark Hominick
* Featherweight bout: Mike Brown vs Cole Province
* Lightweight bout: Ed Ratcliff vs. Chris Horodecki
* Featherweight bout: Diego Nunes vs. Tyler Toner
* Bantamweight bout: Antonio Banuelos vs. Chad George
* Bantamweight bout: Demetrious Johnson vs. Nick Pace
* Lightweight bout: Jason Reinhardt vs. Zhang Tie Quan
So, MMA peeps, are you excited for the match ups? Any ONE bout stick out to you? How do you think everyone will fair come September 30th? Sound off in the comments section below.