WEC 44 Fight Week Previews: The Prelims

By E. Spencer Kyte (

As the signage says, WEC 44: Brown vs. Aldo takes place this Wednesday night from The Pearl at The Palms in Las Vegas, Nevada.

With such a short time frame before the fights take place – and coming off the busy week that was UFC 105 – the week-long Fight Week Previews series will be coming to you in condensed form over the next two days, beginning with The Prelims.

Before we get there though, a recommendation to all those claiming MMA fandom who have no idea who Mike Brown or Jose Aldo are: you need to check out this show and old WEC shows and future WEC shows.

Without fail, each and every WEC event delivers some of the best bell-to-bell action in the sport and while these guys certainly do not receive anywhere near the acclaim and attention of their UFC counterparts, you’re not going to find a more exciting brand of action than the WEC.

Onto the previews…

Seth Dikun (7-3-0) vs. Frank Gomez (7-1-0)

Dikun enters the fight off a fantastic flying triangle submission of Rolando Perez at WEC 41 that leveled his company record at 1-1. Gomez comes in off a rebound win over TUF veteran Noah Thomas following the first loss of his career. Regardless of who comes away with the win, expect a finish, as these two have just four decisions between them in 18 fights.

Ricardo Lamas (6-1-0) vs. James Krause (10-1-0)

Both fighters are coming off the first defeat of their careers, Lamas dropping a decision to Danny Castillo and Krause getting stopped by Donald Cerrone. Though Krause comes in off the bigger name fight, Lamas is a fast and promising prospect who was on the wrong end of an excellent punch last time out and looks to be the stronger of the two.

Antonio Banuelos (17-5-0) vs. Kenji Osawa (15-8-2)

Banuelos is a WEC mainstay, making his eighth appearance for the company and coming in off a win over Scotty “Young Guns” Jorgensen back in June. Osawa has 25 fights under his belt, including a win over title contender Takeya Mizugaki, as well as having lost to the aforementioned Jorgensen.

Cub Swanson (13-3-0) vs. John Franchi (5-1-0)

If you’re not a huge follower of the WEC and are wondering where you’ve heard the name Cub Swanson before, it could be because he was the guy on the receiving end of a double flying knee from Jose Aldo last time he stepped into the cage. While he hasn’t quite found his footing in the WEC as of yet, Swanson is still a very talented prospect with a bright future ahead of him.

The verdict is still out on John Franchi. He suffered his first loss last time out, losing to UFC veteran Manny Gamburyan, but wasn’t overly impressive in his WEC debut against Mike Budnik.

Diego Nunes (13-0-0) vs. LC Davis (14-2-0)

This is going to be your Fight of the Night.

The unbeaten Nunes has looked dominant in two, three-round victories over Cole Province and Rafael Dias, while Davis has come over following the fall of Affliction and looks to continue his success as a part of the Featherweight division.

Davis’ two losses come to Sengoku Featherweight Grand Prix finalist Michihiro Omigawa and highly-regarded Wagnney Fabiano and the skilled wrestler will surely be the toughest test to date for the Brazilian.

Kamal Shalorus (4-0-1) vs. Will Kerr (8-1-0)

Shalorus is a wrestler who has competed in a number of submission grappling events in addition to making the transition to MMA, while Kerr is a replacement for injured Alex Karalexis.

Normally, when you’re replacing a solid veteran against a guy with little experience or name recognition, it means the guy no one has heard of is pretty solid and you could be in for a painful night.

Watching video of Shalorus slamming Joachim “Hellboy” Hansen at the 2005 European Qualifiers for the ADCC’s only confirmed that suspicion.

More WEC 44 Previews, Picks & Predictions

What Do You Think of This Fight/Event?