5 Bouts Booked for WEC 48

By Brian Knapp Mar 8, 2010
Anthony Njokuani will collide with Shane Roller in a pivotal battle between World Extreme Cagefighting lightweights at WEC 48 “Aldo vs. Faber” on April 24 at the Arco Arena in Sacramento, Calif. Five fights are now official for the promotion’s landmark debut on pay-per-view.

Born in Nigeria, the 30-year-old Njokuani will carry a three-fight winning streak into the match. He last appeared at WEC 45 in December, when he flattened former International Fight League cornerstone Chris Horodecki in the first round. Njokuani, now based in Las Vegas, has never gone the distance in 15 professional appearances and holds other notable wins against EliteXC veteran Muhsin Corbbrey and former IFL standout Bart Palaszewski. In fact, he was the first man in more than seven years to stop Palaszewski on strikes.

Roller, a three-time collegiate All-American wrestler at Oklahoma State University, has rattled off back-to-back wins. The 30-year-old Bixby, Okla., native submitted Team Alpha Male’s Danny Castillo at WEC 44 in November. Only one of Roller’s nine bouts has reached the judges. A victory over former WEC lightweight contender Marcus Hicks highlights his resume.

The bantamweights will also get their turn in the cage, as the world-ranked Damacio Page locks horns with Antonio Banuelos.

Anchored at Jackson’s Mixed Martial Arts in Albuquerque, N.M., Page has won seven of his past eight bouts, losing only to former WEC bantamweight champion Brian Bowles in that span. The 27-year-old counts victories against Scott Jorgensen, Stephane Vigneault and Thierry Quenneville among his 15 career conquests, and his March 2009 knockout of Marcos Galvao remains one of the most violent finishes in WEC history. Page has not fought since he submitted Will Campuzano with a rear-naked choke at WEC 43 five months ago; it took just 62 seconds.

Banuelos, who trains alongside UFC hall of famer Chuck Liddell, will ride a three-fight winning streak into the match. The 30-year-old Californian last competed in November, when he outpointed Kenji Osawa en route to a unanimous decision at WEC 44. Victories over Jorgensen and former WEC featherweight champion Cole Escovedo highlight his resume. In nine years inside the cage, Banuelos has never lost consecutive fights.

A showdown between featherweight champion Jose Aldo and former titleholder Urijah Faber will headline WEC 48. In addition, WEC lightweight champion Benson Henderson will defend his crown for the first time against Donald Cerrone in a rematch of their 2009 “Fight of the Year.” Meanwhile, American Top Team standout Mike Thomas Brown will take on “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 5 runner-up Manny Gamburyan.
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