I announced this on MMA Nation a couple of weeks ago, but between Fedor's negotiations with the UFC and the buildup to UFC 101, the announcement got lost in the shuffle. Let's set the stage again:
Washington DC (August 2009) – One fighter is the current Ultimate Warrior Challenge (UWC) bantamweight world champion looking for a big-time win over a world-class competitor. The other is a former World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) bantamweight champion looking to redeem himself in the eyes of the mixed martial arts (MMA) community. Both are considered among the best in the world at their weight class.
The two ultimate warriors -- Mike "The Hulk" Easton (8-1) and Chase Beebe (12-4), who were scheduled to battle last February at UWC Man "O" War only to have the fight cancelled at the last-minute when Beebe pulled out with a training injury -- will be the Main Event at UWC REDEMPTION on Saturday, October 3, 2009, at the Patriot Center in what promises to be another star-studded, action-packed show from the East Coast MMA leader.
There are a number of reasons to love this fight whether you're a DC hardcore MMA fan or just a casual getting into MMA now. Most notably, Beebe has been on a slide while Easton's been on the rise since they were originally slated to fight back in February. Beebe has lost three straight including most recently a heart-breaking doctor stoppage in the DREAM featherweight tourney against newcomer Joe Warren. Easton, by contrast, has rattled off two wins and earned his black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu under Lloyd Irvin. Just to illustrate how different matters have become, both Easton and Beebe are ranked among the top 25 bantamweights in the world whereas Easton was not on the list and Beebe was top 15 back in February.
However, I still consider Beebe to be the favorite. His fantastic wrestling acumen and aggressive guard passing will be a very stiff test for Easton. Aside from the stylistic advantages, Beebe is the one who has faced much more difficult opposition in very large shows. There's no counting out Easton, though. He has superb jiu-jitsu (he won Bronze at the Mundials this past year in the Feather brown belt division) and vicious, blinding KO power in both hands, knees and feet.
Even better, there's a ton riding on this fight for both competitors. One fighter is trying to turn the recent trajectory of his career around while the other is attempting to keep the climb moving. Beebe can stop the hemorrhaging with a big win over Easton while Easton can cement his place as an elite bantamweight with a victory over the more experienced Beebe.
This fight will be for the UWC bantamweight championship, so it's scheduled for five five-minute rounds. There are also more fights to be announced including another title fight. For more info about the event and the fight, click here.
As always, the opinions expressed here are mine and not those of BloodyElbow.com. But I couldn't be more candid when I say I am unbelievably excited for this fight and eager to sit cageside for the biggest MMA bout ever in the Washington, DC area.
Disclosure: I am an employee (color commentator) of the UWC.