Chesterton's Eddie Wineland will next fight at WEC 41 at the ARCO Arena in Sacramento, Calif., the Times learned Friday.
Wineland (14-6-1, 1-2 WEC) will face Frank Gomez (6-1, 1-0 WEC) on the on June 7 card, which will be headlined by a featherweight title rematch between champ Mike Brown and Urijah Faber.
Wineland, a former WEC bantamweight champion, last fought at WEC 40 in Chicago on April 5 at UIC Pavilion, his first fight for the promotion in nearly two years. He was submitted by Brazilian jiu-jitsu specialist Rani Yahya by a rear-naked choke on the undercard of that event just a couple of hours before fellow Northwest Indiana fighter Miguel Torres successfully defended his bantamweight belt against Takeya Mizugaki.
In Gomez, Wineland draws someone with a seemingly similar well-rounded fighting style -- and someone who also lost his last time out via a first-round submission; Gomez tapped from a guillotine choke at WEC 38 against Scott Jorgensen, the first loss of his career.
Wineland is a lifelong wrestler who told The Times last month that he has been wrestling since he was 6 years old. "But now I'm geared more toward the standup," Wineland said prior to his fight with Yahya. "I use my wrestling to keep it on my feet."
Gomez, too, is a wrestler and was good enough to get a scholarship to San Francisco State, according to his bio at WEC.tv. But after starting down the MMA path, he left collegiate wrestling behind. But despite wrestling as his base, like Wineland, four of his first six wins have came via TKO.
Wineland, who will train in part with Torres for this fight, said he believes Gomez, who trains with the world-famous Greg Jackson camp in Albuquerque, N.M., will come ready to fight.
"He's 5-foot-10, which poses a little bit of a problem," the 5-7 Wineland said Friday. "He's a good wrestler and he finishes his fights quickly, so he's gonna come to finish it right away."
The turnaround between fights for Wineland will be reatively quick by MMA standards -- just two months. And Wineland said he was even slightly surprised by that.
"I was originally thinking it would be August-September, and I was actually trying to plan a vacation, but they came at me with this," Wineland said. "So I've gotta take it -- get back on the horse, hopefully."
Before returning to World Extreme Cagefighting, Wineland went 2-0 -- both fights for local promotions at the Hammond Civic Center, including a November win over Wade Choate at C3 Domination. Before the fight with Yahya, he said a win could mean a little more permanence in the WEC's rotation.
"Obviously, getting the win is most important, but however you get it done, it's nice to be back in the WEC," Wineland said in March. "My guess is that I'll still be in the WEC after this fight."
It appears he was correct, even though the Yahya result in Chicago wasn't what he was hoping for.
The main card for WEC 41: Brown vs. Faber II will air live on the Versus network on June 7 at 8 p.m. Central time. Also rumored to be on the card is Miletich Fighting Systems product Jens Pulver, from the Quad Cities, and Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone, though The Times has also learned that Cerrone will not be fighting Richard Crunkilton, as has been previously rumored -- a rumor started by Cerrone himself in a Versus.com interview.
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