Torres-trained Semerzier steps up, will make WEC debut

Featherweight will fill in for injured Erik Koch on WEC 43 card in San Antonio on Oct. 10
2009-09-28T16:20:00Z Torres-trained Semerzier steps up, will make WEC debutMATT ERICKSON, matt.erickson@nwi.com, (219) 933-3275 nwitimes.com
September 28, 2009 4:20 pm  • 

World Extreme Cagefighting's card in San Antonio next month has suffered another injury, and an up-and-coming prospect will be the beneficiary.

According to sources close to the WEC, Erik Koch has suffered an injury and will not be able to fight at WEC 43: Cerrone vs. Henderson on Oct. 10. Stepping up in his place to face featherweight contender Wagnney Fabiano will be Mackens Semerzier.

Semerzier splits his training time between Linxx Academy in Virginia Beach, Va., and Torres Martial Arts Academy in Hammond, run by former WEC bantamweight champion Miguel Torres.

While the WEC has not officially announced the fight, Torres, who is currently helping manage Semerzier, confirmed the bout with The Times via text message. And Semerzier also confirmed it Monday on his Facebook page.

Semerzier, 4-0 as a professional, is a 28-year-old former Marine who is known for his heavy hands. But with significant amounts of training in Gracie jiu-jitsu, his ground game is also highly regarded. He holds a purple belt in Gracie jiu-jitsu and other notches on his resume include a featherweight title from Cagefest, a Virginia-based regional MMA promotion.

In Fabiano, Semerzier gets a submission specialist who is 12-1 and 2-0 in the WEC, including an arm-triangle choke-out of Akitoshi Tamura in his debut as the co-main event at WEC 37 last December. Nine of Fabiano's 12 career victories have been stoppages, with seven by submission.

Fabiano hasn't lost in nearly three years -- his only setback being a split decision defeat at the hands of Jeff Curran of north suburban Island Lake, Ill., at a show in Canada. Fabiano also owns a win over Tommy Lee, who trains at Gilbert Grappling in Tinley Park, Ill., with the likes of Portage's John Kolosci, a contestant on Season 6 of the UFC reality show "The Ultimate Fighter."

WEC 43 features a main event interim lightweight title fight between Donald Cerrone and Ben Henderson. The WEC's current lightweight champion, Jamie Varner, has been unable to compete since a January win over Cerrone that left him with a broken hand. The Cerrone-Henderson winner will be the interim champ, presumably setting up a title unification bout with Varner once he is able to return to the cage.

Also on the main card will be the return of WEC lightweight veteran Rich Crunkilton after more than 18 months off with injuries. He'll take on Dave Jansen in a bout first reported by The Times. Damacio Page meets Will Campuzano in a bantamweight bout. And Rafael Assuncao takes on WEC newcomer and Georges St-Pierre Tristar Gym teammate Yves Jabouin.

On the preliminary card, Chesterton's Eddie Wineland, a former WEC bantamweight champ, faces Manny Tapia.

WEC 43 was originally scheduled for Sept. 2 in Youngstown, Ohio, but the WEC was forced to reschedule the event for Oct. 10 in San Antonio. It will now take place at the AT&T Center with the main card airing live on the Versus cable network starting at 8 p.m. Central.

he new card for WEC 43 now looks like this:

Main card

Donald Cerrone vs. Ben Henderson (interim lightweight title fight)

Rich Crunkilton vs. Dave Jansen

Will Campuzano vs. Damacio Page

Rafael Assuncao vs. Yves Jabouin

Preliminary card

Muhsin Corbbrey vs. Anthony Njokuani

Scott Jorgensen vs. Noah Thomas

Wagnney Fabiano vs. Mackens Semerzier

Manny Tapia vs. Eddie Wineland

Charlie Valencia vs. Coty Wheeler

Deividas Taurosevicius vs. Javier Vazquez

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