Danny Castillo file photo: Dave Mandel | Sherdog.com
Team Alpha Male rep Danny Castillo will meet World Extreme Cagefighting newcomer Dustin Poirier in a preliminary lightweight matchup at WEC 50 “Cruz vs. Benavidez 2” on Aug. 18 at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas. Ten bouts are now official for the event, which will air live on the Versus network.
Castillo will carry a two-fight losing streak into the match. The 30-year-old has not competed since he was knocked out by an Anthony Pettis head kick and punches at WEC 47 in March. A collegiate All-American wrestler at the NAIA level, Castillo has delivered seven of his eight career victories by knockout, technical knockout or submission. Only one of his 11 bouts has reached the judges.
Perfect in seven professional appearances, the little-known Poirier last appeared in June, when he knocked out Derek Gauthier in 57 seconds at a Ringside MMA event in Montreal. The 21-year-old Louisiana-based lightweight has finished all seven of his foes, five of them inside one round.
Meanwhile, four-time Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion Fredson Paixao will lock horns with Strikeforce and EliteXC veteran Bryan Caraway in a preliminary featherweight duel.
One of the world’s most distinguished submission grapplers, Paixao holds notable victories against the world-ranked Rani Yahya, former two-division Deep champion Masakazu Imanari and one-time King of the Cage welterweight titleholder Thomas Denny. The 31-year-old Las Vegas-based Brazilian last fought at WEC 47 in March, when he submitted Courtney Buck with a first-round rear-naked choke. It was Paixao’s first win inside the promotion.
Caraway fell short in his promotional debut in January, as he submitted to a first-round armbar from Mark Hominick at WEC 46. The 25-year-old Seattle native has never before lost back-to-back fights. Caraway has secured 11 of his 12 career victories by submission, including a 2006 win over “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 5 cast member Noah Thomas.
A bantamweight championship match between titleholder Dominick Cruz and Joseph Benavidez will headline WEC 50, along with a pivotal lightweight tilt between Pettis and three-time collegiate All-American wrestler Shane Roller.
WEC 50: Cruz vs. Benavidez 2
Wednesday, Aug. 18
Palms Casino Resort
WEC Bantamweight Championship
Dominick Cruz vs. Joseph Benavidez
Anthony Pettis vs. Shane Roller
Chad Mendes vs. Cub Swanson
Scott Jorgensen vs. Brad Pickett
Bart Palaszewski vs. Zachary Micklewright
Javier Vazquez vs. Mackens Semerzier
Anthony Njokuani vs. Maciej Jewtuszko
Dave Jansen vs. Ricardo Lamas
Fredson Paixao vs. Bryan Caraway
Danny Castillo vs. Dustin Poirier