World Extreme Cagefighting’s burgeoning bantamweight division has reportedly gained additional depth thanks to the recent acquisition of 135 pound standouts Joseph Benavidez and Danny Martinez.
The two new additions are scheduled to debut against each other at WEC 37 on Dec. 3 at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, according to a report by MMA Weekly.
Benavidez is a perfect 9-0 in his professional mixed martial arts career and raised his profile following a first round submission victory against Junya Kudo at DREAM 5 in Japan this past July. A member of Urijah Faber’s gym in Sacramento, Benavidez had originally been scheduled to fight against Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto before he pulled off the card due to injury and was replaced by Kudo.
Martinez is 12-2 and a strong prospect in his own right. The Arizona native has competed in Canada for the TKO promotion and is currently the Rage in the Cage bantamweight champion. Martinez’s last bout took place for the Evolution MMA promotion this past October, where he submitted Joey Marimberga at 1:21 of round 3.
Benavidez and Martinez join a deep WEC bantamweight division that includes champion Miguel Torres, number one contender Manny Tapia, veteran Jeff Curran, prospect Will Ribiero, Brian Bowles, Marcos Galvao, Scott Jorgensen, Yoshiro Maeda, Rani Yahya, and Damacio Page.
Torres will be headling WEC 37 when he defends his title against Tapia with Ribiero and Bowles also in action against each other. Non-bantamweight bouts scheduled for the card include featherweights Akitoshi Tamura vs. Wagnney Fabiano, featherweights Josh Grispi vs. Diego Nunes, featherweights Hiroyuki Takaya vs. Cub Swanson, lightweights Shane Roller vs. Mike Budnik, welterweights Alex Serdyukov vs. Johny Hendricks, lightweights Bart Palaszewski vs. Alex Karalexis, and light heavyweights Mark Munoz vs. Ricardo Barros.