With Urijah Faber now slated to fight Jens Pulver at WEC 38 on Jan. 25 in a rematch from the classic June encounter, multiple sources have informed FiveOuncesOfPain.com that current WEC featherweight champion Mike Thomas Brown is now expected to make his first defense against former UFC lightweight Leonard Garcia.
Five Ounces of Pain spoke to a third source close to Brown who indicated that while the matchup is considered likely, it has yet to be finalized. However, bout agreements from both fighters could be secured within the next 1-2 two weeks.
It is believed that sources originally wanted Brown to defend his title on the January show to be held in San Diego but that a torn rib cartilage injury sustained by the American Top Team product during his title victory against Faber earlier this month will prevent him from being ready in time. Instead, it is believed that Brown’s next bout could take place at a tentatively scheduled WEC event in March.
Brown TKO’d Faber at WEC 36 to win the title on Nov. 5 at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Fla. at 2:23 of round 1. The TKO allowed Brown to improve his streak to eight consecutive victories and gave him his second win while competing under the WEC banner. He was victorious in his debut for the promotion at WEC 34 in June when he defeated Jeff Curran via unanimous decision.
Garcia, 12-3, was also victorious at WEC 36 by way of first round TKO. Facing former UFC lightweight champion and WEC featherweight title challenger Jens Pulver, Garcia finished the lighter weight pioneer with punches at 1:12 of round 1.