“Danny Boy” Downes to face “The Mongolian Wolf” at WEC 53 on Dec. 16

"Danny Boy" Downes will face Tie Quan Zhang at "WEC 53: Henderson vs. Pettis" on Dec. 16 in Glendale, Arizona. Photo courtesy of WEC

Daniel “Danny Boy” Downes and “The Mongolian Wolf” Tie Quan Zhang will both make their second World Extreme Cagefighting appearance when they face each other in a lightweight showdown at “WEC 53: Henderson vs. Pettis” on Dec. 16 at Jobing.com Arena in Glendale, Ariz.

ProMMAnow.com was notified of the bout on Wednesday by the Downes camp.

Downes (6-1) was a guest on “The Cageside Beat“, the official radio show of ProMMAnow.com, on June 16, just prior to his WEC debut against Chris Horodecki at WEC 49. You can listen to that episode here: The Cageside Beat with guest “Danny Boy” Downes.

Downes took the fight with Horodecki on just a few days notice and made a good showing, but ultimately was stopped in the third round via rear-naked choke submission. After six straight wins with five knockouts, it was his first professional loss.

Fortunately for Downes, who trains out of the Duke Roufus Academy along with talent such as Pat Barry, he will have ample time for a full camp this fight. And if what we saw of “The Mongolian Wolf” in his WEC debut is any indication, Downes will want to be as prepared as possible.

As Zuffa plans to eventually make their way into China, 25-year-old Tie Quan Zhang (12-0) was an important acquisition for the company. The highly touted China Top Team fighter made his WEC debut against undefeated submission artist Pablo Garza at WEC 51 in September.

Having won all 11 of his previous fights with first round stoppages, Zhang stayed true to form, stopping Garza with a guillotine choke just 2:26 into the bout.

The 24-year-old Downes will have a significant height and reach advantage against Zhang and will likely want to keep the fight standing where he can use that Duke Roufus patented striking. Look for Zhang to try to get the fight to the ground where he will attempt to make Downes his thirteenth straight victim.

WEC 53 will be headlined by a lightweight title fight between champion Ben “Smooth” Henderson defending his 155 lb. title against Anthony “Showtime” Pettis. Other fights expected for this card include a bantamweight title fight between champion Dominick Cruz and Scott Jorgensen and a lightweight match-up between Bart Palaszewski vs. Kamal Shalorus.

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