Steinbeiss may make WEC bantamweight debut after all

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Steve Steinbeiss may make his World Extreme Cagefighting debut before the promotion deactivates his weight class after all. Following several false starts with WEC 36 in September, Steinbeiss' bout with Alex Schoenauer, part of the rescheduled event for Nov. 5, fell through Wednesday as Schoenauer had to drop out of the bout due to a torn hamstring. learned on Thursday that UFC veteran Carmelo Marrero has verbally agreed to step into the bout at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Fla.

Steinbeiss, with a 4-1 professional record in tow, hasn't seen action since June of this year at a small show in Laughlin, Nev. Having cut his professional teeth as part of the short-lived Bodog Fight promotion, he has been going stir crazy waiting for his opportunity to compete in the WEC and prove himself in the UFC's sister promotion.

This fight is also a big opportunity for Marrero. He didn't last long his first go around in the UFC, garnering a 1-2 record in the Octagon. He has since won three fights (with one no contest decision) on smaller promotions, and this will be his opportunity to give UFC officials another look to see if he has progressed enough to be welcomed back into the promotion.

The WEC is shutting down its light heavyweight and middleweight divisions following its Dec. 3 effort in Las Vegas, so these last few fights in either class -- Steinbeiss and Marrero being at 205 pounds -- are important auditions for the fighters that hope to move into the UFC.