WEC 36 Results and Thoughts

WEC 36 was a night full of upsets.  If I was a betting man I would have been hurting from this card.  If you look at my predictions you can see that.  Quite honestly it was not a good night for the WEC. 

  • Let me start with the main event and work my way down.  All I can say is…wow!  I did not expect that.  Urijah Faber has looked unbeatable and finally somebody dethroned the featherweight king.  I still think he is number 1 in the world, but what a KO.  I will be interested to see how the WEC works this situation out.  Will they give Urijah an instant re-match?  Will Leonard Garcia get a shot?  Will Faber fight a top contender like Garcia, Fabiano, Aldo or Tamura?  Honestly, I think he may desere a shot, but I would not be upset if they made him win one and let Garcia get first crack at the new champ. 
  • Mike Brown was innjured in the fight witha  broken rib cage and is out a few weeks.  So we will not see him defend his title for a bit.
  • The Sonnen vs. Filho fight stunk.  It wasn’t Chael’s fault at all.  What the heck was Paulo Filho doing.  He looked way out of it.  I suspect drugs.  Filho may have been drained from the weight drop.  He may not have all his personal stuff in order yet.  He may have seen this as a senseless fight.  I don’t know what the deal was.  Sonnen won easily.  I scored it 30-26…and that was being nice to Filho.  Can you say Kalib Starnes?
  • Who expected Leonard Garcia to KO Jens Pulver.  Urijah Faber couldn’t KO Pulver.  Garcia made quick work of Pulver.  He made it look easy.  I had been a Garcia doubter, but I am believing that he could be a featehrweight champ in the WEC.  He has serious knock out power and he rocked Jens.
  • Aaron Simpson looks like a solid middleweight prospect and he may have punched his ticked into the UFC with his one punch KO of David Avellan.  He is worth a shot.
  • Jake Rosholt is not just a good wrestler.  He is the real deal.  He is a future MMA star.  He looked very good and I think he will do very well in the UFC.  I’d love to see him vs. C.B. Dolloway. 
  • I also think Nissen Osterneck impressed.  He looked very good and nearly finished Rosholt.  The UFC may have lost some in the disappointing performance of Filho, but they may have gained in additions to their roster in the likes of Rosholt and guys like Osterneck and Simpson who emerged from WEC 36 with more respect in the fight world. 
  • Looks like Donald Cerrone will fight Jamie Varner for the title in January.  Razor Rob is done.

Results:

  • Mike Thomas Brown ded. Urijah Faber via TKO in round 1
  • Chael Sonnen def. Paulo Filho via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 20-27)
  • Leonard Garcia def. Jens Pulver via TKO in Round 1
  • Jake Rosholt def. Nissen Osterneck via TKO in Round 2
  • Donald Cerrone def. Rob McCullough via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-27)
  • Aaron Simpson def. David Avellan via KO in Round 1
  • Jose Aldo def. Jonathan Brookings via TKO in Round 3
  • Carmelo Marrero def. Steve Steinbess via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
  • Danny Castillo def. Rafael Dias via TKO In Round 2
  • Rani Yayha def. Yoshiro Maeda via submission (guillotine choke) in Round 1
  • Advertisements

    WEC 36 Preview and Predictions

    Paulo Filho vs. Chael Sonnen

    This is a great fight with a great story line.  The two guys fought for the title last December and the fight ended in controversy.  Sonnen was winning the fight and suddenly Filho locked in an armbar.  Viewers could see the armbar was tight, Sonnen grimaced and even let out a scream.  The referre called a stop to the fight, but Sonnen thought it was unwarranted because he never tapped.  There was a lot of controversy concerning the stoppage, but Sonnen’s arm would have been broken if it wasn’t stopped.  This fight is a whole new fight.  Sonnen is no longer a huge underdog, although he probably is the underdog.  Filho is coming off of some serious personal issues including depression and drug rehab.  The fight vey well may be determined by Filho’s mental state.  Sonnen is no push over, he is a great wrestler with solid ground and pound skills.  He will have had a good training camp and plenty of time to prepare.  Filho ought to be ready to go.  Hopefully, he is back in the swing of things and has his problems straightened out. Following this fight both Filho and Sonnen should fight in the UFC with the WEC folding their middleweight divison along with their light heavyweight divison.  The two guys should contend for the belt right away win or lose here.  Filho has said he will not fight his good friend Anderson Silva and Anderson said the same.  Saddly, it looks like we will neve rsee the #1 vs. the #2 middleweights in the world.  Filho will be a solid competitor in the UFC.  I think a Sonnen vs. Silva match would be very interesting, but for Sonnen to get that match he has to win here.  This fight is hard to pick because Sonnen is improving so much and we do not know what Filho we will see.  My prediction may be risky, but I will pick Filho to win.  Why?  Because Filho is still the number 2 middleweight in the world.  I think that Filho will win by submission in round 2. 

    Urijah Faber vs. Mike Brown

    This is another interesting fight that many are excited to see.  Some people think that Mike Brown could be a serious threat to Urijah Faber.  Faber very well could be Zuffa’s most dominant champion, and that is saying something when you consider guys like Anderson Silva, Georges St. Pierre, and B.J. Penn have nearly cleaned out their respective divisons.  The reality is that Mike Brown is a big featherweight, he is very experienced and he is very well rounded.  He has fought in the UFC and many other places and has some good wins over guys like Jeff Curran and Yves Edwards.  Brown has good submissions, having won 11 of his 19 wins by submission, however he also seems suseptible to submissions.  All four of his wins he lost by submission.  Faber has also shown improvement.  His fight against Pulver showed incredible boxing skill.  In the end I think Faber is too well rounded.  I believe Brown could be a good fight, but Faber is the best featherweight in the world.  In the end I think Faber will hit him hard a few times.  I do not know if Brown can endure what Jens Pulver did for 5 rounds.  If it goes to the ground Faber is comofrtable there and not to mention crafty.  Either way I pick Urijah Faber to win by a rear naked choke after a few hard hits in round 3. 

    Leonard Garcia vs. Jens Pulver

    Both Pulver and Garcia enter the WEC featherweight divison via the UFC’s lightweight divison.  Pulver debuted in the WEC by winning quickly and easily over Cub Swanson.  That win earned him a shot at featherweight champ Urijah Faber.  While Faber dominated Jens, I gained respect for Pulver as he showed true toughness in that fight.  Garcia debuted with an impressive KO win over highly touted and top ten featherweight Hiroyuki Takaya.  Therefore, this makes a good fight.  Garcia may be a good fit at 145 lbs.  Pulver is certainly a good fit here.  The winner of this fight would certainly be once again at the top of the heap along with the winner of December 3rd’s featherweight clash between IFL champ Waggney Fabiano and Japanese fighter Akitoshi Tamaura and the winner of the Josh Grispi vs. Diego Nunes fight.  I do not know what the difference will be in this fight, but I will base my pick on the experience.  Pulver is very experienced.  He has fought better competiton and beaten better guys.  On paper Pulver has the far better resume.  I know that may not be the best way to pick a fight, but I think Pulver’s toughness will out last Garcia and Jens will win by unanimous decision. 

    Rob McCullough vs. Donald Cerrone

    The winner of this fight will almost assuridly get the next title show against champ Jamie Varner.  “Razor” Rob McCullough is the former lightweight WEC champ, but he lost his title to Varner.  McCullough has not looked very good in his last few fights including a split deicsion win over Kenneth Alexander.  Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone looked very impressive in his debut over Danny Castillo.  He is 8-0 and I believe he will be a tough match for “Razor” Rob.  Cerrone has won all 8 of his fights by submission, so I am pretty sure he will want this fight on the ground.  If he can get McCullough down then the fight will be over.  If it stays standing, Rob could get a KO.  Judging by how bad McCullough looked in his last fight I will pick Cerrone to win by a submission in round 1. 

    Jake Rosholt vs. Nissen Osterneck

    The fight was originally supposed to be Rosholt vs. Danillo Vilefort.  Vilefort withdrew due to injury and Osterneck stepped in.  Both these guys are prospects.  Rosholt is more than justa  stand out college wrestler.  He is a 3 time divison I champion out of Oklahamoa State University and a 4 time All-American wrestler.  He may be one of the most decorated wrestlers to enter mixed martial arts.  Rosholt began training out of Xtreme Couture and has really stepped up his game and looked impressive.  He is expected to be a future contender.  We most likely will see him in the UFC in 2009.  I do think Osterneck poses some challenges in this fight and has great submission skills, but in the end I think Rosholt will use his wrestling to control the fight and work some ground and pound.  I pick Rosholt to win this fight by TKO in round 3. 

    Carmello Marrero vs. Steve Steinbeiss

    This fight has seemed doomed from the begining for Steinbeiss who has lost two opponents.  First he was supposed to fight up and comer Mark Munoz, but Munoz withdrew tih injury.  Then he was supposed to face TUF alum Alex Schouenauer who also withdrew with injury.  This might be good news for Steinbeiss who wants to be one of the 205ers moved over to the UFC.  Marrero is a UFC vet who went 1-2 posting losses to Wilson Gouveia and Gabriel Gonzaga, but he did score a win over Cheick Kongo.  This is a tough fight to call.  Marrero has good skills, but I look for Steinbeiss to win this one by decision.

     Quick Picks:

    David Avellan vs. Aaron Simpson

    Jose Aldo vs. Jonathan Brookins

    Danny Castillo vs. Rafael Dias

    Rani Yayha vs. Yoshiro Maeda

    MMABlog’s Lightweight MMA Rankings

    Rank

    Name

    Organization

    Next Fight

    1

    B.J. Penn

    UFC

    St. Pierre (#1 WW) 1/31

    2

    Takanori Gomi

    World Victory Road

    Golyaev (NR), 11/1

    3

    Shinya Aoki

    DREAM

     

    4

    Eddie Alvarez

    EliteXC?

     

    5

    Sean Sherk

    UFC

    T. Griffin (#15), 9/25

    6

    Mitsuhiro Ishida

    DREAM/Strikeforce

     

    7

    Tatsuya Kawajiri

    DREAM

     

    8

    Kenny Florian

    UFC

    Stevenson (#10), 11/15

    9

    Josh Thomson

    Strikeforce

    Edwards (NR), 11/21

    10

    Joe Stevenson

    UFC

    Florian (#8), 11/15

    11

    Gesias Calvancante

    DREAM

     

    12

    Joachim Hansen

    DREAM

     

    13

    Gilbert Melendez

    Strikeforce

     

    14

    Jamie Varner

    WEC

     

    15

    Tyson Griffin

    UFC

    Sherk (#5), 9/25

    16

    Roger Huerta

    UFC

     

    17

    Gray Maynard

    UFC

    Clementi (NR), 9/25

    18

    Frank Edgar

    UFC

    Wiman (NR), 12/10

    19

    Vitor Ribeiro

     

     

    20

    Nate Diaz

    UFC

     

    21

    K.J. Noons

    EliteXC?

     

    22

    Joe Lauzon

    UFC

     

    23

    Nick Diaz

    EliteXC

     

    24

    Spencer Fisher

    UFC

    Gugerty (NR), 9/25

    25

    Caol Uno

    DREAM

     

     

    Others Considered: Clay Guida, Hermes Franca, Marcus Aurelio, Jim Miller, Jorge Masvidal , Rich Clementi, Matt Wiman, and Mac Danzig.

    Mid Year MMA Awards

    Best Knockout

    Honorable Mention: Luis Arthur Cane KO Jason Lambert, Shane Carwin KO Christian Wellish, Murilio Rua TKO Tony Bonello, Matt Wiman KO Thiago Tavares

    5. Anthony Johnson KO Tommy Speer

    4. Wilson Gouveia KO Jason Lambert

    3. Brian Stann KO Doug Marshall

    2. James Irvin KO Houston Alexander

    1. Wanderlei Silva KO Keith Jardine

    Best Submission

    Honorable Mention: Antonio Nogueira submits Tim Sylvia by Guillotine, Yoshiyuki Yoshida submits Jon Koppenhaver by Anaconda choke, Nate Diaz submits Kurt Pellegrino, Cole Miller Submits Jorge Gurgel by Triangle Choke

    5. Demian Mia Submits Ed Herman by Triangle Choke

    4. Frank Mir Submits Brock Lesnar by Kneebar

    3. Rousimar Palhares Submits Ivan Salaverry by Armbar

    2. Dustin Hazelett Submits Josh Burkman by Armbar

    1. Shinya Aoki Submits Katsuhiko Nagata by Aokiplata

    Best Fight

    Honorable Mention: Shinya Aoki vs. Gesias Calvancante, Cung Le vs. Frank Shamrock

    5. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Tim Sylvia

    4. Urijah Faber vs. Jens Pulver

    3. Robbie Lawler vs. Scott Smith

    2. Quinton Jackson vs. Forrest Griffin

    1. Miguel Torres vs. Yoshiro Maeda

    Best Fight Card

    5. WEC 34: Faber vs. Pulver

    4. UFC 80: Rapid Fire

    3. UFC 81: Breaking Point

    2. DREAM 4

    1. UFC 84: Ill Will

    Upset of The Year:

    Honorable Mention: Jason Day over Alan Belcher,

    5. Thiago Alves over Karo Parisyan

    4. Kevin Burns over Roan Carneiro

    3. Fabricio Werdum over Gabriel Gonzaga

    2. Josh Thomson over Gilbert Melendez

    1. Forrest Griffin over Quinton Jackson

    Fighter Of The Year:

    Honorable Mention: Anderson Silva, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Michael Bisping, Georges St. Pierre, Diego Sanchez

    5. Miguel Torres

    4. Forrest Griffin

    3. Thiago Alves

    2. Shinya Aoki

    1. B.J. Penn (2 Impressive wins over Sean Sherk and Joe Stevenson)

    Best UFC Newcomer:

    Honorable Mention: Shane Carwin, Brock Lesnar

    5. Rousimar Palhares

    4. Dong Hyun Kim

    3. Yoshiyuki Yoshida

    2. Goran Reljic

    1. Cain Velasquez

    Worst Calls By A Ref. or Judges

    5. Forrest Griffin over Quinton Jackson –  Not just that Forrest got the win, but that it was unanimous.  Many, including me scored the fight either a draw or to Jackson

    4. Brandon Vera vs. Fabricio Werdum- Dan Miragliotta stopped the fight in round 1 when Werdum was mounted on Vera throwing down punches.  There was just 10 seconds remaining and Vera seemed to be defending himself well. 

    3. Nate Marquardt vs. Thales Leites — Leites got the win, but lost the fight.  He lost the fight due to two points taken away from Marquardt.  One point was justified, but the other was due to elbow to the back of the ehad that wasn’t to the back of the head.  I will confess, that another point could have fairly been deducted for an illegal slam, but I hated to see Marquardt get a loss on his record that I feel he won

    2. Phantom split decisions — How was Evan Tanner vs. Kendall Grove a split deicsion?  How was Heath Herring vs Cheick Kongo a split decision?  The right person got the decision, but how was it split?

    1. Kimbo Slice vs. James Thompson – Dan Miragliotta stopped the fight in the 3rd round while Thompson was still standing and failed to stop it when Thompson was mounted on Kimbo raining down elbows

    My Thoughts on WEC 34

     

    ·         I thought that the show as a whole was very good.  In fact, I feel that it was a stark contrast to EliteXC on CBS Saturday.   The WEC card had little show and focused on the fights.  The fights were great and well worth watching.  All I can say is what a difference a day makes.

    ·         I thought the show started off a little slow.  The Rob McCullough fight was nothing special.  I really expected to see him come out and look for a knock out, but he didn’t at all.  In fact, I believe that the fight could have been judged for Alexander. 

    ·         Honestly, I don’t have much to say about the first three fights because they were slightly disappointing

    ·         However, when Miguel Torres and Yoshiro Maeda fought I was impressed.  That was an incredible fight.  It was technical, it had great striking, and it was action packed.  I was thrilled with that fight.  I predicted Torres to win that fight and I sure didn’t expect Maeda to be such a game opponent.  He has some great striking and one heck of a chin.  That eye sure did look messed up that caused the fight to be stopped!  Miguel Torres proved that he is the best bantamweight around and one of the best pounds for pound fighters in the world.  There will not be anyone who beats Torres at 135 any time soon.  I loved seeing the display of class in defeat from Maeda when he raised the hand in the air of the victorious Miguel Torres.

    ·         All I can about the Faber vs. Pulver fight is wow!  Perhaps that will be the fight of the year!  It was a five round war.  I have always thought Faber was good and dominant at 145, but now I think he is the most dominant champion around.  His name should be thrown around with Anderson Silva.  Jens Pulver was tougher than I expected.  He took an absolute beating and withstood it.  He would get rocked then just grin and press forward.  Urijah Faber showed he can do more than just ground and pound someone, he has awesome stand up and a powerful right hand, that I cannot believe did not knockout Pulver.  Jens Pulver showed some serious determination.  Also, how about how classy those guys handled themselves throughout the whole process.  They never trash talked, they had nothing but good to say about each other.  All I can say is Urijah Faber is dominant at Featherweight.  He is a top 5 pound for pound guy in the world.  I have no idea how he is only 145.  The question for everyone will be: what is next for Faber?  I don’t see the logic in staying at featherweight in the WEC, he will just keep winning.  He has mentioned the possibility of moving up to avenge his loss to Tyson Griffin.  Urijah Faber dominated the fight, but hats off to Pulver for his enduring a beating.  The guy’s right eye side of his face looked like E.T. when the fight was over.  I scored the fight 50-45, but it was a great fight and Pulver did well against the champ.  One thing is I don’t fully understand why Pulver didn’t utilize that powerful left hand more often.  It shows how awesome Urijah is.  I became a Faber fan last night.   The California Kid is an awesome fighter, well rounded and dominant at his size. 

     

    My WEC 34 Predictions

    Urijah Faber vs. Jens Pulver

    This is being billed as the biggest fight in WEC history.  I think it is big, but it isn’t that big.  Urijah Faber is one of the stars of the WEC.  Jens Pulver is a near legend.  Urijah Faber is one of the best pound for pound guys in the world.  Jens Pulver has never lost at 145 lbs.  Urijah Faber has dominated the WEC featherweight divison.  Jens Pulver is a former 155 lb. champ.  I think Faber will prove to be too versatile and too much.  The edge goes to Faber because he trained for this fight with B.J. Penn.  Of course we know B.J. Penn recently beat Pulver.  Training with B.J. is a huge advantage because Faber can get advice from a guy who fought Pulver twice.  Pulver may be good and yes he looked good against Cub Swanson, but he isn’t Urijah Faber good.  I am excitied about this fight, but I have to pick Faber to win by submission is round 2. 

    Miguel Torres vs. Yoshiro Maeda

    Miguel Torres has quickly become a MMA star.  He is mentioned as also one of the top pound for pound guys.  Maeda seems to be a solid fighter with a great record.  However, the time is now for Torres.  Miguel has an amazing record of 33-1.  This is his first title defense and I don’t expect him to lose it or for it to go to 5 rounds.  Torres is great on the ground.  I expect the height to be a huge advantage and for Torres to submit Maeda in round 3. 

    Chuck Grigsby vs. Mark Munoz

    Kenneth Alexander vs. Rob McCullough

    Rob McCullough lost his belt and he wants it back.  The WEC has had some belt transitions as Doug Marshall, Rob McCullough, and Chase Bebee all lost their belts.  McCullough stands the best chance of getting his back.  I think he will come out and win by TKO or KO in round 1. 

    Mike Brown vs. Jeff Curran

    Curran is ranked as one of the best in his weight class.  Brown will give him a contest though. He is American Top trained and has beated some good fighters and has fought some of the best.  Curran would lose this, but I will pick Curran to win via unanimous decision.

    Chase Beebe vs. Will Ribeiro

    Ribeiro can KO people apparently, but I expect Beebe to win by unanimous decision.  He wants a re-match with Torres and will eventually get one.

    Tim McKenzie vs. Jeremy Lang

    Luis Sapo vs. Alex Serdyukov

    Jose Aldo vs. Alexandre Nogueira

    Dominick Cruz vs. Charlie Valencia

    WEC News, Rumblings and Predictions

    This is a good fight on paper.  The card would have been much better with the Sonnen vs. Filho II fight on it.  I am looking forward to this fight, it has been billed as a good guy vs. bad guy fight.  On one side you have the champ, Doug “Rhino” Marshall.  He talks a lot of talk, he has a foul mouth and he looks the bad guy part.  On the other side you have an army veteran, the “All American” Brian Stann.  I am not going to pull any punches, I am rooting for Stann.  I think he could be a great MMA fighter, especialyl if he has any ground game.  Marshall may never find out.  I am predicting a round 1 TKO for Stann.  He is a potential star, and a win for Stann translates to $$$ for the WEC. 

         Today it was announced that June would be the date for the Urijah Faber vs. Jens Pulver fight.  Also they announced a Miguel Torres vs. Manny Tapia bantamweight title fight.  I am lookign forward to that card.  Torres really impressed me against Beebe.  He is 33-1.  I think he could dominate that divison and then move up and beat Faber.  The Faber vs. Pulver fight will be good.  Pulver I thought was done in MMA and then he comes and beat Cub Swanson quickly.  Faber is the man and the face of his division.  I will root for and pick Faber and Torres to retain their belts.   

           I also wonder what other title defenses will come.  When will Paulo Filho get it together and come out of rehab ready to fight?  Who will he fight?  I would say Filho will be offered the winner of the Sonnen vs. Baker fight tonight, which I am not counting out Baker to win.  Who will Jamie Varner face in his first title defense?  My bet would be a re-match with Rob McCullough.  I think Razor Rob is a better fighter than Varner and will get the belt back eventually.  Who will Carlos Condit next fight?  Heaven knows, he is awesome.  The WEC has done well and have 4 or 5 stars in Faber, Torres, Filho, Stann, and Condit.  The WEC is better off when these guys win.  I’d still like to see some of them against the best in the UFC, especially Condit and Filho.  If Faber could move to 155, he could be a great UFC fighter.