Monday, June 2, 2008

WEC 34 Results

WEC 34
ARCO Arena Sacramento, CA

Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone vs. Danny “Last Call” Castillo
Donald CerroneDanny Castillo
Age: 25 Age: 28
Height: 6'0” Height: 5'9”
Weight: 155.5Lbs155 Lbs
Reach: 73” Reach: 71”
Record: 7-0, 1 NCRecord: 5-0

Round 1:
Castillo comes out fast. Good knee to the chest by Castillo and Cerrone goes down and pulls full guard. From the bottom, Cerrone uses his long legs and pulls for an awkward armbar. Castillo slips and moves parallel to Cerrone, but he keeps the armbar, and the ref stops the fight at 1:30 of the first.

Winner: Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone by armbar 1:30 into the first round.

“Razor” Rob McCullough vs. Kenneth “The Black Ninja” Alexander
Rob McCulloughKenneth Alexander
Age: 31 Age: 20
Height: 5'8” Height: 5'9”
Weight: 155.5 Lbs155.5 Lbs
Reach: 69” Reach: 72.5”
Record: 15-4Record: 5-2, 1 NC

Round 1: Both fighters circle for the first minute without throwing a punch and the crowd gets restless. Alexander shoots for a takedown but McCullough sprawls and ends up on top. McCullough brings the fight back to the feet, McCullough lands a knee as they break. Alexander shoots again but can't get the takedown. McCullough blocks a high kick and counters with leg kicks. Both fighters exchange missed high kicks and clinch. They break. Alexander shoots again but is stuffed. McCulough follows with a flying knee that just missed.

10-9 to “Razor” Rob

Round 2: Alexander throws a body kick, gets a body-lock and the takedown. McCullough gets an underhook and stand up right away. McCullough blocks another shot and the fighters exchange a few kicks. McCullough just misses with another flying knee as Alexander goes low. McCullough end up on top but McCullough stands up. Alexander gets a body-lock and a takedown with :15 seconds remaining. Alexander stays on top until the bell.

10-9 Alexander

Round 3: The fighters come out and exchange punches. McCullough throws a low kick and stuffs another takedown. Alexander just misses with a knee and a superman punch. McCullough
follows with a couple of strong body kicks, a low kick, superman punch and a knee. Alexander clinches and pushes McCullough to the cage. Alexander is hit with a low blow knee and the ref breaks them up and gives Alexander time to recover. On the restart, Alexander still cannot take McCullough down and McCullough hits a flying knee to the chest. Alexander clinches but McCullough breaks free. Alexander fails at another shot attempt. McCullough goes for a body kick, Alexander catches it, sweeps the leg and takes top position. McCullough again stands right up. The match ends with three straight failed shots by Alexander

10-9 Alexander
The MMA Report scores the bout 29-28 “Razor” Rob McCullough

Judges score the bout:
30-27 “Razor” Rob
29-28 Alexander
30-27 “Razor” Rob

Winner: “Razor” Rob McCullough by split decision

Mark Munoz vs. “The Reverend” Chuck Grigsby
Mark MunozChuck Grigsby
Age: 30 Age: 35
Height: 6'0” Height: 6'6”
Weight: 205.5 Lbs204.5 Lbs
Reach: 71” Reach: 78”
Record: 3-0Record: 15-3

Round 1: The fighters circle and Munoz, the former DI National Wrestling Champion, goes for a couple of half-hearted shot attempts. Grigsby sprawls on the second attempt and goes for a front choke. They stand and break. Grigsby lands a good uppercut in a combination. Munoz shoots a single and pushed Grigsby to the cage. Munoz lifts the legs and gets the takedown into side control. Grigsby pushes to guard. Munoz stands and controls Grigsby's legs. Munoz lands a strike on a jumping guard pass and lands in the North-South position. Munoz lands another good strike, stands and ends up at Grigsby's feet again. Munoz throws another good strike from the jumping guard pass and ends up in side control. Grigsby goes for a Kimura but Munoz postures up and lands and elbow. Munoz stands, again throws Grigsby's legs to the side and lands a stiff right, Grigsby goes for a leg lock but his head is flat against the mat. Munoz lands three good strikes to the face and Grigsby goes out 4:15 into the first.

Winner: Mark Munoz by TKO

WEC Bantamweight Title MatchMiguel Angel Torres © vs. Yoshida Maeda
Miguel TorresYoshida Maeda
Age: 27 Age: 26
Height: 5'9” Height: 5'7”
Weight: 135 Lbs135 Lbs
Reach: 76” Reach: 68”
Record: 33-1Record: 23-4-2

Round 1: Fighters circle. Torres throws a leg kick. Maeda catches the kick and pushed Torres to the mat. Torres stands and the fighters clinch. Torres throws a knee, breaks and throws a kick and slips to the mat. The fighter scramble and Torres goes for an omaplata. Torres loses the shoulder and Maeda slips out and the fighters stand. Maeda misses a high kick and Torres throws a low kick high kick combination. Again a low kick, high kick this time followed by a knee from Torres. Maeda throws a superman punch and the fighters exchange knees and go to the ground with Maeda on top in half-guard. They stand and Maeda throws a high kick and a front kick. They clinch and exchange knees. Maeda throws left and right body kicks as the round ends.

10-9 Maeda

Round 2: Maeda throws a right low kick and a left hook. Torres was off balanced and goes to the ground but Maeda lets him up. Torres thrown a left and right low kick and again slips to the ground. Torres lands a good up kick to the face of Maeda and Torres stands up. Torres throws a combo and grazes with a high kick. The two exchange kicks and Torres throws a low kick, 2 body kicks, misses with a high kick and follows with a right body kick. Maeda looks tired and momentarily drops his hands for the second time in the fight. Torres throws a combo, followed by a knee, Torres slips and the fighters end up back on the ground. Maeda goes for a heel hook and an ankle lock. Both men attempt toe holds and exchange heel kicks. Torres takes the top but is swept but he throws a short back elbow. Torres tries a weak triangle and the fighters stand up. Torres goes for what looks like a weak guillotine, but Torres uses it to bring Maeda down and take the mount. Torres throws elbows, Maeda rolls and Torres takes the back. Torres rotates and ends the round throwing heel kicks to the back of Maeda. Maeda's right eye is swelling up.

10-9 Torres

Round 3: Torres is the aggressor early and lands a good knee and throws combos with his hands. They clinch and Torres throws another knee. Maeda lands an overhand left and Torres responds with a good combo leading with the left to Maeda's swollen eye. Maeda slips a punch and take Torres down. Commentator Frank Mir mentions a Torres “reach around.” Maeda can't do anything on top and they stand up. Maeda's eye is really closing up. Torres lands a right body kick and two more left jabs. Maeda is holding his swollen right eye but is saved from more punishment by the round. Referee Herb Dean is taking a close look at the eye of Maeda.

10-9 Torres

Mid-round the Doctor stops the fight. Maeda's right eye is completely closed.

Winner: Miguel Torres by Doctor Stoppage after round 3 to retain the WEC Bantamweight Title.

WEC Featherweight Championship match
“The California Kid” Urijah Faber © vs. Jens “Little Evil” Pulver

Urijah FaberJens Pulver
Age: 29 Age: 33
Height: 5'6” Height: 5'7”
Weight: 144.5 Lbs155 Lbs
Reach: 69” Reach: 70”
Record: 19-1Record: 22-8-1

Round 1: Urijah Faber lands the first punch with a very good overhand right. Faber throws a high kick, another right hand and the fighters exchange knees. Faber with an upper-cut, another overhand right and three straight rights. They clinch and Faber throws a knee, separates for a kick and slips to the ground. Pulver is in Faber's guard. Faber holds tight, Pulver stands and receives an up-kick and Faber stands. Pulver gets poked in the eye and the fight is paused foe a brief moment. They restart and Pulver lands an upper-cut in the clinch. Faber throws the right and Pulver lands a knee. They clinch and exchange more knees. Faber fires off a combo followed by a high kick and a counter left. Faber kicks and missed and exposes his back. Pulver grabs Faber from behind but the fighters break apart and Faber throws a back fist. Pulver lands a left-right combo. Faber continues to lead with the right as the bell sounds.

10-9 Faber

Round 2: The round starts off with an early kick that lands low on Jens Pulver. After a short stoppage, Faber continues to work the lead right and uses it to set up a takedown against the cage. Faber pulls into Pulver's full guard and lands a strong elbow but Pulver is able to scramble and stand. A left hook by Faber puts Pulver down and Pulver looks rocked and grabs for a leg. Faber continues to rain down shots on Pulver, and lands a left upper-cut. Faber throws a left but is hit flush with a left from Pulver and looks hurt. Faber shoots the single and gets another takedown, but the fighters end up in a wrestling start with Pulver on top going for the choke. Faber is able to stand and switched to Pulver's back. They break and exchange combos with Faber landing another overhand right.

10-9 Faber

Round 3: Pulver lands the first big strike of the round with a body kick. Faber responds with a combo and finished with his own body kick. Faber shoots again and is stuffed by Faber. Faber stand, switches and takes Pulver's back. Faber launches Pulver for a suplex but Pulver is able to post and avoid major damage and get back to his feet. Faber throws the straight right and a left upper-cut. Faber fakes the shot and throws another right left combo, but Pulver catches Faber with an upper-cut of his own. Pulver throws a left body kick which looks to hurt Faber, who begins to walk away from Pulver. Faber gets back into the pocket and throws a series of body kicks and shoots again but ends up on the bottom in half-guard. Pulver throws elbows but is swept and ends up in Pulver's half-guard. Faber throws a right elbow followed by a left. Pulver is able to hip out into a right butterfly guard. After inactivity, the ref stands the fighters who are both slow to restart. Each fighter throws a kick and the round ends.

10-9 Faber

Round 4: Faber shoots in and eats a big left from Pulver. Faber lands a right upper-cut. Faber throws a left body kick and an overhand right. Faber doubles up on the left jab and follows with two more weaker jabs. Pulver throws a combo and Faber counters with another straight right. Faber clinches and sweeps the leg for the takedown and lands in Pulver's full-guard. Faber uses his elbows to Ground and Pound. Pulver is hurt by a big right elbow. Pulver's face is beginning to swell up around the right eye. The round ends with Faber on top, throwing elbows.

10-9 Faber

Round 5: Faber shoots but is stuffed. A left cross hurts Pulver. Pulver throws a good left hook and stuffs another shot by Faber and Pulver throws a few good lefts. Faber responds with a good knee. Pulver gets a bodylock and attempts to throw Faber, but Faber lands on top. Faber smothers Pulver for the rest of the round and throws up the Hang-Loose sign with the fight coming to a decisive end.

10-9 Faber
The MMA Report scores the fight 50-45 Faber.

Judges score the bout:
50-45 Faber
50-44 Faber
50-44 Faber

Winner: Urijah Faber by unanimous decision to retain the WEC Featherweight Title.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Opinion on Kimbo vs. Thompson

MMA made its Network TV debut on CBS with the highly publicized Elite XC: Saturday Night Fights. The debut marked a major stepping stone for the movement of MMA from the underground to mainstream, but many longtime MMA fans were disappointed by the overall production.

The main event, a high profile affair between two mid tier heavyweights, featured street brawler Kimbo Slice and British HW James Thompson. The fight showed how far Kimbo has to go before his martial arts talent imathced his media hype.

Thompson had no intention of standing with Kimbo, and repeatedly attempted sloppy takedowns. Once on the ground, Thompson was able to easily pass Kimbo's guard,. but unable to keep himself in dominant positions. Thompson managed to be swept while holding Kimbo in a scarf hold.

When the fight was on the feet, Kimbo was clearly the aggressor and landed the best strikes of the fight. Thompson was rocked several times, but he was easily able to take the fight to the ground when necessary.

Both fighters showed poor conditioning. Both were dead tired before the end of the second round. The round ended with Thompson in a dominant position, but "The Colossus" was only able to muster weak punches and elbows, and allowed Kimbo to last through the round.

The third round was brief. Thompson was too tired to shoot for a takedown, and received several big shots. One shot ruptured Thompson's terrible left cauliflower ear, which commentator Gus Johnson repeatedly referred to as an "alien life-form." The fight was called to a controversial stoppage 38 seconds into the round.

The fight was the equivalent of the NHL having a pee-wee hockey game on NBC to bring hockey fans back after the work stoppage. Both fighter showed poor wrestling and ground skills and the stoppage was questionable. James Thompson showed no boxing ability, but was saved most of the fight by his historically weak chin.

This fight makes it clear that Kimbo is not ready for the spotlight that he has been pushed into. At the post-fight press conference, Brett "Grim" Rogers, who won his fight over Jon Murphy by TKO earlier on the card, said it best by calling the fight "garbage." Kimbo and Rogers followed with a brief confrontation that may haunt Elite XC President Gary Shaw's dreams. Rogers and Kimbo will both push for a match, and Rogers will be a strong favorite to smash the media aura of the undefeated Kimbo Slice.

My overall grades on the fight:

Striking: Kimbo B, Thompson F
Wrestling: Kimbo F, Thompson D
BJJ: Kimbo F, Thomspon F
Conditioning: Kimbo D, Thompson D
Overall Fight: D