This card is stacked as far as the main card goes. There are as many interesting story lines as there are fights as well. This card was postponed from Sept. due to hurricane season in Florida but now it will finally go down. Rob McCullough tries to notch another victory to get another shot at winning back the lightweight belt. If he wins this fight convincingly he could be in line for a title shot early next year. Jens Pulver and Leonard Garcia battle it out. Pulver is looking to reassert himself at the top of the line for a rematch with Urijah Faber (though even if he wins this fight he'll need at least one more good victory before that can happen) and Leonard is trying to bounce back after being cleared from a drug trafficking charge earlier this year that derailed his WEC career. If Garcia wins this fight convincingly he could be next in line for Faber. Paulo Filho and Chael Sonnen meet to settle the score once and for all who the final Middleweight champion in WEC history is. After last time's controversial ending this will finally decide things. Last but not least Urijah Faber takes on his toughest test to date and if he wins this fight convincingly it will put him in the same breath in the pound for pound rankings with BJ Penn and Georges St. Pierre. With all that said let's break down the fights:
Rob McCullough v. Donald Cerrone: Rob is 16-4, 7-2 in the WEC, with 12 wins by stoppage. He is a striker. Cerrone is 9-0, 1-0 in the WEC, with all 9 wins by submission. This guy is amazing. He was a professional kickboxer (with a 28-0-1 record) but has won all 9 MMA bouts by submission. This will be a very dangerous game for Rob. Obviously his best bet is to keep it standing even with Cerrone's background. However, I think Cerrone is just too well rounded and will use the threat of his stand up to take the fight to the ground where he wins by submission in the second round.
Jake Rosholt v. Nissen Osterneck: Rosholt is 4-0 with all 4 wins by stoppage. He is a great ground and pound artist making his WEC debut. Nissen is 5-0 with all 5 wins by stoppage. He is a well rounded fighter also making his WEC debut. This will be Rosholt's first shot at the big time. He is highly touted coming into this match and if he wins convincingly he will assuredly earn himself a shot at the UFC. But this is a very dangerous fight for both men. Unfortunately since I know very little about either fighter I'm going to go with my gut and say that Rosholt will take Osterneck down and control the fight and come out with the decision victory.
Jens Pulver v. Leonard Garcia: Pulver is 21-9-1, 6-2-1 in the UFC, 2-2 in PRIDE, 1-1 in the WEC, with 16 wins by stoppage. He is a striker. Garcia is 11-3, 1-2 in the UFC, 2-0 in the WEC, with 11 wins by stoppage. He is mostly a submission fighter. This should be a great clash of styles but Garcia has a propensity to want to win fight of the night even if it means not fighting a smart fight. If Garcia was smart he would take the fight down right away but I think he'll stay standing which lands him right in Pulver's wheelhouse. If Pulver comes out as in shape and as focused as he was for the Faber fight this will be a long night for Garcia. I'm going to pick Pulver by decision in a war.
Paulo Filho v. Chael Sonnen: Filho is 16-0, 8-0 in PRIDE, 2-0 in the WEC, with 9 wins by submission. He is mostly a submission artist. Sonnen is 20-9-1, 1-2 in the UFC, 2-1 in the WEC, with 10 wins by stoppage. He is a wrestler with solid ground and pound. Last time these two fought Filho was battling addiction and depression and still pulled off the submission. This time I see Filho coming in and taking care of business leading him straight to the promised land in the UFC. I'll pick Filho by submission in the first round.
Urijah Faber v. Mike Brown: Faber is 21-1, 6-0 in the WEC, with 17 wins by stoppage. He is well rounded but is a great wrestler first and foremost. Brown is 17-4, 0-1 in the UFC, 1-0 in the WEC, with 12 wins by stoppage. He is mostly a submission artist. I'll pick Faber to take this fight to the ground early and pull off the submission in the second after beating Brown down a little.
This should be a great night of fights with two belts on the line. Two fights to see if former number one contender/champ can get back to that perch. The last two fights in the WEC at middleweight. The debut and possible launching point of a new contender in the UFC at 185. There is so much going on at this card how could you afford to miss it on top of all the great action!? Stay tuned for my WEC 36 review and TUF 8 review later this week. Until then enjoy the fights,
Soccer kicks and headstomps...