Monday, January 26, 2009

WEC 38 Review

What an unfortunate ending to an otherwise great night of fights (as usual) from the WEC.

You never want to see a doctor stop a fight, but obviously, you have to protect the health and safety of the fighters first and foremost. I just wish they had called the match a NC and let them do it again after both men had been medically cleared.

A great main event, combined with the other good fights, made for a great Sunday night of MMA.

Every fight shown ended by KO or submission within the first round. How ridiculous is that?

Also, it was great to see Faber get back on his feet. And did anyone else notice how guys were just dropping f-bombs like crazy on live network TV? Don't they have a delay to mute that stuff out?

In any case, let's quickly break down the fights and see how I did on my predictions:

Scott Jorgenson v. Frank Gomez: Neither of them really tried to stand and fight. Jorgenson got it to the ground pretty quickly where he kept slapping on his guillotine and eventually caught Gomez at 1:09 in the first round.

Jose Aldo v. Rolando Perez: This fight, meanwhile, was a great stand-up war. Perez got in some good shots, but it was Aldo's fight all the way. He finally caught Perez with a great punch sending him to the mat, finishing him off by TKO in the first round.

Danillo Villefort v. Mike Campbell: This was a crazy fight. These guys were up and down and really trading, but unfortunately, Campbell just got caught and Villefort finished him with a TKO in the first round.

Urijah Faber v. Jens Pulver: This was a really unfortunate and unnecessary rematch, but if you've got to put butts in seats, this is a quick and easy way to do it (especially in California where Faber is king). Pulver looked overwhelmed on the feet, which was pretty shocking.

In their first fight, Faber surprised Pulver with his stand-up but only from a technical standpoint. In this fight, Faber really overwhelmed Pulver and took him to the mat where he won by an extreme version of the guillotine—it almost looked like an inverted D'arce choke in the first round.

Faber will get another crack at the title with this win, but I don't think he necessarily deserves it just because he won this fight. I think he should get it because of how good he is and the fact that he was the former champ.

Jamie Varner v. Donald Cerrone: Now, this fight was insane. They both had solid stand-up, but I thought Cerrone was getting the best of it. He forced Varner to take the fight to the mat where he laid a beat down on Cerrone.

In the second round, Cerrone turned the tables on him by totally dominating the stand-up—especially with his kicks.

By the third round, both of these guys knew they were in a war and loving every minute of it. Varner again used his superior wrestling to take the fight to the ground where Cerrone looked more dangerous, but Varner still got in some good ground-and-pound.

If Cerrone wants to compete for a title, he needs to improve his wrestling. Then, he will have some say in where the fight takes place.

The fourth round was fairly even. It was obvious Cerrone was in better shape because Varner's shots didn't look as crisp and he couldn't take Cerrone down at will. This gave Cerrone the opportunity to stand and trade where he was more effective.

Unfortunately, the fifth round was where everything went wrong. Cerrone was beating down Varner but accidentally clipped his eye with an unintentional illegal knee to the head. This prevented Varner from seeing properly, and thus, stopped the fight.

Because they had passed the third round, the fight went to the scorecards.

Everyone involved was unhappy that the fight had to be stopped and that they went to the scorecards instead of calling it a NC and letting them do it again.

Varner won a split decision—which I did not agree with. I thought the judges gave too much credit to Varner for take downs since he didn't do much with them after the first round.

My scorecard had Cerrone winning the second, fourth, and fifth rounds. One of the judges agreed with me, so I couldn't have been that wrong.

In any case, the fight ended unceremoniously and they really do have to fight again to get an uncontroversial ending to what was an otherwise great fight.

Hopefully, the WEC will make that happen sooner, rather than later.

I went 1-1 on the night, getting the Faber pick right but not the prediction.

My choice for "KO of the Night" goes to Jose Aldo. My choice for "Submission of the Night" goes to Urijah Faber. My choice for "Fight of the Night" goes to Varner v. Cerrone.

That's it for now. Stay tuned for my UFC 94 review this weekend.

Until then, Soccer kicks and head stomps...

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