Fedor Emelianenko. Photo by Esther Lin/Strikeforce.
The Daily Recap is a collection of news and notes from around the web that will be posted at the end of each day. Bout signings, injury news and much more can all be found here.
— Following his shocking loss to Antonio Silva, Fedor Emelianenko has been medically suspended indefinitely by the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board. He will not be permitted to compete until he's cleared by a doctor after an upcoming CT scan of his head and face. However, he did not suffer a broken orbital bone as widely speculated. Former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski will also be sidelined for a mandatory 30 days following his KO loss to Sergei Kharitonov. [MMAJunkie.com]
— A featherweight bout between one-time planned title contender Josh Grispi and "TUF" alumnus George Roop has been booked for the TUF 13 Finale in Las Vegas on June 4. Grispi had a ten-fight winning streak snapped by Dustin Porier at UFC 125 on Jan 1, while Roop suffered a one-sided loss to Mark Hominick just days later at UFC Fight for the Troops II. [MMA Mania]
Rob McCullough. Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC.
CHICAGO, ILL – Following confirmations of talent filled Welterweight, Featherweight and Light Heavyweight Tournaments for the promotion's highly anticipated fourth season,Bellator Fighting Championships has officially announced that the promotion will hold a Lightweight Tournament this March, live on MTV2.
Eight world class 155 lb. fighters will face off for a chance at claiming the Season 4 Lightweight Tournament Championship, a check for $100,000, and a shot at Bellator World Lightweight Champion and top ranked lightweight Eddie Alvarez.
While announcements regarding all eight participants will follow, former WEC Lightweight Champion “Razor” Rob McCullough has been confirmed for the upcoming tournament. The Huntington Beach-based knockout artist enters the Bellator cage with momentum on his side, going undefeated in 2010 and moving his record to an impressive 19-6.
We will be going live at 5:30 PM ET with complete results from tonight’s WEC 36: Faber vs. Brown event, which will take place at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida. The show’s televised main card will air on Versus starting at 8 PM ET.
WEC 36 is headlined by Urijah Faber once again defending his featherweight title against gritty top contender Mike Thomas Brown. In addition, WEC middleweight champion Paulo Filho will meet Chael Sonnen in a non-title rematch of their December 2007 fight and former UFC lightweight title holder Jens Pulver will look to get back on track against rising featherweight Leonard Garcia.
Feel free to leave your thoughts and comments throughout the evening. Detailed live results are after the jump.
Paulo Filho. Photo property of World Extreme Cagefighting.
WEC middleweight title holder Paulo Filho came in an astounding seven pounds over the 185 lb. limit at the weigh-ins for WEC 36 on Tuesday afternoon, putting his championship rematch against Team Quest product Chael Sonnen in jeopardy.
After the two-hour allotted time limit, Filho was only able to cut down to 188 lbs, making his showdown against Sonnen a non-title affair. Sonnen will be awarded 25% of Filho’s purse.
In addition, featherweight title challenger Mike Brown came in a half pound over the featherweight limit and jiu-jitsu wizard Rani Yahya weighed-in one pound over the bantamweight requirements for his fight against Yoshiro Maeda. Brown was quickly able to shed the extra baggage while Maeda has agreed to face Yahya without forcing him to cut weight again.
Complete weigh-in results are after the jump.
Jens Pulver. Photo property of World Extreme Cagefighting.
World Extreme Cagefighting today officially announced the complete lineup of fights that will take place at the organization’s scheduled September 10th event in Hollywood, Florida.
The most notable bout made official today involves former UFC lightweight champion Jens Pulver looking to solidify himself as a contender once again in the WEC’s featherweight division as he will take on fellow heavy-hitter Leonard Garcia. The bout will be part of the event’s televised main card on Versus.
Pulver is coming off of a failed attempt to dethrone reigning 145 lb champion Urijah Faber while Garcia will be fighting for the first time since being charged and eventually cleared of involvement in a New Mexico drug ring.
Additional matchups announced for the card this afternoon included Rani Yahya vs. Yoshiro Maeda, Rob McCullough vs. Donald Cerrone, Jake Rosholt vs. Danillo Villefort, Johny Hendricks vs. Alex Serdyukov, Tim McKenzie vs. David Avellan, and Ed Ratcliff vs. Danny Castillo.
Rob McCullough. Photo property of World Extreme Cagefighting.
Former WEC lightweight champion “Razor” Rob McCullough will likely continue his journey to regain his title later this year, possibly taking on undefeated prospect Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone in a bout with potential title shot implications.
The news comes from MMA Mania, which reports that the fight is currently “in the works” and could either take place at planned WEC events in August or September.
McCullough bounced back from a brutal TKO loss that cost him his welterweight title at the hands of current champion Jamie Varner in February by avenging a prior loss to Kenneth Alexander via split decision earlier this month in Sacramento. The bout will likely mark the fifth consecutive time that McCullough has been in a Zuffa-televised bout.
Cerrone, who has yet to lose thus far in his professional career, was also victorious at the WEC’s latest effort earlier this month, submitting Danny Castillo with an armbar during a preliminary bout. The fight was his first since being suspended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission after testing positive for a banned diuretic last year.
Officially announced by the WEC today was a bantamweight showdown between rising contender Brian Bowles and Jackson’s Submission Fighting product Damacio Page. That fight will take place at the promotion’s next event on August 3rd in Las Vegas.
Rob McCullough. Photo property of World Extreme Cagefighting.
Former WEC lightweight champion Rob McCullough will return to action against Kenneth Alexander when World Extreme Cagefighting travels to Sacramento, California for their next event on June 1st.
The news comes from MMA Weekly, which has confirmed the bout with sources close to McCullough’s camp.
McCullough’s reign as lightweight champion came to an abrupt end this past February when he was stopped by Jamie Varner. McCullough, a member of Team Punishment, originally won the vacant title over Kit Cope last January and then successfully defended it against Richard Crunkilton in September.
Alexander returned to active competion last year after a five-year hiatus from the sport. He quickly racked up two wins in smaller shows before making his WEC debut last September when he was submitted by Donald Cerrone. The loss has since been changed to a no-contest after Cerrone tested positive for a banned substance.
McCullough and Alexander have fought before. Back in March 2002, Alexander won a unanimous decision over McCullough at a Hitman Fighting Productions event. The fight was the third career bout for both fighters.
The event in June will also feature a highly-anticipated featherweight title clash between current champion Urijah Faber and former UFC lightweight champion Jens Pulver.
Jamie Varner throws a left hook at Rob McCullough during their championship bout at WEC 32: Condit vs Prater. Photo property of World Extreme Cagefighting.
Some thoughts and notes from last night’s WEC 32: Condit vs Prater…
Good Show, Good Production
Last night’s event was definitely fun to watch. The televised bouts had a lot of everything - spectacular knockouts, slick submissions. Even the most boring fight on the broadcast had a highlight reel ending. The main thing that I wanted to touch on was the production. Sam Caplan makes a great point when he says that last night’s show was perhaps the best MMA show he’s ever seen on basic cable. I couldn’t agree more.
The commentating was great. Aside from Frank Mir’s screams of excitement once in a while during a bout, he did fantastic as always. Even Urijah Faber guest commentating during the Torres-Beebe fight was interesting to listen to. He came off as being a lot more than just a California surfer like I’m sure the casual fans portray him as.
Did anyone else notice that their was a semi-entrance where the fighters came out last night? Granted it was only a lit-up WEC sign above the curtain but still, it’s at least a start for those out there who still long to see a Zuffa-promoted event use the ramp again.
Strange Judging in Tapia-Banuelos
I realize it was a pretty even fight for the most part but how that one was scored a draw confuses the hell out of me. Antonio Banuelos did a good job of controlling the third round but I still thought that Manny Tapia earned a unanimous decision for the first two, even though a split call was more likely.
I’m still surprised that no one scored a 10-8 first round for Tapia. He knocked Banuelos down twice in the round and came very close to finishing him. Just like in the Bisping-Hamill fight, Cecil Peoples gave the fight to the wrong person again.
Carlos Condit weighs-in for WEC 32: Condit vs Prater. Photo property of World Extreme Cagefighting.
New Mexico native Carlos Condit avenged the first loss of his career and retained his WEC welterweight title as he submitted Carlo Prater in front of a supportive crowd of 4,648 inside Rio Rancho’s Santa Ana Star Center last night.
The fight was one of three title bouts that headlined World Extreme Cagefighting’s first venture outside of Las Vegas since UFC parent company Zuffa purchased the promotion in the fall of 2006.
After exchanging a series of leg kicks with Condit, Prater was able to slam his opponent down to the mat in impressive fashion. However Condit immediately went on the offensive, attempting a series of submissions that included tries for a triangle, armbar, and a guillotine.
While sitting inside of Condit’s guard, Prater (21-6-1) made the mistake of digging his head into Condit’s stomach, allowing the hometown hero to sink in a fight-ending guillotine from the bottom. After the fight, Condit (22-4) pointed out that it would be impossible for him to be uncomfortable fighting off of his back at this point.
“I’m very comfortable on my back, like I’ve proven before,” Condit said during a post-fight interview with Frank Mir. “All my wins in the WEC so far have come by submission. I’m not complaining at all.”
While Condit was able to keep his belt around his waist, the two other champions defending their titles didn’t fair so well.
Team Punishment’s Rob McCullough defended multiple takedown attempts while not mounting much of his well-known offense during the first two rounds against Jamie Varner, who had recently converted over from the UFC’s lightweight division.
Varner’s early scored takedowns and aggressiveness put him ahead on points going into the third round. However it was Varner who was on the wrong end of a right hook courtesy of McCullough. After the blow knocked his mouthpiece out, Varner intelligently asked referee Steve Mazzagatti if he could have it back in his mouth, a decision that ultimately gave Varner more time to recover from the shot.
When the fight was restarted, Varner (14-2) rushed McCullough (15-4) out of the gate with a flurry of lefts and rights. A stunned McCullough continued to take unanswered shots, going down to a knee twice before finally being finished off with a devastating straight right that forced Mazzagatti to step in and save a bloodied and battered “Razor” Rob.
Varner, the newly-crowned lightweight champion, revealed his plan to strike against the renowned Muay-Thai specialist after the fight.
“I grew up boxing,” said Varner,”. “Everybody called me a wrestler. He expected me to wrestle. So I kind of put my wrestling on the back-burner during this training camp and really worked on my striking. It really paid off tonight.”
LAS VEGAS – After a star-studded 2007 in Las Vegas that saw the crowning of new champions, the emergence of new ones, and a continuation of the high-octane action that has become a trademark of the organization, World Extreme Cagefighting will take its show on the road Wednesday, February 13 with a championship triple-header that is sure to pack the Santa Ana Star Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
In the main event, Albuquerque’s own “Natural Born Killer”, Carlos Condit, looks to defend his WEC Welterweight title and avenge a previous defeat in the same night as he takes on Carlo Prater. Also in action will be “Razor” Rob McCullough, who defends his WEC Lightweight crown against rising star Jamie Varner, and the 135-pound iron man, WEC Bantamweight Champion Chase Beebe, who will put his belt on the line against Jiu-Jitsu ace Miguel Torres.
WEC: Condit vs. Prater will be televised live nationally on Versus beginning at 9:00 pm ET/6:00 pm PT.
One of the best 170-pound fighters on the planet, Carlos Condit, will defend his title against Carlo Prater in what many are calling one of the best matchups in the history of the WEC.