Kid Yamamoto. Photo courtesy of Fighting and Entertainment Group.
Here are your quick hits for the afternoon of June 18, 2009.
— Former pound-for-pound phenom Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto will return to action a little less than two months after suffering his first professional MMA loss in seven years at K-1’s “World MAX 2009” event on July 13 in a kickboxing bout. “Kid” will be fighting Jae hee Cheon in a three-round matchup. Other notable MMA fighters competing include Tatsuya Kawajiri and Atsushi Yamamoto. [Japan-MMA.com]
— Longtime veteran Dennis Hallman will now be facing training partner Justin Davis in a catch-weight bout at tomorrow night’s “Strikeforce Challengers: Villasenor vs. Cyborg” event at the ShoWare Center in Kent, Washington. Hallman was originally slated to take on Cedric Marks, who was forced out of the bout after reportedly competing this past weekend and acquiring a medical suspension because of it. A lightweight bout between Jorge Gurgel and Conor Heun will also now be contested at a catch-weight of 160 lbs. [MMA Junkie]
“Kid” Yamamoto. Photo courtesy of Fighting and Entertainment Group.
DREAM parent company Fighting and Entertainment Group today revealed the promotion’s schedule for the new year, with DREAM’s first show being held on March 8 at the Saitama Super Arena in Japan and featuring the opening rounds of the organization’s inaugural featherweight and welterweight grand prix tournaments.
In total, DREAM will put on seven total shows in ‘09. Solidified dates for shows include April 5 at Nippon Gaishi Hall and December 31 at the Saitama Super Arena for the annual year-end K-1 Dynamite show. DREAM officials are also planning to hold shows in May, July, September, and October.
Chase Beebe. Photo property of World Extreme Cagefighting.
Former WEC bantamweight champion Chase Beebe has reportedly announced his intention to sign a three-fight contract with Japanese-based DREAM in order to compete in the promotion’s upcoming featherweight grand prix later this year.
According to MMA Weekly, Beebe made the decision to travel overseas after a proposed bout against Jeff Curran at WEC 37 in December fell apart. The Chicago native will take on East Coast prospect Mike Easton for the vacant Ultimate Warrior Challenge bantamweight title on February 21 before heading to Japan.
Beebe last at WEC 34 in June, losing a split decision to Will Ribeiro. Beebe captured the WEC bantamweight title during a five-round war with Eddie Wineland in March 2007 and successfully defended it against Rani Yahya in his next bout, but ended up losing the title to Miguel Torres early last year.
Chase Beebe throws a right hand at Miguel Torres. Photo property of World Extreme Cagefighting.
Former WEC bantamweight champion Chase Beebe will attempt to get back to his winning ways when he takes on newcomer Will Ribeiro at World Extreme Cagefighting’s next scheduled event on June 1st in Sacramento, California.
The promotion announced the fight earlier today via their official website.
Beebe won a five-round unanimous decision over Eddie Wineland in March of last year to earn the WEC bantamweight title. The standout wrestler would go on to defend the belt against highly touted grappler Rani Yahya before losing his title to Miguel Torres in February.
Ribeiro, a Shooto veteran who has fought strictly in the country of Brazil, is currently riding a three-fight winning streak. He last scored a first-round knockout of Andre Lobo at a Shooto Americas event in January.
The show will feature the organization’s self-proclaimed “most important bout of all-time” as WEC featherweight champion Urijah Faber will clash in a highly-anticipated fight against former UFC lightweight champion Jens Pulver in the main event.
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.
News and Notes
- MMA Junkie is reporting a lot of news lately…
The UFC has apparently signed former PRIDE, Shooto, and Pancrase veteran Akihiro Gono and has sent UFC welterweight Tamdan McCrory a contract proposing the fight according to McCrory’s manager:
“He’ll (be at) UFC 78 if he accepts the fight, which I assume he will considering he has fought top guys his whole career,” Ciotoli.
”(The UFC’s been) trying to get me on that card, being that I’m from the area and have a strong fan base in New Jersey,” McCrory told us last month.
Marvin Eastman has been forced to pull out of his scheduled bout against Demian Maia at UFC 77 after undergoing eye surgery:
“I had a weak spot on my retina for a long time, and about two weeks ago, it tore a little bit,” Eastman said. “It felt like sleepy eye. I went in to check it out last Wednesday at 3:30 p.m., and I was in surgery by 7. It’s fixed now, and I’ve got to chill a month and can’t fight until November.“
No word as of yet on a replacement opponent for Eastman.
Chris Lytle may be heading over to the WEC for a possible title shot against WEC Welterweight Champion Carlos Condit:
MMA fan favorite and “The Ultimate Fighter 4” welterweight runner-up Chris Lytle may be leaving the UFC for Zuffa LLC’s other fight promotion — the WEC — and may be in line for an immediate title shot.
In fact, a source close to current WEC welterweight champion Carlos Condit (21-4) first contacted MMAjunkie.com about the possibility, saying UFC and WEC officials were discussing the potential title fight. However, the WEC recently folded a proposed November event into its Dec. 12 fight card, and as of now, the organization has far more fighters than it has fight slots.
A reliable source tell us that a Condit-Lytle fight would happen no sooner than February 2008 — if then — because of the backlog.
- Brazilian MMA website Tatame is reporting that former PRIDE star Ricardo Arona may currently be in contract talks with the UFC.
Hat tip to UFC Mania for the Arona link.
- So Matt Hamill has a torn ACL? He also fought Michael Bisping with that torn ACL? Read what Adam Morgan and 411Mania have to say about that.
- It seems that the UFC has took down UFC Takedown:
Late last week, Matt Cava of UFCtakedown.com was issued a Cease and Desist by Zuffa, LLC. He has been told to remove his website. They specifically nailed him for using UFC in his URL as well as broadcasting illegal fight videos. September 8th’s UFC 75: Champion v. Champion videos as well as a fight between Ricardo Arona and Quinton Jackson were specifically mentioned. As of today, UFCtakedown.com no longer exists. In the meantime, Matt has been able to secure MMAtakedown.net for the time being.
- Brigham Young University has banned Versus from the school’s channel selection, citing costs and the broadcasting of MMA as the reasons:
BYU has banned access to Versus on its campus cable, citing cost and content issues such as ultimate fighting.
Touch of gloves to Fight Opinion for that one.
Luke Thomas, Sam Caplan, and Matt Cava recap EliteXC: Uprising and preview UFC 76.
Sherdog: Tale of Two Coaches
MMA Weekly: Catching up with Matt Lindland
Fight Opinion: Pro Elite pays big for KOTC & Cage Rage
Fightlinker: Kang forsakes America, may secretly be a communist
Bloody Elbow: How to Build a MMA Cage?
Houston Chronicle: Fitch gets his shot at UFC’s main stage
Daily Star: Dancing Iceman’s Hot Move
Chicago Sports: Keeping up with Montini’s Chase Beebe
TapouT reality star and WEC lightweight Donald Cerrone has tested positive for Hydrochlorothiazide, a diuretic that usually used to assist in weight-cutting by forcing the body to retain less water. The drug is currently banned by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
Cerrone was found to have tested positive for the drug after test results came in from the WEC’s post-fight medical examinations. Cerrone was victorious in his WEC debut at the event, submitting Kenneth Alexander. UFC veteran Thiago Alves also tested positive for the drug at UFC 66 but his win over Tony DeSouza was not overturned since it was found that the drug did not help him in winning the fight. The chances are that the NSAC will see the same for Cerrone.
The other seven fighters tested after WEC 30: Rob McCullough, Rich Crunkilton, Chase Beebe, Rani Yahya, Bryan Baker, Jesse Forbes, and Kenneth Alexander all passed their post-fight tests.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission has released the official fighter salaries from WEC 30:
Rob McCullough: $24,000
John Alessio: $22,000
Miguel Torres: $20,000
Brian Stann: $10,000
Rich Crunkilton: $10,000
Chase Beebe: $10,000
Marcus Hicks: $8,000
Donald Cerrone: $6,000
Bryan Baker: $6,000
Blas Avena: $6,000
Rani Yahya: $6,000
Jeff Bedard: $4,000
Ian McCall: $4,000
Jesse Forbes: $4,000
Kenneth Alexander: $3,000
Marcelo Brito: $3,000
Scott McAfee: $2,000
Joe Benoit: $2,000
Coty Wheeler: $2,000
Jeremiah Billington: $2,000
Total Payroll: $154,000