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.
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
Tonight we will be going live at 6:30 PM EST, covering WEC 30: McCullough vs Crunkilton with one of our patented live blogs. Be sure to leave some comments throughout the night…
While you are waiting for the event to start, feel free to check out our coverage of the event which includes predictions, weigh-in results, and much more:
Rob McCullough vs Richard Crunkilton
Chase Beebe vs Rani Yahya
Brian Stann vs Jeremiah Billington
Jeff Bedard vs Miguel Torres
John Alessio vs Marcelo Brito
Marcus Hicks vs Scott McAfee
Jesse Forbes vs Bryan Baker
Donald Cerrone vs Kenneth Alexander
Blas Avena vs Joe Benoit
Ian McCall vs Coty Wheeler