Condit Retains; Varner and Torres Grab Gold

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.”

Chicago native Miguel Torres used beautiful jiu-jitsu in submitting bantamweight champion Chase Beebe in the night’s first title bout.

After an exchange of strikes on the feet found Torres (21-1) stunning Beebe (11-2) with a swift body kick, Beebe quickly took Torres down the mat, where the former student of the late Carlson Gracie immediately attempted an armbar that Beebe easily found his way out of.

Then in the most beautiful transition of submission holds possibly ever seen on live television, Torres caught Beebe in an anaconda choke before shifting to a modified rear naked choke and then a modified guillotine with an option for a D’Arce choke if he was to turn his body in the right direction.

Guest color commentator and current WEC featherweight champion Urijah Faber claimed that the fight was over once Torres grabbed ahold of Beebe’s neck. It turned out he was completely correct as the standout wrestler tapped out and gave the title to Torres.

“I had the anaconda choke,” Torres said after the fight. “I didn’t want to roll because I know he was a good wrestler. He defended, so I jumped for the guard. I had it tight. I felt my hand slipping. He was pulling my arm down. I felt his neck open and I went for his neck.”

Undercard Action

Exciting UFC convert Leonard Garcia scored an impressive stoppage of top ranked featherweight and Shooto veteran Hiroyuki Takaya in the first round of their bout.

After a handful of brief exchanges landed nothing of note for either fighter, Garcia (11-3) landed a straight right that sent Takya (9-5-1) to the canvas. Garcia pounced on his opponent and landed a couple of unanswered punches before the referee stepped in to halt the bout.

Manny Tapia (10-0-1) earned a controversial split decision over Antonio Banuelos (14-5) in the first televised bout of the night.

After originally scoring the bout a majority draw, WEC officials were notified by the judges that there was a misidentified number on the scorecards. It was then announced that Tapia had actually won by a razor close split decision.

A shocked Banuelos was obviously even more disappointed with a loss after already apologizing for earning a draw.

“I just want to apologize to my team and my family,” said Banuelos. “I’m sorry I didn’t win this for you.”

Preliminary results

Micah Miller def. Chance Farrar - KO (Punch)
Yoshiro Maeda def. Charlie Valencia - KO (Body Kick)
Damacio Page def. Scott Jorgensen - Unanimous Decision
Coty Wheeler def. Del Hawkins - Submission (Flying Armbar)
Josh Grispi def. Mark Hominick - Submission (Rear-Naked Choke)


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