Brian Stann throws a left hand at Doug Marshall. Photo property of World Extreme Cagefighting.
So I figured I’d put down some of my thoughts/opinions regarding last night’s televised WEC 33 card on the Versus network.
First off, the WEC may just be my favorite promotion. Because they feature the lighter weight classes, there always seems to be action. While many of the guys are raw, they always seem to bring it.
Last night the WEC began using Craig Hummer for the post fight interviews. I like Frank Mir as the color analyst a lot. His knowledge really comes through in the call of the fight. Sometimes he makes the claim that a submission is “locked in” and that “its over” a bit prematurely, but I can live with that. The only weakness was his post fight interviews. By using a professional like Craig Hummer, it came across much better.
On to the broadcasted fights.
The opening match of Steve Cantwell vs Tim McKenzie was a wild affair. Cantwell really tagged Tim a few times with some sweet high kicks and is really what lead to the victory. As pointed out in the broadcast, Steve did a much better job of not going out too frenetic which really hurt him in his loss to Brian Stann. At first, I thought the RNC was pretty light to elicit the tap, but Steve had the forearm deep across the throat with back pressure from his own chest. Nice win against a very good Tim McKenzie.
Ed Ratcliff and Marcus Hicks stepped in the cage next. And Hicks proceeded to dominate the fight. This guy has a bright future. He appears very strong, shows very solid boxing fundamentals, and really stays in your face the entire fight.
Due to the quick stoppages, we then saw the prelim fight between Richard Crunkilton and Sergio Gomez. I’ve always been a fan of Crunkilton, but IMO this was not his best effort. He dominated the fight with a great assortment of takedowns, many leading to nice slams. he landed a few nasty elbows and punches from the top position, including one that opened a HUGE gash on the back/side of Gomez’ head. While some may question the legality of the hit (striking the back of the head), this was one of those cases where Gomez turned his head at the last second to avoid the hit. The cut made the rest of the match a bloodbath. While Richard certainly won, he looked quite gassed at times. His standup was very slow and sloppy, and while they were on their feet, Gomez easily won that aspect. It almost looked like Crunkilton took the opponent lightly, but there is no way to know that. I’d expect him to look much better in his next outing.
The co-Main Event was next with Chael Sonnen taking on late replacement Bryan Baker. Sonnen has been very restless with Paulo Filho being unable to compete in this match and he took out his frustration on Baker. Scorecards of 30-26 and 30-25 (2x) show what a dominant fight this was. Sonnen took him down at will and punished him from the dominant position. Baker tried for multiple submissions, but Chael had the answer for everything. The only thing I didn’t like was comments from Chael about being a rare fighter under Zuffa contract who will fight anyone, anytime. For some reason it just came off as too cocky for me. But whatever, its just me being picky I suppose.
Finally, the WEC light heavyweight championship was on the line between champ Doug Marshall and challenger Brian Stann. I guess I’m one of the rare few who really liked both guys. Both just let it fly and that’s exactly what happened. Marshall really tagged Stann a few times, but similar to his previous fights, that only seemed to make Stann more frenetic and fire away. The left hook that dropped Marshall was nasty.
In a way, this WEC event was a step back in terms of excitement from the previous events under Zuffa management. But that is far from a knock as the previous ones have just been so fantastic and action packed. The announcement yesterday of Faber vs Pulver in June is awesome as is the potential for the Torres-Tapia battle. It was cool to see both Faber and Pulver go out of their way to show so much respect to the opponent, while at the same time predicting victory. There is little doubt in my mind that this one will live up to the billing.
Final Results for the Full Card
Brian Stann def. Doug Marshall via TKO (Strikes) Rd 1.
Chael Sonnen def. Bryan Bakervia Unanimous Decision
Marcus Hicks def. Ed Ratcliff via Submission (Guillotine Choke) Rd 1.
Steve Cantwell def. Tim McKenzie via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) Rd 1.
Hiromitsu Miura def. Blas Avena via KO Rd 1.
Brock Larson def. John Alessio via DQ (illegal knee to downed opponent) Rd 1.
Richard Crunkilton def. Sergio Gomez via Unanimous Decision
Alex Serdyukov def. Ryan Stonitsch via Submission (Triangle Choke) Rd 1.
Chris Manuel vs. Kenji Osawa ends in a Split Draw
Logan Clark def. Scott Harper via TKO (Strikes) Rd 1.
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