The WEC event was on last night and overall I give it a 7 out of 10. To give you some perspective, I gave the TUF6 finale an 8 out of 10 and UFC 78 a 5 out of 10. Basically the main fights went like this: two steamrolls and two excellent fights.
Jens Pulver made beating Cub Swanson look dirt simple … all of Cub’s talk about trading with Jens on the feet turned out to be a complete troll as he shot for a takedown 5 seconds into the fight. Jens showed why he’s the man at 145 by powering out of the shoot and then sunk in the meanest looking guillotine I’d ever seen. Cub tried to roll out of it but was completely trapped and had to tap like a bitch just over 30 seconds into the fight.
This is the big thing for Jens: he’s now fighting in a weight class where he’s not put up against people way bigger than him. It was amazing that Jens was able to hang with the higher weight classes as long as he did, but now I think we’re going to see Little Evil back in top form since he has the power and size to bully his opponents. A bigger fighter might have been able to power out of that choke, but another 145’er had no chance.
Doug Marshall rolled over Ariel Gandulla like I thought he would … Ariel looked like the novice he was and got caught by THE FIRST SUBMISSION KIDS ARE TAUGHT IN JIU-JITSU: A lazy armbar from the bottom. I was a bit surprised though … Doug Marshall came out looking like a sensitive boyfriend rather than the pissed off Rhino we all know and love. Maybe he was thinking that Ariel had some kind of super-dangerous secret weapon. But unless that secret weapon was “terrible submission defence” … no.
Now onto the battles!
Chael Sonnen was absolutely wailing on a listless Paulo Filho, who basically blamed his problems cutting to 185 on his poor performance. Chael came within inches of finishing the fight early in the first round after a slam seemed to knock Filho out for a moment. In true champion fashion, Filho held on and pulled off a ‘controversial’ submission. ‘Controversial’ in quotations because Chael Sonnen claimed he was just fine, dispite the fact that he was clearly not. I’m sure Sonnen would have been perfectly happy to have his arm broken backwards on live TV and while that would have been totally cool to see, I say good stoppage ref. Good stoppage.
I have to hand it to Chael though … I thought he was going to get absolutely destroyed in this fight but he completely dominated both rounds right up to the last few seconds when Filho pulled a sweet sub out of his ass. Again, Filho complained afterwards about how hard it was to make weight, making me think his lackluster performance had to do with a really bad cut.
Last but not least, Jeff Curran did better than I expected against Urijah Assface Faber. He dominated the first round and came close to finishing things from Faber’s back with a body triangle. Faber kept his cool and got out of it with a minute left to go and from there dominated the second round on his way to a slick choke with 30 seconds left on the clock.
I hate Urijah Faber with a passion, but I can’t deny that the guy has some serious skills. Curran came out strong and put Faber into some tough spots, but Faber survived and turned the tables on his opponent. Jeff Curran also came out with a lot of power and looked 100 times better than he was in his WEC debut where he was unable to even finish Stephen Ledbetter. Let’s hope the Big Frog doesn’t return to his lackluster ways when he’s not fighting for a title shot. Another year or so in the WEC and I can see him winning his next title fight.
All in all, two excellent back and forth fights that solidified their respective WEC champions, Jens Pulver proving he’s no pushover, and Doug Marshall … well, Doug Marshall beat a can. An entertaining night of fights that deserves props. Now lets just hope we don’t have to wait several months for the next one!