In honor of me getting the versus channel, I am doing a little review on the WEC. The WEC is kind of the UFC's farm team, but, as a twist, they have the Bantamweight and Featherweight classes.
Card and My Picks:
Brian Bowles Vs. Marcos Galvao (Bantamweight 135)
Bowles is that guy that you always hear about but never see. It is mainly because he is so freaking little. Brian is 8-1 his only loss was to the very tough Micah Miller. Brain trains out of Forrest Griffin's old gym, Hardcore Gym, in Atlanta.
Marcos is a Nova Uniao black belt, but not really that well known. He is 6-1, but has yet to see a fight that did not go the distance.
This should be a good ground battle with lots of reversals and position game. I think Brian by decision.
Ian McCall Vs. Charlie Valencia (Bantamweight 135)
Ian trains with Chris Brennan's Next Generation Jujitsu. He is 6-0 with all but one of his wins coming by submission or KO.
Charlie is 8-3, with all three losses coming in his last four fights. His last fight was a RNC loss to Brian Bowles in the WEC. Charlie has been mixing it up with some very solid fighters in his division loosing to Cub Swanson (KO) and Urijah Faber (RNC).
Ian is on a roll and Charlie is desperate to stay in the mix. Coming off of a loss is tough, and only loosing to the best is tougher. I think that it will be two in a row for Charlie. I say Ian by RNC second round.
Alex Karalexis Vs. Ed Ratcliff (Lightweight)
I really like Alex Karalexis, and I am glad that he has found a home in the WEC. Alex is 9-2 over all, winning his last three in the WEC. All of his fights have been tough ones, beating Thomas Denny and Josh Smith by decisions, and KOing Crazy Meth Jesus Olaf Alfonso. Alex has heavy hands and sharp boxing.
Ed Ratcliff is 5-0 beating all but one of his opponents by KO. His last fight was in the WEC against Johnny Sampaio.
Ed is really in for a taste of the big leagues when he steps in with UFC vet and TUF alum Alex. Ed will want to bang with Alex, and Alex will like that just fine. Alex by KO first round.
Bryan Baker Vs. Eric Schambari (Middleweight)
Bryan Baker is on a three fight win streak. His latest win was a KO victory over TUF alum Jesse Forbes. Brain is 4-2 over all winning all of his fights with KOs.
Eric Shambari is on a SEVEN fight win streak. His last two wins have been in the WEC both decisions over Art Santore, and Logan Clark. Eric seems to favor the submission, he has three wins by that method, one KO and three decisions.
Brain's two losses were by submission, so it says that he is still working on the ground game. He beat Jessie Forbes, so he can defeat a good shot reasonably well. I think this one is decided on the ground, Eric by RNC third round.
John Alessio Vs. Todd Moore (Welterweight)
John Alessio has been around his first fight was in 1998. He has mixed it up with Diego Sanchez (loss decision), Pat Miletich (loss armbar), and Chris Brennan (win KO). John has a record of 20-11 and trains at Xtreme Coulture in Las Vegas.
Moore is 14-0 fighting out of Yves Edwards' gym in Houston, TX. His wins are by all different ways, but mostly by KO. This is Moore's first time in a big show, and jitters could be a factor.
If you just look at the records, this fight is reasonably matched... Then you look at the experience level of opponents, then training camps and the scales tip very heavily towards John Alessio. Alessio by RNC first round.
Doug Marshall Vs. Ariel Gandulla (Light Heavyweight)
Doug has never fought outside of the WEC. He was there before Zuffa, and Zuffa decided to keep him on. The biggest win of his 5-2 career was a KO victory over Lodune Sincaid. His wins, and his losses are nearly all KOs, with one win going by Arm Triangle Choke.
Ariel is 3-0 out of ATT. Like everyone seems to be at ATT he is a black belt in BJJ. He trais at a good club and seems to have good BJJ pedigree.
This fight is really between two guys I have never heard of before. I think that the winner will be the guy with the better cardio. I think Ariel by triangle choke third round.
Paulo Filho Vs. Chael Sonnen (Middleweight)
Out of Pride and in to the WEC! Paulo looks to add another win to his already impressive 14-0 record. Paulo won his first fight in the WEC by KO over the ever game Joe Doerksen. Paulo trains with BTT, is a BJJ black belt, and fights in the BTT style. Body lock, trip, position, submission.
Sonnen is on a win streak as of late beating his last 5 opponents. Sonnen is the only guy on this card that I have ever seen fight live... Chael lost to Jeremy Horn in Council Bluffs at Extreme Challenge 57.
Paulo will be more than Sonnen can handle. With submission losses to Horn (twice), Babalu, and Forrest Griffin I don't think that he will be too difficult for the seasoned Filho. Paulo by armbar from mount first round.
Cub Swanson Vs. Jens Pulver (Featherweight 145)
Cub... Who names their child Cub? Swanson is 2-0 in the WEC and 10-1 over all. He has wins over Micah Miller and Tommy Lee (no not that Tommy Lee, he got beat by Kidd Rock for Pete's Sake) so we know he is tough. With lots of wins by KO recently it seems that Cub fancies himself a striker.
Jens is back, dropping weight after getting dominated and submitted by BJ Penn... before that he was knocked out by Joe Lauzon. It seems that a guy who barely made 153 when he was in shape for fights made the right choice, when the guys he was fighting walk around at about 175 to 180. Jens has good wrestling when he uses it, but is mostly known for his pin-point boxing. Jens is 24-9-1.
I think Zuffa is giving Jens a gift with this one. Cub will stand with Jens, and give him the fight he wants. There will be no surprises with Cub like there was with Lauzon. Jens by KO second round.
WEC Featherweight Championship
Urijah Faber Vs. Jeff Curran (Featherweight 145)
Urijah "The California Kid" Faber has only been defeated once in 20 fights, and that was by 155 lb UFC fighter Tyson Griffin. That was 11 wins ago. Urijah is known for his wrestling and brutal G&P.
Jeff Curran is another name that you hear all of the time. He had his first fight in 1997, lost to Matt Serra in his UFC debut in 2004, fought in PRIDE in 2006, and made his WEC debut in 2007. Jeff is one of Pedro Sauer fighters, and likes to win by submission. 20 of his 35 wins (8 losses) come by submission. The others are decisions with an odd KO here and there. Jeff is a ground guy and looks to finish there.
This will be 5 rounds of Urijah taking Jeff down, then laying in Jeff's guard until the ref stands them up. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Urijah by decision.