Friday, August 1, 2008

WEC 35 Preview and Predictions

I know I'm a broken record, "The WEC puts on exciting fights. Watch it!" I'm not sure why the WEC has not caught on more. Maybe it's the smaller cage thing and people constantly referring to it as the UFC's minor league. Whatever it is, people are idiots for not watching these events. The lighter weight classes have always been a breeding ground for classic fights in boxing and it is the same with MMA. Lighter fighters throw more strikes and are more active. Once you get over the fact you're not seeing fighters you immediately recognize, the WEC becomes a pleasure to watch.

Uriah Faber, Miguel Torres, and Carlos Condit are three of the most exciting fighters in any organization. Start watching and I guarantee you will be pissed at yourself for ignoring it for so long.

Micah Miller vs Josh Grispi (Featherweights 145)
Both are young (21 and 19) tall fighters who will have futures in the heavier weight classes as they fill out with age. For now they are clocking in at 145 lbs for what should be a solid match-up. Grispi is coming off a February first round victory over Mark Hominick (Affliction dude with the rap video girl hot pants). Miller has said he has the better conditioning and a longer fight will favor him. While I agree with that, Grispi is a fast starter that constantly puts pressure on his opponents. If Miller comes out trying to wear him down, he could get blown away quickly. I think Grispi takes this one in the second round with a submission.

Brian Bowles vs Damacio Page (Bantamweights 135)
The winner of this match should be in line for a shot at Miguel Torres. Page will want to keep the fight standing, while Bowles needs it to go to the ground to have a chance. In his losses, Page has had trouble on the ground. He is susceptible to submissions. Bowles needs to weather the storm early and get the fight to ground by any means necessary. It is an interesting clash between styles. I don't put it past to Bowles to try to stand with Page, either. He has never been in with a brawler like him, so he might try to test himself early. Page will knockout a tired Bowles in the third round.

Marcus Hicks vs Jamie Varner (Lightweight Champion)
The last time Jamie Varner stepped inside the WEC cage, he shut up a lot of his critics with a blistering win over Rob McCullough. Now the 23 year old champion looks to make his first defense against 32 year old Marcus Hicks. Hicks has a powerful compact style that makes him tough to deal with. Varner has the advantage in striking and will need to use it to keep the more powerful Hicks away. As long as Varner does that, he will retain his title. I look for a second round TKO win by Varner.

Steve Cantwell vs Brian Stann (Light Heavyweight Champion)
This is actually a rematch. I'm not sure why they decided it was necessary because the last time Stann knocked him out in 41 seconds. Cantwell whined about the fight being stopped early and somehow got the WEC brass to setup a rematch. It was kind of funny because in the post-fight interviews Cantwell said with a straight face that despite the 41 second KO he still had better striking than Stann. This time around Cantwell promises the outcome will be different. One of the big problems the WEC has is finding legit opponents for their champions. This match is a clear example of that. Stann will dominate this guy again with a first round knockout.

Hiromitsu Miura vs Carlos Condit (Welterweight Champion)
Carlos Condit feels underrated and wants to be mentioned along with the top Welterweights in the world. At only 24 years old, I have little doubt that will eventually happen. The only thing stopping it from happening now is quality of opponents. Condit simply has not fought enough top fighters to be considered on the same level with names like St. Pierre and Fitch. Hiromitsu Miura represents a solid test for Condit to back up his words. Miura is an experienced Japanese fighter with heavy hands and good grappling skills. He has a thick build that he will need to utilize to have a chance at defeating the champion. Miura cannot let Condit dictate the fight. He needs to pressure him and force mistakes. Condit's confidence sometimes leaves him open and Miura has the power to capitalize on it. I think this will be an even fight while Condit feels things out. He will avoid mistakes and methodically hurt Miura. I look for Condit to end the fight via submission in the second round after hurting Miura with strikes and taking him down.

1 comment:

chappyd said...

Miller over Grispi
Page over Bowles
Varner over Hicks
Stann over Cantwell
Condit over Miura