by Ricardo Mendoza – MMAWeekly.com
WEC 30 is headlined by two title fights, as both “Razor” Rob McCullough and Chase Beebe will put their titles on the line for the first time against more than deserving opposition.
The main card of WEC 30 is scheduled to air live on Versus on Sept. 5, starting at 6PM PST/9PM EST.
Ricardo Mendoza, in this second part of his WEC 30 preview, breaks down the WEC 30 main card, fight-by-fight.
JEFF BEDARD VS. MIGUEL TORRES
Tough wrestler Jeff Bedard takes on Midwest fighter Miguel Torres. Jeff Bedard has a 9-0 record in MMA and trains out of Paul Creighton Martial Arts in Georgia. Miguel Torres has an 18-1 record in MMA and trains out of Miguel Torres Martial Arts with Eddie Wineland. Bedard comes off a rather lackluster decision victory over Mike French at WEC 28. Torres recently submitted Darius Turcinskas at IMMA 2.
Both fighters are taking this bout on only a couple of weeks’ notice, but are hopefully in shape and ready to fight. Torres was originally signed with Bodog Fight, but has now made his way to the WEC. Bedard has only recently committed himself fully to MMA and will look to prove he is one of the best at bantamweight. The winner of this fight likely makes himself the number one contender for the WEC Bantamweight Championship.
Bedard is a storied wrestler and he will look to use his wrestling in order to ground the much craftier Torres. Torres has the advantage on the feet and the edge in submissions, but Bedard has been known to be almost impossible to submit. Torres has a nice record, but he really hasn’t faced competition as tough as what he will in the WEC. At the end, look for Bedard to ground the fight early and pound out a decision over the shocked Torres.
Prediction: Jeff Bedard by decision
LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT BOUT:
BRIAN STANN VS. JEREMIAH BILLINGTON
U.S. Marine Brian Stann returns to action as he takes on WEC newcomer Jeremiah Billington. Brain Stann has a 4-0 record in MMA and trains out of Xtreme Couture with Randy Couture. Jeremiah Billington has a 9-1 record in MMA and trains out of Iowa. Stann comes off a stoppage victory over Craig Zellner at WEC 28. Billington submitted Wayne Porter at Revolution Cage Fighting 7.
Stann is slowly building himself towards a future title shot at the WEC Light Heavyweight Championship, which is currently held by Doug Marshall. Billington has an awesome opportunity as he gets to display himself to a live TV audience and prove that he belongs in the WEC and isn’t just a stepping-stone. Stann is still inexperienced, but is slowly building experience and polishing himself as a fighter during the process.
Stann has shown a liking to ending his fights with strikes and it shouldn’t be any different here. The pressure of a live TV audience will be too much for the newcomer Billington, as he will be overwhelmed by Stann’s onslaught of strikes.
Prediction: Brian Stann by TKO in the first round
WEC BANTAMWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP BOUT:
CHASE BEEBE VS. RANI YAHYA
WEC Bantamweight Champion Chase Beebe defends his title against ADCC champion Rani Yahya. Chase Beebe has a 10-1 record in MMA and trains out of the Hellhouse with Clay French. Rani Yahya has an 11-2 record in MMA and trains out of California. Beebe comes off a decision victory over Eddie Wineland at WEC 26, where he became the WEC Bantamweight Champion. Yahya returns from a quick submission victory over UFC veteran Mark Hominick at WEC 28.
Beebe was originally set to defend his title against Manny Tapia, but an injury forced him out and Yahya took his place. Yahya will be moving down from featherweight to bantamweight and should be the bigger fighter come fight time. Beebe must have been thrown off balance during training because Yahya is a totally different fighter than what he was supposed to face. Yahya is simply one of the best grapplers in all of MMA and once it hit’s the ground, its over.
Beebe needs to use his wrestling ability to keep the fight on the feet in order to beat Yahya. Yahya will want this fight on the ground in order to work his magic. In the end, look for Yahya to eventually get this fight to the ground and submit Beebe, but not before a struggle.
Prediction: Rani Yahya by submission in the second round
WEC LIGHTWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP BOUT:
“RAZOR” ROB MCCULLOUGH VS. RICH CRUNKILTON
WEC Lightweight Champion “Razor” Rob McCullough defends his title against UFC veteran Rich Crunkilton. “Razor” Rob McCullough has a 14-3 record in MMA and trains out of Team Punishment with Tiki Ghosn. Rich Crunkilton has a 14-1 record in MMA and trains out of The Amory with Hermes Franca. McCullough comes off a stoppage victory over Kit Cope at WEC 25, where he became the WEC Lightweight Champion. Crunkilton submitted Mike Joy at the same show.
This fight has been in the making for several months. It was originally scheduled to happen in May, but injuries to both fighters eventually forced them off the card. This is an exciting fight, but it’s much like the classic striker vs. grappler match-up we’ve seen in the past.
On the feet, it’s McCullough who has the distinct advantage. Crunkilton has the advantage on the ground with his wrestling ability and submission skills. Crunkilton is an underdog in the fight as many believe that McCullough is going to walk through him, but that won’t be the case. Crunkilton is the best fighter that McCullough has faced recently and he will put it on display come Wednesday night. Look for Crunkilton to put McCullough on his back very often in the fight, but McCullough should be crafty enough to keep this going for a couple of rounds before succumbing to a submission.
Prediction: Rich Crunkilton by submission in the third round