March 24, 2008
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by Ricardo Mendoza – MMAWeekly.com

Light Heavyweight Championship Bout:

Marshall vs. Brian Stann


WEC light
heavyweight champion Doug Marshall defends his title against U.S. Marine Brian
Stann. Marshall has a 7-2 record and trains out of Visalia Fight Club in
California. Stann has a 5-0 record and trains out of Team Quest with Dan


comes off a quick submission victory over Ariel Gandulla at WEC 31, while Stann
dominated Jeremiah Billington en route to a stoppage at WEC 30.


The light
heavyweight division is the thinnest in World Extreme Cagefighting; with a lack
of quality competition for Marshall, but on Wednesday he will face his toughest
test to date in Stann. Although he lacks experience, Stann is one of the
brighter prospects in the WEC.


fighter possesses knockout power, but Marshall seems to have better technique
on the feet and combined with his power, he can turn this into an ugly fight
for Stann. Neither fighter is overly polished on the ground, but Marshall has
been tweaking his ground game at Pacific Martial Arts.


This fight
isn’t going to the ground, though. These two will swing for the fences and put
on an entertaining war on the feet. Stann will look to use his reach over
Marshall and stay on the outside, while Marshall will look to get inside and
tag Stann with uppercuts and eventually land a fight-ending combination.


Doug Marshall by knockout in the first round.




Sonnen vs. Bryan Baker


Team Quest
middleweight Chael Sonnen takes on judo black belt Bryan Baker. Sonnen has a
19-9-1 record and trains out of Team Quest with Matt Lindland. Baker has a 6-0
record and trains out of Team Wildman Vale Tudo with Thomas Denny.


comes off a submission loss to WEC middleweight champion Paulo Filho at WEC 31,
while Baker won a close decision over Eric Schambari at the same event.


Sonnen was
scheduled to face Filho in a rematch for the title, but the Brazilian fighter
pulled out because of personal reasons. Sonnen now faces the inexperienced, but
dangerous Baker. A lot is riding on this fight, whoever wins will no doubt get
a shot with Filho for the title.


fighters’ strengths lie in their ground games; Sonnen with his wrestling and
Baker with his Judo. So the key to the fight will come down to which one can dictate
the pace of the fight on the feet. Baker is an aggressive, powerful striker,
while Sonnen is a technical striker who employs dirty boxing as one of his main


Sonnen will
slow the pace of the fight and use his wrestling to ground the powerful Baker,
keeping him down and pounding away with strikes en route to a decision.


Chael Sonnen by decision.




Hicks vs. Ed Ratcliff


Texan Marcus Hicks takes on eccentric karate stylist Ed Ratcliff. Hicks has a
7-0 record and trains out of Marcus Hicks Jiu-Jitsu in Texas. Ratcliff has a
6-0 record and trains out of North County Fight Club with Dominic Cruz.


Hicks comes
off a decisive submission victory over Alaskan Scott McAfee at WEC 30, while
Hicks destroyed Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran Alex Karalexis at WEC


wins this fight will challenge newly crowned WEC lightweight champion Jaime
Varner in his first title defense. That should be more then enough motivation
to win the fight. This could easily turn out to be the fight of the night with
the way these two match-up.


Hicks is a
polished boxer, while Ratcliff has a wild and entertaining striking arsenal at
his disposal with knees and kicks. On the ground, the clear advantage goes to
Hicks being a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, while Ratcliff isn’t known for
his groundwork.


put a beating on Karalexis in his last fight, and that is important because
Hicks has a similar striking style, which played right into Ratcliff’s game.
They are going to start banging it out from the opening bell, but as soon as
Hicks feels at a disadvantage, he will take the fight to the ground. Ratcliff
will get back to his feet and continue to beat on Hicks until midway through
the fight when he finally puts him away.


Ed Ratcliff by TKO in the second round.



Heavyweight Bout:

McKenzie vs. Steve Cantwell


Bodog Fight
veteran Tim McKenzie takes on Las Vegan brawler Steve Cantwell. McKenzie has an
11-4 record and trains out of California. Cantwell has a 4-1 record and trains
out of Nevada.


comes off a submission victory over Pancrase veteran Yuichi Nakanishi at Bodog
Fight Vancouver, while Cantwell quickly stopped Justin McElfresh with strikes
at WEC 29.


has been on the fight circuit for several years, but has been unable to
breakout into a more prominent fighter. Cantwell is an interesting prospect
that has a chance of a lifetime in the WEC to become a star.


fighters have shown a willingness to strike, but Cantwell seems to have better
power in his hands. Being a product of Cesar Gracie, McKenzie has an edge on
the ground.


will test the waters on the feet, but will soon thereafter take the fight to
the ground and lock on a submission to end the fight.


Tim McKenzie by submission in the first round.




Miura vs. Blas Avena


fighter Hiromitsu Miura takes on local fighter Blas Avena. Miura has an 8-4
record and trains out of Samurai Sword in Japan. Avena has a 4-1 record and
trains out of Las Vegas.


Miura comes
off a dominating stoppage victory over Fernando Gonzalez at WEC 29, while Avena
submitted Joe Benoit at WEC 30.


Miura has
looked impressive in both his appearances in the WEC, taking Jason Miller to the
limit and truly dominating Fernando Gonzalez. Avena on the other hand has been
impressive since moving down to welterweight, quickly submitting Tiki and Joe


Miura is
the better striker of the two and on the ground he slightly has an advantage over
the scrappy Avena. Moving down in weight, Miura more then likely will be the
bigger and stronger fighter, using it to his advantage.


Miura to pick Avena apart on the feet and on the ground he will outwork him en
route to a decision.


Hiromitsu Miura by decision.




Alessio vs. Brock Larson


UFC veteran
John Alessio takes on Midwest wrestler Brock Larson. Alessio has a 22-10 record
and trains out of Xtreme Couture with Jay Hieron. Larson has a 22-2 record and
trains out of Minnesota Martial Arts Academy with Nick Thompson.


comes off a tough decision victory over Todd Moore at WEC 31, while Larson
submitted Troy Allison at CFX 7: Brutal.


The winner
of the fight will get a chance for redemption, earning a second crack at WEC
welterweight champion Carlos Condit. Both fighters were submitted by Condit
last year and are itching for another crack at him.


Alessio is
the better striker, but Larson has power in his hands, lacking only technique
in his strikes. They both have their strengths on the ground, Larson being a
strong wrestler and Alessio being a slick submission fighter.


Larson will
quickly take the fight to the ground, but Alessio has shown excellent takedown
defense in his last couple of fights. Alessio will outwork Larson on the feet,
avoid being put on his back, and win a decision.


John Alessio by decision.




Crunkilton vs. Sergio Gomez


lightweight contender Rich Crunkilton takes on Midwest fighter Sergio Gomez.
Crunkilton has a 14-2 record and trains out of The Amory with Kurt Pellegrino.
Gomez has a 7-1 record and trains out of the Freestyle Academy with Dave


comes off a disappointing knockout loss to Rob McCullough at WEC 30, while Gomez
stopped Brent Rose with strikes at Freestyle Combat Challenge 31.


This is an
important fight for both fighters as neither wants to suffer two losses in a
row. Crunkilton wants to get himself back into title contention and a solid win
over Gomez will get him closer to that, while Gomez needs a win to remain in
the WEC.


Gomez is a
polished boxer, while Crunkilton is more versatile with his striking as he
implores knees and kicks into his striking. Gomez is a wrestler, but Crunkilton
is no slouch on the ground with a solid submission game, he can end the fight
in an instant.


These two
will come out aggressive on the feet, but Crunkilton will stick to his game
plan and take the fight to the ground where he can exploit Gomez’s weakness
with submissions and lock on a fight ending hold.


Rich Crunkilton by submission in the first round.



Alex Serdyukov vs. Ryan Stonitsch


import Alex Serdyukov takes on the debuting Midwest fighter Ryan Stonitsch.
Serdyukov has a 6-4 record and trains out of the Jake Shields Fight Team with
Jake Shields. Stonitsch has an 8-0 record and trains out of Rockford Kickboxing
& Jiu-Jitsu in Illinois.


comes off a dominating stoppage victory over Mike Gates at Palace Fighting
Championships 6, while Stonitsch won a decision over Daisuke “13” Hanazawa at
Bourbon Street Brawl 5.


will look to establish himself in the welterweight division and make a possible
run at the title after stringing together a couple of wins. He will need to be
cautious against a newcomer like Stonitsch, who will look to make his own
statement in his WEC debut.


has the edge in both the stand-up and on the ground, while Stonitsch seems to
be the better wrestler of the two. It should be an interesting mix of styles
with the well-rounded Serdyukov willing to go anywhere in the fight to get the
job done.


Look for
Serdyukov to pick Stonitsch apart on the feet, forcing him to take it to the
ground where Serdyukov will lock on a submission for the victory.


Alex Serdyukov by submission in the first round.




Osawa vs. Chris Manuel


import Kenji Osawa takes on American Top Team prospect Chris Manuel. Osawa has
a 13-7-1 record and trains out of Wajyutsu Keisyukai A3 with Hidetaka Monma.
Manuel has a 6-0-1 record and trains out of American Top Team with Marcus


Osawa comes
off a decision victory over Nobuhiro Yamauchi at Cage Force 5, while Manuel
stopped Rex Payne with strikes at DFP: Inauguration.


The bantamweight
division has become one of the staples of the WEC and it adds two new exciting
fighters with this bout. These two are sure to fight at a relentless pace.


Osawa is
the better striker of the two, while Manuel’s biggest strength will be on the ground.
Osawa has shown excellent takedown defense and that could pose a problem for
Manuel if he wants to take the fight down.


This will
be a back-and-forth fight, each will get their licks in, but at the end of day
it will come down to experience and cardio. Osawa will tag Manuel with shots on
the feet and outwork him on the ground en route to a decision.


Kenji Osawa by decision.



Logan Clark vs. Scott Harper


UFC veteran
Logan Clark takes on late replacement Scott Harper. Clark has a 7-1 record and
trains out of Team Crazy in Minnesota. Harper has an 8-3 record and trains out
of American Top Team with Wilson Gouveia.


Clark comes
off a questionable decision loss to Eric Schambari at WEC 29, while Harper won
a decision over Dave Vitkay at ISCF: Return of the Kings.


Clark was
originally a replacement for Nissen Osterneck to face Bryan Baker, but Baker
then took a fight against Chael Sonnen, so now he faces Harper. Harper gets a
chance of lifetime to compete in the WEC and get exposure as a fighter.


Clark has
the edge on the ground with submissions and on the feet, as he is the better
striker with technique. Harper looks to be a better wrestler and has more power
in his strikes then Clark. He will be the bigger fighter of the two, as he
usually has fought at heavyweight.


That could
also be a disadvantage for Harper because he will have a short amount of time
to cut down in weight, which will affect his cardio. Clark will outwork Harper
on the feet and the ground, wearing him out and finishing off the fight with
strikes midway through the bout.


Logan Clark by TKO in the second round.

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