by Ricardo Mendoza – MMAWeekly.com
WEC Welterweight Championship Bout:
Carlos Condit vs. Hiromitsu Miura
WEC welterweight champion Carlos Condit defends his title against Japanese kickboxer Hiromitsu Miura.
Condit avenged an earlier career loss by submitting Carlo Prater with a guillotine choke at WEC 32, while Miura knocked out Blas Avena with strikes on the ground at WEC 33.
This is an interesting fight to say the least. Condit has seemed to run out of challengers in the WEC and now defends his title against Miura, who has only had one fight at welterweight, though it was an impressive one. Condit is one of the better welterweights in the world and he gets another chance to prove it on Sunday night.
On the feet, these two match-up rather evenly as Miura is the stronger puncher, while Condit is more versatile with knees and kicks. Condit is the better ground fighter with a slick submission game, which he has demonstrated in the WEC, but one Miura’s strengths is his submission defense. Both fighters are in excellent shape, so expect them to fight at a frantic pace.
As the fight plays out on the feet, expect Miura to keep his distance and use punch combinations to get the advantage, while Condit will look to clinch up and use knees to open up the fight in his favor. Condit will be comfortable wherever the fight goes as he can end the fight either on the feet or ground, while Miura’s best chance will be to keep it standing.
The fight should be fast and exciting as these two fighters match-up rather well against each other. When it comes down to it, don’t expect the fight to go the distance.
WEC Light Heavyweight Championship Bout:
Brian Stann vs. Steve Cantwell
Newly crowned WEC light heavyweight champion Brain Stann makes his first title defense against local fighter Steve Cantwell.
Stann comes off a knockout victory over former champion Doug Marshall at WEC 33, while Cantwell submitted Tim McKenzie with a choke at the same show.
These two have already fought and it wasn’t too long ago either with Stann quickly stopping Cantwell with strikes in March of last year in the WEC. Since then both fighters have been tearing through the light heavyweight division, amassing a combined 5-0 record since they last met, with Stann winning the title during that stretch.
Stann has the edge on the feet with powerful punches and is slowly improving his technique with his new training camp. Cantwell’s best chance to win will be to take the fight to the ground and work over Stann with strikes, although that may prove difficult as Stann has proven himself a strong, athletically gifted fighter.
The light heavyweight division in the WEC is rather thin and this is the only logical match-up that could be made. The one thing to expect is that it will be a brawl and the fight will last longer then the first time these two met.
WEC Lightweight Championship Bout:
Jamie Varner vs. Marcus Hicks
Newly crowned WEC lightweight champion Jamie Varner defends his title against Texan lightweight Marcus Hicks.
Varner comes off an impressive knockout victory over former champion “Razor” Rob McCullough at WEC 32, while Hicks submitted Ed Ratcliff with a guillotine choke at WEC 33.
This should be an exciting fight between two of the better lightweights in the WEC as they both bring action when they fight. Varner is a UFC veteran, but made the move to the WEC, where he believed he could be a star. Hicks made his name in the WEC with three consecutive guillotine choke victories.
Both fighters are well versed in boxing, but Varner is the more technical boxer of the two as he puts together quicker and smother combinations. If the fight goes to the ground then Hicks has an edge in submissions, while Varner is the better wrestler.
Hicks needs to get the fight to the ground because if he tries to stand with Varner he will eventually get caught with a quick combination like he did against Sergio Gomez on several occasions. If he can drag the fight out into the latter rounds, it will be easier for him to lock on a submission if he can catch Varner breathing heavily.
For Varner, all he needs to do is keep the fight on the feet and wait for his opportunity to land a devastating combination with his hands that will have Hicks on the fence. This will end up being one of the better fights of the night and whoever wins will have his hands full in a stacked lightweight division.
Brian Bowles vs. Damacio Page
Hardcore Gym fighter Brian Bowles faces off with Jackson’s Submission Fighting fighter Damacio Page in a bantamweight bout.
Bowles comes off an impressive knockout victory over Marcos Galavo at WEC 31, while Page won a controversial decision over Scott Jorgensen at WEC 32.
Whoever comes out the winner in the fight will have a strong argument to be the next challenger for the WEC bantamweight champion Miguel Torres. Neither fighter has anything to lose, as they are both young fighters that have a bright future in the bantamweight division.
Bowles has looked absolutely spectacular since making his WEC debut and is not too far away from earning a shot at the title. He has the edge on the ground with submissions and he is the better striker on the feet when it comes to technique. Page has the edge when it comes to pure aggression and sheer toughness as he displayed in his WEC debut.
What the fight comes down will be who wants the fight more and what it comes with it, which is a title shot against Miguel Torres. Look for Bowles to use angles to land crisp combinations, while Page will just come forward throwing tons of leather until something connects. If the fight hits the ground, it will be Bowles who will threaten with submissions and Page with strikes.
Don’t look away from this fight as it will be non-stop action throughout and the winner will be on their way to a title shot
Micah Miller vs. Josh Grispi
American Top Team fighter Micah Miller takes on Northeast standout Josh Grispi in a battle of up and coming featherweights.
Miller comes off a knockout victory over former title challenger Chance Farrar at WEC 32, while Grispi choked out UFC veteran Mark Hominick at the same show.
These are two of the better younger featherweights in the WEC and the winner of the fight will move up the ladder towards a title shot. This is one of the more evenly matched up fights of the night and it could honestly go either way.
If the fight goes to the ground then it will be Miller who has the advantage with his submission background, while Grispi will look for an opportunity to catch Miller off guard. On the feet, Miller usually has a distinct reach advantage, but Grispi isn’t as small as most featherweights, so it’s a toss up between the two on the feet as their striking is still coming along.
Whoever can dictate the pace of the fight on the feet will be able to control the fight both standing and the ground. If Miller can use his reach and set up a takedown then he’ll look for a submission on the ground. Grispi will look to charge in with fast combinations and catch Miller off guard on the feet or on the ground.
This is an excellent example of matchmaking, putting two young fighters against one another with one of them becoming a star in the process with a win.
Brock Larson vs. Carlo Prater
Midwest wrestler Brock Larson takes on Brazilian fighter Carlo Prater for a possible shot at the WEC welterweight championship. Both fighters failed in their bids to become champion, losing by submission to Carlos Condit, but one of them will have a chance at revenge. Larson will want the fight on the ground, where he will try to wear down Prater with ground and pound. Prater will look to keep the fight on the feet and out strike Larson from the outside and in the clinch. Whoever wins the fight will probably get the next shot at the WEC welterweight championship.
Blas Avena vs. Dave Terrel
Local fighter Blas Avena faces off with fellow Las Vegas based fighter Dave Terrel in a battle for local bragging rights. These two fighters will battle it out on the feet. If it goes to the ground, look for Avena to take advantage of any mistake that Terrel makes. The difference in the fight will be which fighter can land the first big combination and earn local bragging rights.
Greg McIntyre vs. Mike Budnik
In a battle of WEC newcomers, lightweight fighters Greg McIntyre and Mike Budnik will trade leather on the big stage. Plain and simple, it will come down to which fighter will be the first to take initiative and put his opponent on the defensive. One thing is for sure, don’t expect this fight to go the distance as neither fighter will play it safe.
Shane Roller vs. Todd Moore
Former NCAA All American wrestler Shane Roller makes his WEC debut against Texan fighter Todd Moore, who moves down to lightweight for the first time. Roller has the edge on the ground with his world class wrestling technique, while Moore will look to use his size advantage to out muscle Roller on the feet, where he has his best chance to win the fight.
Kenji Osawa vs. Scott Jorgensen
Opening the night will be an exciting bantamweight battle between Shooto veteran Kenji Osawa and NCAA wrestler Scott Jorgensen. Osawa will want to keep the fight on the feet and use his excellent boxing technique to knockout Jorgensen. On the other hand, Jorgensen will look to take the fight to the ground and take Osawa out of his game with ground and pound.