WEC (WORLD EXTREME CAGEFIGHTING) – FABER vs. PULVER June 1, 2008
by: Jack Bratcher
This event took place in Sacramento, California at the Arco Arena and was shown Live on the Versus Television Station.
Rob McCullough vs. Kenny Alexander – Frank Mir commentating, said it perfectly, this fight looked like a sparring match. He said he didn’t see evil intentions in Rob’s strikes. I’m so glad Frank said this. Every once in awhile we see a fight like this and it kills me. It was a sparring bout and I could care less who won cause neither of them deserved a win in my opinion. They should give them a draw. The fans booed throughout the fight and at the end.
Alexander actually beat McCullough years ago. They gave Rob a split decision win. The crowd booing the decision, knowing that Rob did not give it his all. Rob attributed his lackluster performance to ring rust I guess. He said he just wanted to get the ring rust off. Whatever.
Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone and Danny Castillo were both unbeaten lightweights coming into this fight. Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone you may have seen on the Tapout reality show on Versus. On that show, they said he came from a muay thai background. It’s easy to recognize fighters when you see them that were on the Tapout show because Mask’s voice gets stuck in your head like this….”COWBOY! COWBOY! WHAT’S UP COWBOY!” Verbal branding at its best. Castillo took the Cowboy down and got put in a textbook armbar for his reward. The Cowboy definitely had the quickest draw and submitted Castillo quickly in round one. Castillo verbally tapped out as the Cowboy put the pressure on his arm.
Mark Munoz vs. Chuck Grigsby – Mark Munoz knocks out Chuck Grigsby in round one while Grigsby was laying flat on his back. Munoz stands up from Chuck’s gaurd, pushes Chuck’s legs out of the way and throws an huge overhand right that stuns him then attacks with 3 or 4 big punches that puts Grigsby unconcious. Beautiful ending with the six foot Munoze knocking out the six foot Grigsby. Good stuff there. Munoz is from Sacramento, where this event was being held. He had the whole place cheering for him. He trains with Urijah.
Yoshiro Maeda vs. Miguel Torres – Bantomweigh Title Fight: Maeda immediately catches a Torres kick and puts him on the ground. Maeda lands some hard kicks to Torres’s legs as he’s laying on the ground. This noticeably agitates Torres. Torres gets back up but Maeda lands some knees and bloodies Torres’s nose. Maeda has some unorthodox striking where he will drop his hands to lure you in then throw some heavy strikes. Maeda also had some good kicks. The action went back and forth in the first round leaving it close on the scorecards. In the second round Maeda lands a good kick and a right hand. The champion lands a solid left and a few knees to the body. Maeda throws some combinations. Torres slips to the ground and Maeda goes for a heel hook. At the same time, Torres goes for a leg of his own and they are both actively seeking leg/foot submissions at the same time which leaves a very surreal image on the TV as Frank Mir states perfectly, “That is symbolic of how this fight is going.” Maeda finally gets out and of the ankle hold is rewarded with two choke attempts from Torres. Overall, Torres took round two. During the entire fight, the champ, Miguel Torres was using a left jab that was finding a home on Maeda’s left eye. Within one week now I have seen the textbook jab win two fights and this was the second one. After round three, the doctor stops the fight due to Maeda’s left eye being swollen so badly. It was large and puffy with just a tiny slit. Safety is paramount for these fighters and he would be unable to defend himself properly with that eye being swollen shut, not to mention he could possibly sustain some permament damage to that eye if it got much worse. Now this was a GOOD stoppage. The first one of those I’ve seen over the weekend. This was a very impressive fight with both guys really going at it and giving it their all; something very pleasing to witness after the first fight. Torres seemed to be angry at times during the fight and was fighting with alot of emotion and Maeda was firing back with equal intensity. It’s a pleasure to witness two high-calibur athletes put their heart into it and fight with ferocity.
Urijah Faber vs. Jens Pulver – Featherweight Title Fight: Urijah had never been past three rounds prior to this fight. He lost one fight a long time ago but since that time has run through competitors like they were dominoes getting knocked over until tonight when he had to face Jens “Lil’ Evil” Pulver. Urijah is very fast and a superb wrestler. We don’t usually get to see alot of stand up from him but tonight he stood toe to toe with the former professional boxer, Jens Pulver. In each and every round Pulver had some good combinations and stunned Faber at least a couple of times during the fight. However, Urijah was winning each round which is what counts. Even though it was a unanimous decision and Urijah won each round it was still a very competitive fight. Like many people, I was very surprised that Jens looked as good as he did and was able to last five rounds with Urijah Faber. This was Pulver’s first loss at Featherweight. Jens is known for a powerful left hand but we didn’t see much use of it tonight, probably being negated by having to worry about blocking the strong right kicks to his midsection from Faber. Many a man would have crumbled under the abuse that Pulver took tonight, but he being a product of the tough-as-nails Militech camp, kept coming forward, kept swinging and kept defending the attack of Faber. Faber was unable to do much damage to Pulver on the rare occassions where he did get him down. Much to Jens’ credit, on at least one occassion he did what alot of people have failed to do and that is to stand up once Faber got him down, thereby negating the takedown and avoiding damage. This really was a great fight. Pulver has developed a very powerful and inspiring right hand. I say inspiring because to watch him throw it made me jump up and throw a few to try out the technique. I liked it. He cocks it back, measuring the distance with his left hand and firest that rright hand from down low near his waist, throwing his shoulder into it thereby generating a ton of power. Jens landed some good uppercuts in this fight. Neither fighter was ever knocked down. But Pulver was taken down a couple of times but like I said before for the most part avoided too much damage but did eat quite a few elbows throught the fight. No doubt about it, this was a war. It’s so nice to see real athletes in there who can go five full rounds without gassing. It is just beautiful and should be an inspiration to Heavyweights the world over.
I have one criticism and it is of Jens Pulver. Pulver had to know going into the last round that he needed either a submission or a knockout to win and HE DID NOT “GO FOR IT.” He didn’t let it all hang out. Either he did not want to risk a possible submission or ko himself or he was just satisfied to be able to go the distance with the champ; something no one had ever done. I have no other explanation for what I saw in the final round. He seemed content to throw a few little combinations and that was it. Even when he got taken down near the end of the round he wasn’t looking for a submission nor an escape. Was he content just to survive? If so, that is highly disappointing. Especially if it’s a title fight, let that shit hang out man. Go for it. Aside from that, it was highly entertaining. I found myself rooting for Jens in the fight because he was the underdog and he’s had such a long career with the ups and downs, I was hoping just maybe he could pull off an upset. But Urijah is the real deal just as I already knew. And he’s only getting better. His boxing and striking is noticeably improved. He even used the one-legged jumping knee on pure battle instinct at one point when Jens caught a kick. But Jens face told the real story when the match was over. His right eye was swollen and he was busted up a bit. Didn’t see any blood but some nice lumps. If Jens and I were good buddies and just hanging out playing some Call of Duty 4 which I know he loves. I even tried to get his gamername on Xbox live with no success but I would say this to him…” Hey buddy, you know one thing that kind of annoys me is when fighters in the middle of a fight, especially when standing toe-to-toe, is when they get hit with a shot and they check that spot with their hand to see if it’s bleeding and if there’s any blood on their hand. That process takes at least a second and you can’t afford to just give away a second worrying about some blood. So what if it’s cut, so what if it’s bleeding, what are you gonna do if it is? All it’s going to do is negatively affect you mentally. Absorb it, let it go, if it’s cut, save it for the cut man at the break and he’ll ttake care of it. That is so annoying.” Jens did that a few times in the fight when he was on the ground and once when standing. Of course I would only say that to him if we wer good buds and I was just rippin’ him like friends do.
It’s too bad we didn’t get to see the preliminary bout because we didn’t get to see them on TV and I saw some big names on the undercard such as Jeff Curran and Chase Bebe. But all in all, this was such a great night of fights. It was a very refreshing reality check after watching last night’s circus side-show. The next WEC card I think they said is in September and it will have three title fights. That card looks amazing with Brian Stann, Jamie Varner, and Carlos Condit all defending their titles. Can’t wait for that.
(Edit: I just figured it out. At the start of round five in Faber vs. Pulver, Faber came out tapped gloves with Pulver, then hugged Pulver. Pulver is such a nice dude I don’t think he wanted to hit Faber anymore after Faber hugged him. Hence his less-than-stellar performance in round five. Also, I’m glad Pulver cussed in his post-fight interview in the ring and his fiance’ is very pretty.)