WEC 42: AUGUST 9, 2009
Venue: The Rogue Joint at the Hard Rock in Las Vegas, Nevada
Main Card Bouts:
Miguel Torres vs. Brian Bowles
Luke Thomas: Bowles' record is so confusing. He's beating international-level professional fighters just as easily as he beat local tough guys in Atlanta. I'm just not sure how dangerous he can really be, but Torres will likely provide us with a keen look into just how far Bowles' ability goes. Torres by decision.
Kid Nate: Torres has a tremendous reach advantage and a serious technical edge on the feet. His submission game is far out of Bowles league as well. Bowles has power and a puncher's chance, but I don't see him catching Torres. Torres by submission.
Mike Fagan: Until someone comes around that can match Torres' physical attributes, I can't find a reason to pick against him. He's too tall, too long, and too skilled. Miguel Torres by TKO, round 3.
Eugene Schelfaut: I'll pick Torres until he retires, or at least until after his next loss. He has too many ways to win to pick against him. Bowles will not be able to get inside. Miguel Torres by KO, round 3.
Leland Roling: Miguel Torres will win this fight. Bowles loads up his hands in the striking department, keeps his chin high at times. I think Torres could simply box with him standing and dominate him. I've heard a few interviews from Bowles talking about possibly wrestling with Torres, but I just don't see how he can defeat Torres on the ground in top control. I think Torres wins this easily. Miguel Torres via TKO, Round 2.
Joseph Benavidez vs. Dominick Cruz
Luke Thomas: Cruz's incorporates very orthodox boxing techniques, but unlike Faber against Brown, Cruz doesn't have punishing power or is a bit of a counter fighter. That means Benavidez's Faber-esque attack should work well against Cruz over the course of the fight. Benavidez by decision.
Kid Nate: Benavidez is somewhat stiff, but he made a believer out of me in his last fight. Benavidez by decision.
Mike Fagan: Benavidez surprised the hell out of me at WEC 40. Not so much that he won, but that he did so in such a dominating fashion. I think he continues his pit bull ways here. Joseph Benavidez by decision.
Eugene Schelfaut: Benavidez will bully from top position, finishing Cruz with a choke late in the last frame. Benavidez by submission, round 3.
Leland Roling: Benavidez and Cruz have roughly the same wrestling background, but Benavidez also has Team Alpha Male and Urijah Faber at his side. He's more explosive and quicker than Cruz, so I'll take Benavidez by another dominating performance for contention. Joseph Benavidez via decision.
Ricardo Lamas vs. Danny Castillo
Luke Thomas: I'm not sure how high the ceiling on Lamas actually goes, but this is a match the WEC made for him to win. I can't see him finishing Castillo necessarily, but I just don't see how Castillo stops the Lamas wrestling/clinching/short range striking full court press. Lamas by decision.
Kid Nate: Lamas impressed against Bartimus and Castillo has a knack for getting sloppy and getting taken down, despite his wrestling skills. Lamas by decision.
Mike Fagan: Lamas showed some absolutely stifling wrestling against Bart Palaszewski. I look for him to show that again in his fight with Castillo. Ricardo Lamas by decision.
Eugene Schelfaut: Don't look for it to be quick. Lamas stays on top until the end. Ricardo Lamas by decision.
Leland Roling: Both men have solid wrestling experience, although at a lower level than Division I. Lamas showed us powerful takedowns, a great gas tank, brutal ground and pound, and intelligent boxing techniques. I think he's once again going to impress with the same skill-set, although Castillo has a chance to use his own wrestling to put Lamas on his back. I don't see that happening though. Ricardo Lamas via decision.
Takeya Mizugaki vs. Jeff Curran
Luke Thomas: Curran is a guard player at heart and I just don't see Mizugaki obliging him. Mizugaki by decision.
Kid Nate: I hate to see either of these guys lose this one, but I really feel like Curran is on a downward spiral and Mizugaki is improving his game with every fight. Mizugaki by decision.
Mike Fagan: How motivated is Curran as a fighter? He looked absolutely lost against Benavidez. I might be considering their last performances too heavily, but I like Takeya Mizugaki by decision.
Eugene Schelfaut: If Jeff Curran loses, Clay Guida will be the only fighter in my area on the big stage. I'm not ready for that. Jeff Curran by decision.
Leland Roling: I'm a bit torn here. Mizugaki looked good against Ueda in Japan, so it makes me believe he can hang with Curran long enough to escape. He has powerful ground and pound, and I think he can outstrike Curran as well. I'll take Mizugaki via decision.
Click on through to the full entry for the undercard predictions.
Javier Vazquez vs. LC Davis
Luke Thomas: If this were a few years ago and he hadn't accrued so much injury time off, I'd be more inclined to pick Showtime. But while Davis does lack some critical submission defense, he's probably got enough to weather an early storm from Vazquez. I'll gamble and take the Miletich product. Davis by TKO, round 2.
Kid Nate: Davis was on a roll until he ran into a freight train called Omigawa at the Sengoku Featherweight Tourny. But Vazquez' injuries and time away from the cage are more serious obstacles to overcome. Davis by decision.
Mike Fagan: Props to Zuffa for bringing this fight over to the WEC. I feel more comfortable with Vazquez without his layoff and injury history, but I'll still take him here. Javy Vazquez by submission, round 2.
Eugene Schelfaut: I'm not confident in Vazquez. LC Davis by decision.
Leland Roling: This is the toughest match-up to judge. L.C. Davis has been taking on solid competition lately while Vazquez is only in his second fight after retiring back in '07. I'll take Davis due to his wrestling and striking, but Vazquez submitting him wouldn't surprise me. L.C. Davis via decision.
Leonard Garcia vs. Jameel Massouh
Luke Thomas: If this goes more than two rounds, I'd be shocked. Garcia by KO, round 2.
Kid Nate: Garcia should maul Massouh. Garcia by KO.
Mike Fagan: I like Garcia to bounce back strong from the Brown fight. Leonard Garcia by KO, round 1.
Eugene Schelfaut: Massouh will feed Garcia. Leonard Garcia by KO, round 1.
Leland Roling: Leonard Garcia has been on a run to knockout everyone he faces lately, and it's somewhat of a problem for him against the top competition like the Browns and the Fabers, but he could knockout Massouh's block off in this one. Leonard Garcia via TKO, Round 2
Fredson Paixao vs. Cole Province
Luke Thomas: Of the two, Paixao has more finishing skills. That's enough for me. Paixao by submission, round 1.
Kid Nate: Bad style match-up for Province here. Province's wrestling gives him the ability to decide where he'll lose the fight as Fredson is better on the feet and on the ground. Paixao by decision.
Mike Fagan: Paixao's beaten better guys than Province. Fredson Paixao by decision.
Eugene Schelfaut: Province will lose the fight faster on the ground than standing. Fredson Paixao by submission, round 3.
Leland Roling: I gotta go with the BJJ black belt in Fredson Paixao. His striking isn't that bad either, but I'd be more than willing to bet he'd submit the wrestler in Province. Fredson Paixao via submission, Round 1.
Marcus Hicks vs. Shane Roller
Luke Thomas: This one is hard to call. Roller has the more aggressive submission attacks, but leaves major openings standing. Hicks also has an excellent repertoire of submissions, but is more of a bruiser. So who will succumb first to their guillotines? It's hard to say, but I'm going to give Hicks the nod for being able to mix up chokes with a strong knuckle game. Hicks by TKO, round 1.
Kid Nate: A highly decorated college wrestler and key member of Team Takedown, Roller disappointed in his WEC debut. Hicks is very dangerous both as a striker and with submissions. I'd hate to see Roller's MMA career fizzle out, but he might be headed down and out. Hicks by submission.
Mike Fagan: Marcus Hicks reminds me off a LW Marvin Eastman. Unfortunately, part of that is being small for his weight class. Shane Roller by TKO, round 2.
Eugene Schelfaut: Roller dives for the legs of Hicks after being tagged only to be caught in a guillotine. Marcus Hicks by submission, round 2.
Leland Roling: Hicks is a ball of muscle, but Roller has the background to give him problems. I'll take the slightly more experienced Marcus Hicks. Marcus Hicks via TKO, Round 2.
Phil Cardella vs. Ed Ratcliff
Luke Thomas: I wouldn't write off Cardella immediately because of his dubious submission defense, but even on the feet the situation doesn't get much better for him. If Ratcliff is properly prepared and focused, this is his fight to lose. Ratcliff by TKO, round 1.
Kid Nate: I am an utter mark for Ed "9mm" Ratcliff. He ought to be able to unload some of his flashy kicks here. Ratcliff by KO in 1.
Mike Fagan: Machida proved karates back. Ed Ratcliff by TKO, round 3.
Eugene Schelfaut: Cardella will control the fight on the mat, looking for a submission but not finding one. Phil Cardella by decision.
Leland Roling: I'm a fan of Phil cardella's style of off-his-back beatdowns, but Ratcliff's karate kicks might end this one spectacularly. I'll take Ratcliff here. Ed Ratcliff via KO, Round 1.
John Hosman vs. Rani Yahya
Luke Thomas: Yahya is one of the few Brazilians left competing at an ultra-high level who still wins despite having a lopsided skill set. The sad part is that's still enough to win. Yahya, by submission, round 1.
Kid Nate: I love to watch Rani Yahya fight. A totally one-dimensional jiu jitsu artist, he still manages to be very very dangerous. Hosman isn't skilled enough to stop the onslaught. Yahya by submission in 1.
Mike Fagan: Yahya just has too much experience. Rani Yahya by submission, round 1.
Eugene Schelfaut: I always choose finishes occuring in the second round for some reason. One of Yahya's submission attempts is getting through. Rani Yahya by submission, round 2.
Leland Roling: Rani Yahya via submission, Round 2.
Diego Nunes vs. Rafael Dias
Luke Thomas: Dias is inconsistent and Nunes is too much of an all-around physical brute and offensive dynamo to be stopped. Nunes by TKO, round 1.
Kid Nate: I don't see where Dias has the edge here. He definitely can't beat Nunes on the feet and he shouldn't have a big enough of an edge on the ground to win by submission. Nunes by KO.
Mike Fagan: Bookies have Nunes as a big favorite. Good enough for me. Diego Nunes by TKO, round 1.
Eugene Schelfaut: Dias loses the striking exchanges leading to a loss on his record. Diego Nunes by TKO, round 2.
Leland Roling: Diego Nunes can hang with Dias on the floor, but his biggest asset is his powerful striking. Looking for the knockout here. Diego Nunes via KO, Round 1.