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Breakdown: WEC 31: Faber vs. Curran Predictions

WEC 31: December 12, 2007 at The Joint - Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Nevada

9PM ET / 6PM PT Live on Versus

  • Urijah Faber (19-1-0) vs. Jeff Curran (31-8-1)
  • Jens Pulver (21-8-1) vs. Cub Swanson (11-1-0)
  • Paulo Filho (15-0-0) vs. Chael Sonnen (21-8-1)
  • Doug Marshall (6-2-0) vs. Ariel Gandulla (4-0-1)
  • John Alessio (26-11-0) vs. Todd Moore (9-0-0)
  • Eric Schambari (7-0-0) vs. Bryan Baker (5-0-0)
  • Alex Karalexis (9-2-0) vs. Ed Ratcliff (5-0-0)
  • Ian McCall (6-0-0) vs. Charlie Valencia (8-3-0)
  • Marcos "Louro" Galvao (9-1-0) vs. Brian Bowles (4-0-0)

Wednesday evening marks the return of the WEC to the Versus network with a big card, featuring 3 title bouts and the debut of Jens Pulver in the promotion. From top to bottom the fight card is filled with talented fighters. The card has no less than eight undefeated competitors, with six on the undercard alone.

Urijah Faber (19-1-0) will meet Jeff Curran (31-8-1) for Faber's WEC Featherweight Title. While Curran is well known for his excellent jiu-jitsu, I just don't see him being able to hang with Faber with his grappling. The California Kid is much more dynamic on the mat, using superior wrestling in conjunction with excellent submissions and smooth transitions. Faber should control the position and avoid any Curran submission attempts. On the feet "Big Frog" Jeff Curran might be the more dangerous striker, but Faber should be able to take Curran to the ground if he comes out on the losing end of a standing exchange. Prediction: Faber via unanimous decision.

Jens Pulver (21-8-1) makes his WEC debut against Cub Swanson (11-1-0) in the evening's penultimate bout. Pulver needs to get a win here to remain relevant. Cub Swanson has run off 11 straight victories since his pro debut loss. Swanson is carrying a ton of momentum into this bout while Pulver hasn't had a victory in over 18 months. With all of that said, Pulver if properly prepared should be the odds on favourite to win. Prediction: I'll take the underdog here Cub Swanson via decision.

Paulo Filho (15-0-0) vs. Chael Sonnen (21-8-1) will fight for the WEC Middleweight Title. Sonnen hopes to end a great year by continuing his five fight win streak. Sonnen is a world class wrestler with ever improving striking while his opponent Paulo Filho is a world class jiu-jitsu fighter with tremendous power. The difference in this fight is that Filho can survive if placed on his back. If and when Sonnen is put in that position, it will only be a matter of time until Filho submits Sonnen. Prediction: Filho via submission

Doug Marshall (6-2-0) vs. Ariel Gandulla (4-0-0 1 NC) battle for the WEC Light Heavyweight Championship. The champion Marshall has earned his nickname "The Rhino" with his straight forward style. It's no secret that his plan is to stand and throw power punches. Ariel Gandulla is still relatively early in his MMA career and quite rough around the edges. Hopefully training with ATT for the past few months has helped to sharpen some of that raw talent. I personally believe that Gandulla is a year of training with his new team away from being able to compete for this title. Marshall while no technical wizard himself, should be able to overwhelm Gandulla with his power and aggression. Prediction: Marshall via TKO

Undercard quick hits:

John Alessio (26-11-0) vs. Todd Moore (9-0-0) headlines a very good undercard. The experience of John Alessio should prevail over the undefeated Todd Moore. Moore's background is wrestling and Alessio is more than capable of fighting off of his back. Moore has never fought someone the caliber of Alessio, who has fought against many of the sport's top fighters. Prediction: Alessio via submission.

Eric Schambari (7-0-0) vs. Bryan Baker (5-0-0) match-up in a battle of undefeated fighters. Schambari despite his credentials and record has yet to turn in a great performance in the WEC. Baker is tough and athletic but not at the same skill level as his opponent. Potential for an upset here but I'll stick with my instincts. Prediction: Schambari via submission.

Alex Karalexis (9-2-0) vs. Ed Ratcliff (5-0-0) has the potential to be fight of the night. Both fighters like to stand and trade. Karalexis is much improved since his days in the TUF house and Ratcliff has an exciting unorthodox style. I'll go out on a limb here a bit and say that speed kills power in this match. Prediction: Ed "9MM" Ratcliff via KO.

Ian McCall (6-0-0) vs. Charlie Valencia (8-3-0) is another fight that has the potential to be a barn burner. Valencia is always tough and will look to derail the undefeated McCall tonight. McCall sets a furious pace, and is known for his ground and pound. A pick' em fight in my opinion, so I'll go with my gut feeling and choose the younger, hungrier fighter. Prediction: McCall via TKO.

Marcos "Louro" Galvao (9-1-0) vs. Brian Bowles (4-0-0) is really just a showcase fight for a new WEC acquisition in Marcos Galvao. Louro is a Shooto veteran that has excellent jiu-jitsu and should outclass his rather green opponent. Prediction: Marcos Galvao via submission.

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