Don’t miss the live undercard results from our man Michael Rome live at the Arco Arena in Sacramento. Alright, we’ll be starting the main card coverage in five minutes or so. Michael Rome will be chiming in with live reports from Sacramento. I moved the other fights to the extended entry so we can savor the headliner:
Urijah Faber Vs. Jens Pulver
This is the greatest 145lb matchup ever to take place in the U.S.of A. Faber has been a dominant champion in the WEC and is the face of the organization. Pulver is a legend who has usually fought at 155lbs — including a stint as the first ever UFC lightweight champ. Pulver was never really big enough for 155lbs and is undefeated at 145. On paper Pulver has the perfect sprawlNbrawl style to stymie Faber. We’ll see if he’s got what it takes in the cage. In the battle of the terrible hairdo’s I’d have to call it a tie. Faber dug deep to come up with the stupid cornrows to match Pulver’s inevitable awful shaving art. Equally icky intro music from both fighters but Faber’s dancing was definitely worse. Unusual to see Pulver with a height advantage.
Rome from the Arena:
Faber gets a Liddell-esque star reaction to his entrance. Pulver got scattered boos, but they don’t hate him, they are just pro-Faber.
- Round 1: Pulver claims the center of the ring. Faber lands a right. Uriah with a headkick as Pulver forces him back. They’re tied up in the clinch. Faber scoring in the clinch. Pulver not having the standing advantage I expected. Faber slips, Pulver jumps into Faber’s guard, a very tight guard. They’re back to the feet. Eyepoke by Uriah pauses the action. Pulver lands a left, finally. Pulver lands a knee. Uriah throwing hard and often. Pulver gets the plum but Faber breaks it and lands his own knees. Faber with the straight right followed by a combo — left hook then a kick. Pulver has Faber’s back standing. Faber with a spinning back fist that misses. Pulver lands a mean combination. Faber ducking and firing. I’d give it to Faber, 10-9.
- Round 2: Faber with an accidental nut kick to start the round. Pulver pauses to recover. Pulver gets a takedown, Mir predicted it. Faber has Pulver on his back, against the cage, landing elbows. Ouch. But Pulver is defending well. Jens fights back to his feet. Impressive.Faber cracks Pulver with a right and drops him. Pulver is hurt, Faber is pouring it on but Pulver is surviving. Faber has him down and is beating him on the ground but Pulver escapes to his feet. Amazing toughness by Pulver. Jens lands a mean uppercut. Faber gets a takedown but Pulver gets top control and is working for a choke. Back to the feet. Faber landing some mean shots. Amazing fight! Faber has to wonder what it’ll take to finish Pulver. I’d almost score it 10-9 for Faber but incredible balls out performance by Pulver.
- Round 3: Pulver with a high kick. Pulver lands a jab, stuffs a takedown, Faber gets his back and slams Jens but Jens is right back up. Incredible! Right hand by Faber. Uppercut by Pulver. Faber lands a right and a left. Body kick by Pulver stuns Faber. but Faber fires back with some brutal kicks of his own. Faber shoots and Jens stuffs it, Pulver elbowing the head. Faber gets the top position, Pulver holds guard and eat an elbow, another. a third. Pulver working to get a sweep from butterfly guard. Uriah lands one last elbow as the ref stands them up. The crowd boos the standup. They trade to end the round. I score it 10-9 Faber.
- Round 4: They’re trading brutal shots to open the 4th. Faber is stunned iwth a left. Faber looks stunned but is still firing hard shots. They’re pausing a bit, Faber with a hard left and a body kick. A pair of lefts by Faber. Pulver paws and Faber responds with a hard left. Faber is landing far more hard shots. Straight kick by Faber. Uriah gets a takedown to Jens’ guard. Elbows are busting up Pulver’s face. Jens is doing a good job of controlling Uriah but still eating shots. Jens eats a forearm to the throat that has him wincing. Faber’s winning another round but Jens’ is managing to survive on the ground with Uriah, not an easy feat. Opens up a cut on Pulver’s eye. 10-9 for Faber.
- Round 5: Pulver needs a KO to win this fight. Hug to start round 5. Faber with a bodykick. Shoots and Pulver escapes. Faber with another lead right. Body kick caught by Pulver but Faber escapes. Faber scoring again and again. Knees by Faber. Pulver throws a left but gets nothing. Time is slipping away from Pulver as he tries to set up the left. Faber shoots and Jens stuffs it. Pulver with two hooks to the body. Faber lands a brutal knee to the face. Farber poppiing him with jabs. Bodylock, Jens tries for a whizzer, Faber gets him down and ends the fight in Pulver’s 1/2 guard landing elbows.
Great fight. Reminds me of nothing less than one of those great 80’s wars between Sugar Ray Leonard and Marvin Hagler. Great great night of fights from WEC. Its been said in the comments that this event should’ve gotten the 7.5 rating on CBS last night. Amen brother. Amen.
Kenneth Alexander Vs. Rob McCullough
This is Razor Rob’s chance to start a comeback and earn a shot at Jamie Varner, the man who took his 155lb title. That’s provided that Varner beats a very very tough Marcus Hicks at the next WEC. Mir is saying that McCullough came in out of shape against Varner. They’re working hard to build up Alexander — using the infamous “trains with a great camp” line, not quite as bad as “he has a LOT of heart” but close. Alexander is wearing his specs on the walk to the ring.
- Round 1: They circle, lots of movement, some feints. Some booing from the crowd. Alexander shoots, Razor ends up on top in Alexander’s guard. Alexander up against the fence, holding McCullough’s arms. They stand, back to the center of the ring. Alexander fires a high kick. Razor Rob is not throwing much, looking to get inside Alexander’s reach. Razor stuffs a shoot. Another high kick from Kenneth, front kick, some punches. Razor with a leg kick. More boos. Razor fires a flurry. They clinch. McCullough’s back to the fence, Alexander goes for a choke. They separate.Alexander shoots, Razor escapes, Razor misses with a knee to the head. Weak round. I score it 10-9 for Alexander.
- Round 2: Alexander with a body lock take down, McCullough stands up. I’m beginning to think that Alexander is a real bad matchup for Razor Rob. Too tall. McCullough threatens a superman punch. Alexander lands a head kick. More feints and trades. Jab by Alexander, McCullough responds with a roundhouse. Alexander wiffs a spinning headkick. Razor landing leg kicks. This is not a fun fight so far. Alexander dodges a knee to get a takedown, McCullough fights back to his feet. Alexander gets a bodylock takedown in the center of the ring, ends the round in Razor’s 1/2 guard. Another 10-9 for Alexander.
- Round 3: Alexander’s corner told him to keep it slow. Yuck. They’re trading but not much landing. Snooze. Crowd is chanting FIGHT FIGHT as Alexander tries another takedown and misses another knee. Mir is criticizing McCullough’s ring control. Alexander tries for another takedown he can’t get. These guys are a total stalemate. McCullough finally lands a knee but to little effect. Low blow by McCullough. Looks painful. Frustration on the part of Razor Rob? They’re back at it. Alexander with a roundhouse, then a shoot, gets stuffed. Back to the dance. McCullough throws another knee, misses again, another clinch, another failed shoot. Alexander catches a kick, trips McCullough to the ground, Razor fights back to his feet. Mir says that takedown doesn’t count for anything. Razor stuffs another shoot as the round ends. Have to score this one for Alexander. Weak weak fight.
- Judges Decision (split) for Razor Rob McCullough. Its Christmas present in June for the former champ. Terrible performance. Crowd is booing and rightfully so.
Jamie Varner picks Faber over Pulver in a between fight interview. He’s taking his next challenger Marcus Hicks seriously and he should. Now we have to endure a WEC 205lb fight. Why we didn’t get to see Jeff Curran vs Mike Brown or Alexandre Nogeira instead of this, I don’t know.
Chuck Grigsby Vs. Mark Munoz
Interesting matchup here, Grigsby has a huge height/reach advantage and is a striker. Munoz is a very highly regarded wrestler. I was grumbling about this fight but now I’m intrigued. Could be a classic striker vs wrestler bout. Grigsby is intimidating at the staredown, we’ll see how good his sprawl is.
- Round 1: Grigsby landing some jabs, avoids the first shoot and the 2nd. Grigsby even goes for a choke. Munoz might be in deep here. Grigsby connects with a big uppercut. Munoz gets a single but not the takedown. Now they’re up against the cage. Munoz gets him down and gets side mount. We’ll see if he….Grigsby gets guard. Nice high guard. Munoz seems totally one dimensional but Grigbsy’s guard isn’t dangerous enough to catch him. Munoz stand and lands a big punch coming down. Does it again and moves to side mount. Back to 1/2 guard. Grigsby working for a kimura. Munoz passes, throws some shots. This is the sort of classic MMA matchup that we should’ve sen from Elite XC last night. Grigsby reaches for a leglock, misses and Munoz pounds him out. Slow start from Munoz but he really poured it on at the end. Mark Munoz by TKO.
Danny Castillo v. Donald Cerrone: They promote this one from the undercard, always a good sign.
- Round 1: Cerrone looks sharper standing. Castillo takes Cerrone down early, and does some damage, but Cerrone catches him in an armbar at 0:30 of round 1. Cerrone’s grappling gets compliments from Mir, for his good use of rubber guard on the way to a submission. Nice win from the Greg Jackson trained Cerrone.
Update from Michael Rome live at the Arco Arena:
The place is now completely packed. I also can tell the difference in the crowd from the typical UFC crowd with their exorbitant prices (less gold diggers).
Yoshiro Maeda Vs. Miguel Angel Torres
This is a fight I’m stoked about. Torres really impressed me in his last fight. He took Chase Beebe’s 135lb belt like he was taking his lunch money with an amazing succession of submission attempts that smoothly transitioned from one to the next before finishing his man. Maeda is a dangerous striker but Torres is no slouch on his feet and will have a serious reach advantage. Maeda gets points from this aging Gen Xer for coming out to “Sabotage” by the Beastie Boys and he’s got Clay Guida in his corner. Herb Dean is the ref. Torres’ mullet looks shaggy as ever. Icy cold staredown from both fighters.
- Round 1: No glove touch to start out. Maeda catches a kick and gets Torres down. But Torres back up quickly and lands a series of knees on Maeda’s face. Maeda is keeping his hands low. Gets another takedown off a kick, right into Torres’ guard. Oompaplata armbar but Maeda fights out of it. Back to the feet. Maeda is taunting Torres on the feet. Hard leg kick from Torres. Maeda with a front kick. Torres scores with more knees. Scrambles and knees exchanged, Torres pulls guard, goes for a kneebar. Torres bleeding. Maeda firing shots as they stand back up. Knee to the liver from Torres. Maeda firing back with kicks. Hard one to score. I give it to Torres 10-9.
- Round 2: Torres on his butt from a slip early on. Maeda gets another takedown off a kick, first several leg kicks, dodges a vicious upkick from the lanky Torres. Back to the feet. Nice exchanges. Maeda is tough as shit. Maeda seems calmer than the Champ. Torres lands another body kick, some knees against the fence from Torres, uppercuts, Maeda recovers and returns fire. Great fight! Takedown, Maeda goes for some leg locks, heel hook, even a toe hold, they’re trading toe holds! Torres firing heel kicks. They’re scrambling and Maeda lands some mean elbows. Torres tries a triangle. The crowd applauds the ground action as they stand up and keep trading. Torres gets a guillotine, has it deep but Maeda gives up mount to escape. Torres has his back with a figure four body lock. Round ends with Torres firing away. Torres 10-9.
- Round 3: They seem a tad tired to start round 3. Torres connects with a jab then a knee. Maeda lands a left off a kick by Torres. Torres lands a sharp flurry forces Maeda against the fence. Maeda comes right back though. Looks like Torres is picking him apart. Torres with knees and punches. Maeda’s face is swelling up bad. Roundhouse to Maeda’s ribs. Maeda gets a crazy takedown and lands some ground and pound. Torres going for shoulder lock, triangle, nothing there. Maeda holding on in Torres’s guard, and they stand up. Torres lands a right then a right body kick. Maeda is game as all hell. 10-9 Torres.
- Round 4: No round 4 — Herb Dean stops the fight and awards Torres the win. The fighters raise each other’s arms in a great show of respect. Torres holds his belt but had all he could handle from a very tough challenger. Great fight. We’ll see if Faber vs Pulver can top that. Torres by TKO in 3.
Update from Michael Rome in the Arco Arena:
I don’t know if it came across on TV, but the crowd was going nuts for that fight. Tremendous action and the crowd was going nuts for all of it.
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