On March 24, 2007 OntheMat.com reports from “The Joint” inside the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada with a live report with all the action that went down at the second Zuffa ran World Extreme Cagefighting show, WEC 26.On March 24, 2007 OntheMat.com reports from “The Joint” inside the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada with a live report with all the action that went down at the second Zuffa ran World Extreme Cagefighting show, WEC 26. The event was headlined by John Alessio versus Carlos Condit for the promotion’s vacant 170 lb. welterweight title. Also on the card, WEC featherweight champion and poster-boy Urijah Faber attempts to defend his crown against Dominick Cruz, while Chase Beebe will challenge Eddie Wineland for his 135-pound bantamweight belt. The guard was also supposed to feature UFC veteran Joe “Diesel” Riggs versus Japanese fighter Hiromitsu Miura, but Riggs was forced to withdraw from the fight after experiencing back pain, while hitting pads to loosen up, from a pre-existing bulging disc. At such a late stage in the game, the day of the fight, it was obviously too late to install a replacement fighter, but the WEC fight card still remains one of their strongest ever with three title fights still intact and seven non-title bouts on the undercard.
Steve Cantwell vs. Brian Stann (Light-Heavyweight Bout) Round 1The first fight of the night featured Brain Stann and Steve Cantwell, whom began the night’s festivities on their feet and basically go toe-to-toe. There’s some good action, when Stann lands a sweeping overhand right. Cantwell gets dropped and Stann pounced in for the kill, landing two more right hands. The referee jumped in quickly and Stann wins via first round TKO at 41 seconds. The stoppage looked a bit premature on the replay.
Jesse Moreng vs. Micah Miller (Featherweight Bout) Round 1The fighters touch floves and clinch, where Miller is taken down. Miller begins using an active agressive guard and is tries for a gogoplata first and then an armbar, but nothing comes of it. They are stood back up by referee Herb Dean, and begin battling in a clinch, as Miller lands a good right knee that drops Moreng. He’s okay and gets back up. They grapple in the clinch for a while and Moreng scores a trip takedown and lands back in Miller’s guard. Back in Miller’s guard where he is using a solid rubber guard. OTM scored the first round 10-9 for Moreng. Round 2The second round picks up where the first left off. After both fighters hit the ground with Miller on his back utilizing his guard once again, the fight stays their without being stood back up due to Miller’s activity. the round ends with Moreng in Miller’s guard where Miller tried another gogoplata. OTM scored the second round 10-9 for Miller. Round 3The final round starts with some good stand-up exchanges with both guys pretty tired from the action. The round is packed with some solid back and forth seasaw action, until Moreng scores a quick single leg, but falls into a loose triangle. Miller tightened it up and slowly sucked the air out of Moreng, forcing the tap out. It was an awesome all around fight. Miller wins via triangle submission at 3:29 of the third round bringing his record to a perfect 7-0 (4 via triangle).
Scott Norton vs. Alex Serdyukov (Welterweight Bout) Round 1The fight starts with Norton scoring a takedown about thirty seconds in. Norton is then stuck in a triangle for about a minute and a half. He’s out and is pounding away at Alex. Norton then falls back into the triangle, but again quickly esacpes. There’s a good skirmish and Alex winds up taking Norton’s back and pounds away at his head, until the end of the round. OTM scored the round 10-9 for Serdyukov. Round 2At the beginning of the second round Norton looks very tired from the punishment he endured at the end of the first round, yet is able to score an accidental takedown. He slips into Alex’s guard and is caught in a guillotine choke. Alex wraps up his guard and forces Norton to tap out. The official time is 57 seconds into Round 2.
Charlie Valencia vs. Antonio Banuelos (Bantamweight Bout) Round 1This fight featured L.A. native Charlie Valencia vs. Chuck Liddell disciple Antonio Banuelos. At the sound of the bell, both combatants charged at each other right out of the gate and stood toe-to-toe. Antonio was taken down, but caught Valencia in a guilloine choke, which he managed to escape. Once back on their feet, there is more solid toe-to-toe action. Banuelos scores a huge body slam takedown, but Valencia gets back up quickly. Banuelos pins Valencia up against the fence, but eats a devestating right uppercut, which floors him. He is out, but Valencia lands another right hand before the fight is stopped. The official time of the knockout is 3:12 of the first round.
Tommy Lee vs. Cub Swanson (Lightweight Bout) Judging from the pre-fight video interviews, these two men obviously have no love for each other, which was an indication that this would probably be a fight with a lot of fireworks. Round 1Feeling each other out for a little while. They get into a clinch and Cub is scooped up by Lee. Lee tries to slam him down a la Matt Hughes, but is caught in a guillotine choke on the way down, and winds up letting him down softly. Lee escapes the choke and is working inside of the Moreira Jiu-Jitsu fighter’s guard. Cub switched to a good butterfly guard and suckered Lee back into another guillotine choke, forcing Lee to tap out. The official time of the submission is 3:17 of Round 1.
Tiki Ghosn vs. Dave Terrel (Welterweight Bout) Round 1This fight definitely looked good on paper as Tiki fights out of the famed Team Punishment camp in Huntington Beach, CA and Terrel (not to be mistaken with UFC’s 185 lb. NorCal fighter with the same namesake) is a scrappy MMA veteran fighting out of Las Vegas, NV. These two pretty much hate each other. Tiki refused to touch gloves to start the bout and the two wasted no time and went right at it, once the fight started. It’s toe-to-toe and each land some pretty solid punches. The action is great, as Terrel is landing the better punches. Terrel tries a head inside single leg, but Tiki defends it easily and lands a huge right elbow followed by a straight left. Terrel is hurt and Tiki cloeses the gap. Terrel is now in danger of being taken out, but he fights back bravely. Terrel is down and Tiki takes his back, where he begins landing several shots to Terrel’s head, but some land directly on the back of Terrel’s head forcing Herb Dean to stop the action to warn Tiki for the illegal punches. They resume and Tiki lands a good knee while in the clinch, but Terrel counters with a left hook, that cuts Tiki under his right eye and the round ends. OTM scored it 10-9 for Ghosn. Round 2Terrel begins fighting cautiously from the start and lands some good straight lefts. Many straight lefts opens the cut more and puffs up Tiki’s eye. Tiki is hurt by a flurry from Terrel, he stumbles back, and Terrel unloads. He dishes out dozens of punches, but many miss. A right cross drops Tiki, but Ghosn gets back up. He is reeling along the fence and Terrel unloads again, unleashing another flurry, but this time many of Terrel’s punches land. Tiki is hurt badly and is being teed off on. Dean steps in and stops the action, putting an end to and awesome war! Terrel wins via 2nd round TKO with the official time being 1:46.
Erik Apple vs. Brock Larson (Middleweight Bout) Round 1The fight begins with a good clinch and the Minnesota native (Sean Sherk teammate) Larson scores an impressive single leg takedown. Larson is in Apple’s half guard, and takes Apple’s back during a sweep and has a rear naked choke latched on. Initially, Apple is safe from the choke, but there is still 3 minutes left. Apple escapes, but is stuck on the bottom of side control. Apple tries for a desperation toe hold, but Larson is okay and starts landing punches from up top. As Larson rained punches from side mount, Apple tried to sweep, but Larson rolled over and went from armbar to kimura. Finally, Larson is able to secure the kimura and force Apple to tap out. The official time of the submission is 3:43 of the first round.
Chase Beebe vs. Eddie Wineland (Bantamweight Championship Bout) Round 1This is the first of the night’s three championship fights. The fight starts off with a good scrap with Wineland proving to be the superior striker and is using his speed and reach advantage to a tee. Beebe is not hurt, but he is getting tagged. Beebe got stunned with a right hook and was dropped, but he’s okay and got back up. Beebe is then able to score a single leg takedown and tried to pass Wineland’s guard. Wineland then bounces back up to his feet, but he is cut on the inside corner of his left eye. Wineland begins landing some more solid punches, but Beebe scores another takedown. The round ends with Beebe inside Wineland’s guard. OTM saw it 10-9 for Wineland. Round 2The round starts with the cut in the middle of Wineland’s left eyebrow quite noticeable. Beebe scores another takedown early, but Wineland tries to counter by applying a good armbar. Beebe is able to slip out of it and scores a full mount and is raining punches and elbows. Wineland is slipping them, but he’s in a bad spot and is eating a lot of leather. Wineland tried to escape, but he was sucked back into the fully mounted position. Wineland is cut on his right eye now and Beebe is lighting him up. Beebe seemed to have run out of gas and he can’t take out Wineland. Wineland took a lot of punishment, but somehow survived three minutes plus of being mounted and pummeled with strikes. OTM saw it 10-8 for Beebe. Round 3The third round starts with another single leg takedown for Beebe, 45 seconds in. Beebe has total side control and Wineland looks gassed. Wineland slipped away and recovers a full guard. Wineland has a swollen right ear and is now bleeding profusely from his ear. His swollen ear burst open and blood is all over the place! Beebe is dominating the champion completely, while Wineland’s ear is a gory mess and is shredded to pieces. Wineland also has a cut on his forehead due to all the elbows from Beebe. Referee Steve Mazzagatti stands them up and Wineland is gathering his senses. There’s a guillotine choke attempt by Wineland while in a clinch, but the round ends. OTM saw it 10-9 for Beebe. Round 4Replays shows a left elbow landing on Wineland’s cauliflower ear and it literally explodes on impact! Blood literally sprayed a few feet on impact. Beebe is content to stand and strike with Wineland, but he is now losing his momentum. Wineland’s back in the fight and the pace has slowed. Wineland is literally drenched in his own blood. He looks like Sissy Spacek in “Carrie” on prom night. There’s another takedown from Beebe, but Wineland keeps full guard. The right side of Wineland’s face is a swollen mess. Wineland’s still in guard, but there’s not much is happening, not even ground and pound from Beebe. This was a very close fourth round and almost too close to call. OTM saw it 10-9 Beebe. Round 5Wineland clearly needs a miracle knockout or submission in order to retain his title. Both men are very cautious to start the fifth and final round. There is 3 minutes left and Wineland is not pressing for a KO. Wineland throws some hard leg kicks, but the action is almost non-existant now. Beebe seems to know he has the fight in the bag. Wineland lands a kick to Beebe’s groin, but Beebe is okay. With about 40 seconds left, Wineland seems desperate, but Beebe defends the strikes. The fight ends with a clinch and OTM saw the final round go 10-9 to Wineland. This was definitely the fight of the night, where for the most part, each round seemed like the first round. OTM saw the fight in Beebe’s favor 48-46 and he should take the title home. The official scores are: 48-47, 48-46 (twice) for Beebe. He is the new WEC bantamweight champion!
Dominic Cruz vs. Urijah Faber (Featherweight Championship Bout) Round 1The WEC’s poster-boy and featherweight champion, Urijah “California Kid” Faber started off his title defense with a solid high right kick. Faber and Cruz both land some hard punches and their is a very high tempo and face pace to this bout. Cruz scores a huge takedown, but lands into a guillotine choke. Faber works the choke perfectly and secures it deeply. He then expertly rolled Cruz over and secured the guillotine choke from the mounted position, forcing Cruz to tap out. Faber scored the submission at just 1:38 of the opening round, securing yet another impressive early round victory. Afterwards, Faber then called out K-1 Hero’s champion Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto, who is currently training with the Japanese national wrestling team in hopes of competing in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Carlos Condit vs. John Alessio (Welterweight Championship Bout) Next up was the tenth and final fight of the night, featuring the WEC welterweight title fight between #1 contenders John Alessio of British Columbia, Canada and Carlos Condit of Albuquerque, New Mexico. I have had the opportunities to meet both of these fighters recently and would have to say they are evenly matched in just about every aspect of the fight game. Last summer Condit was the clear stand out at K-1’s open trials, is an excellent kickboxer, and also holds a triangle submission victory over Frank Trigg in last May’s Rumble On The Rock. Alessio, likewise, is an excellent striker. He’s known for his technical boxing skills and solid takedown defense, while also excelling in jiu-jitsu, where I’ve been able to see him train right here in Vegas. Personally, both men seem to have quite a bit of contempt for one another and both made verbal promises to knock the other out, with the loser going to the hospital. Round 1After an intense staredown, proves how much these two do not like each other, Alessio starts the action off with a huge body lock takedown one minute in. Condit was able to sweep and had the mount, but he slipped off of Alessio. They quickly scramble back to their feet, where Alessio scores another takedown and is now in Condit’s guard. They get back up and Alessio catches a lazy right kick from Condit to score a third takedown, this time via a single leg takedown. Alessio has side control and lands a few decent elbows and punches. Condit work his way back into full guard. Alessio escapes and gets back up to his feet. Condit joins him and begins throwing flying kicks and knees, but they are sloppy and miss their mark badly. There was good action in the opening round and the round concluded with Condit missing a few kicks to Alessio’s body. OTM saw it 10-9 Alessio. Round 2A single leg takedown from Alessio starts off the second stanza. Alessio is in Condit’s closed guard early. Alessio is very relaxed while Condit seems a bit anxious. Condit kicks out and gets back to his feet, where he lands a few solid, looping right hands. A left hand followed by a right high-kick grazes Alessio, which forces Alessio to score another body lock takedown, but he slips and winds up on his back. Condit is now in Alessio’s guard, but fights his way back up to his feet. The momentum has now swung totally in Condit’s favor. Condit then lands some heavy knees from the clinch late in the second round. As Alessio drops down, he is caught in a kimura. Alessio is in deep trouble and Condit takes this opportunity to transition and seize Alessio’s back. He applies a body triangle and latches on a deep rear naked choke as the round approaches its final moments. Alessio can’t take anymore and submits by tapping out with one second left in the round. The exuberant Condit was able to finish Alessio via RNC, which is something not even his fellow 170 lb. Albuquerque native Diego Sanchez was unable to do last May in the UFC after taking Alessio’s back early in Round 3 of their fight. Carlos Condit is now crowned the WEC’s new welterweight champion, wrapping up WEC 26, which featured a night of exciting MMA fights live from Las Vegas!