WEC 30 Review

This past Wednesday, World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) hosted it’s 30th event, live from The Joint in Las Vegas, NV. The nights MMA action featured two title fights with Lightweight Champion “Razor” Rob McCullough taking on Rich Crunkilton and Bantamweight Champion Chase Beebe defending against Abu Dhabi submission champion Rani Yahya. Former UFC Lightweight Champion Jens “Lil’ Evil” Pulver was scheduled to make his WEC debut against Cub Swanson, but do to a knee injury suffered in practice, that bout has been postponed. Nonetheless, it was a very exciting night of fights.

Undercard Fights

Jeff Bedard (10 – 0 – 0) vs. Miguel Torres (18 – 1 – 0)

The first aired bout of the night featured bantamweight (135lbs) fighters Miguel Torres making his WEC debut against Jeff Bedard. This match featured an interesting clash of styles with Bedard from a seasoned wrestling background and Torres with a Brazilian Jujitsu and Muay Thai background.

After a brief feeling out process the fight goes to the ground with Torres pulling guard against the fence. Both fighters scramble with Torres moving to get away from the fence and Bedard trying to move Torres towards it. Torres establishes a high guard position and transitions to a triangle choke. The hold is tight and Bedard has no choice but to tap, suffering his first defeat at 2:30 of round 1.

Jesse Forbes (5 – 2 -0) vs. Bryan Baker (4 – 0 – 0)

This fight took place in the middleweight division and featured two fighters making their WEC debut. If Forbes is familiar to fans it is perhaps due to his being on The Ultimate Fighter season 3 show as a member of Team Shamrock.

Off the back, Forbes (a southpaw) lands a straight left that rocks Baker and puts him on the ground. Forbes jumps on Baker attempting to finish but Baker counters by attempting a single leg that brings the fight back to standing position. From there both Forbes and Baker trade hard punches evenly with both fighters connecting with solid hard shots. Forbes shoots in for a double leg driving Baker to the mat. Forbes sinks in a tight guillotine but Baker defends by picking up and slamming Forbes on his head. Baker attempts to gain control but is once again slammed down by Forbes. Forbes struggles to secure rear-mount while Baker fights to reverse it. Baker succeeds and proceeds to punish Forbes with strikes while transitioning to the guard, side-mount, full mount and rear-mount position. Forbes take too many unanswered punches while Baker has his back and referee Herb Dean is forced to stop the fight at 4:15 in the first.

Brian Stann (4 – 0 – 0) vs Jeremiah Billington (10 – 1 – 0)

WEC fan favorite and pride of the United States Marine Corps, Brian Stann improved his record to 5 – 0 after overpowering and overwhelming Jeremiah Billington with knees and punches before finishing him on the ground via TKO from strikes at 3:07 in round 1. Stann has yet to venture past the first round in any of his fights and is quickly establishing himself as the man to beat in the light heavyweight division . I predict it won’t be long before the WEC awards Stann a title fight for the Light Heavyweight belt currently being held by Doug “The Rhino” Evans.

Joe Benoit (6 – 0 – 0) vs. Blas Avena (4 – 1 – 0)

In a fight that took place earlier in the evening, Blas “The Disciple” Avena took less than 30 seconds to secure a win over Joe Benoit. Avena, also a fan favorite who actual works security at The Joint, quickly locked in a guillotine choke and was able to submit the WEC debuting Benoit at 0:29 into the first round.

Title Fights

Bantamweight Champion Chase Beebe (12 – 1 – 0) vs. Challenger Rani Yahya (12 – 2 – 0)

This fight was a five round display of what it takes to be a champion. The fight began with challenger Rani Yahya locking on a nasty knee bar on champion Chase Beebe 15 seconds into the match. Beebe looked in pain, but held on and worked his way out of it. The remainder of the first round featured Beebe fending of a plethora of submission attempts from the Abu Dhabi champion. However, during the second round, Yahya’s pace began to slow and it was Beebe taking the fight to the challenger with ground and pound and even some submission attacks of his own. Round by round it was clear that Yahya had gassed. Beebe, having had fought a five round title fight, knew what his cardio needed to be and as a result dominated the fight for the remainder of the bout. The fight ended with a unanimous decision for Chase Beebe who is still the WEC Bantamweight Champion.

Lightweight Champion “Razor” Rob McCullough (14 – 3 – 0) vs. Challenger Rich Crunkilton (17 – 1 – 0)

McCullough made very short work of Crunkilton knocking him down four times before the referee stopped the fight after a minute and twenty-nine seconds. The commentators (and myself) were surprised that Crunkilton opted to stand with McCullough, who is a 5 time Muay Thai Champion. To his credit Crunkilton connected with some hard shots but that first knock down singled the beginning of the end. “Razor” Rob McCullough retains the WEC Lightweight belt and awaits his next challenger.

Unaired Fights

Ian McCall def. Coty Wheeler via TKO (strikes) 4:34 round 3

Donald Cerrone def. Kenneth Alexander via submission (modified triangle choke) 0:56 round 1

Marcus Hicks def. Scott McAfee submission (guillotine choke) 2:15 round 1

John Alessio def. Marcelo Brito decision (unanimous) 5:00 round

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