WEC Preview by the MMA Blaster
I was actually a little sad that there was no more Ultimate Fighter until next April. That is, until I saw the card for WEC 31. The first three bouts could just as easily be on a UFC ppv, and there are an amazing seven undefeated fighters on this card. While many are prospects, it is always nice to get a glimpse at the start of something big. Here is the fight card for Wednesday's action:
Urijah Faber (19-1) v. Jeff Curran (28-8) - FW Belt
Cub Swanson (11-1) v. Jens Pulver (21-8)
Paulo Filho (15-0) v. Chael Sonnen (19-8) - MW Belt
Doug Marshal (6-2) v. Ariel Gandulla (4-0-1) - LHW Belt
Brian Bowles (3-0) v. Marcos Galvao (6-1)
Charlie Valencia (8-3) v. Ian McCall (6-0)
John Alessio (20-10) v. Todd Moore (9-0)
Brian Baker (5-0) v. Eric Schambari (7-0)
Alex Karelexis (9-2) v. Eric "8MM" Ratcliff (3-0)
Faber v. Curran- Faber has been the face of the WEC since Zuffa acquired the organization and this is his biggest fight to date. Faber has been building popularity in recent years, successfully defending his featherweight title three times in 2007. Curran is a well experienced veteren (10 years) who has fought much larger and experienced opponents in his day.
Curran has notable wins over Wagnney Fabiano (9-1), Krazy Horse Bennett (19-14), Jason Dent (15-9) and Rafael Assuncao (11-1). Faber is wins over Chance Farrar (5-1), Dominic Cruz (9-1), Joe Pearson (20-9) and Naoya Uematsu (14-7).
Swanson v. Pulver- Pulver is trying to bounce back from losses to Joe Lauzon and BJ Penn and establish him in the 145 pound class. Swanson is looking to push his way into title contention. I'm guessing the winner of this bout gets an immediate FW title shot.
Most fans seem to forget that Pulver has an extensive career with wins over Joe Stevenson (26-7), Caol Uno (22-14), Stephen Palling (11-7), Cole Escovedo (11-4), BJ Penn (11-4), Dennis Hallman (38-12) and Joe Jordan (38-12). Swanson's last two wins in the WEC came over Tommy Lee (20-6) and Micah Miller (8-1).
Filho v. Sonnen- Filho is the legit number 2 middleweight in the world. Despite his undefeated record, he has chose to stay in the WEC. He is friends with Anderson Silva and has stated that he won't fight him unless the conditions are right. I hope to see Filho use all his skills to defeat Sonnen. Then Silva v. Filho, maybe I am dreaming.
*Watch for Ed "8mm" Ratcliff on the undercard, who will use his style of Tae Kwon Do and Karate.
Photo of Urijah Faber found on Photobucket, used incidentally to story