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Condit Tops Miura in Epic WEC 35 Battle; Varner Defends Belt, Stann Loses His

(Brian Bowles‘s fight-ending flying guillotine of Damacio Page. Photo courtesy of MMA Weekly.)

Even without franchise fighter Urijah Faber on the card, the WEC managed to put on one of the wildest events in recent memory last night, featuring six first-round stoppages and a welterweight title fight that you’ll definitely be seeing on “Best of the Year” lists in a few months. Following a kickass supporting card that saw welterweight standout Brock Larson smash Carlo Prater in just 37 seconds, and undefeated Brian Bowles choke out the tough and cocky Damacio Page in a bantamweight match, the broadcast featured a trio of title fights, and they did not disappoint.

Leading off was WEC lightweight champion Jamie Varner in his first title defense, facing submission specialist Marcus “The Wrecking Ball” Hicks, who walked into the cage with a perfect 8-0 record. After an exchange of knees in a clinch, Hicks bulled Varner to the ground and nearly sunk in a guillotine choke. Hicks tossed Varner down again when he escaped, but “The Worm” scrambled to his feet and started pouring on an insane barrage of kicks, knees, and punches that continued until Hicks hit the deck at the 2:08 mark.

In the light-heavyweight championship match, Steve Cantwell avenged his only career loss and stole the WEC’s 205-pound belt at the same time, scoring a second-round TKO over reigning champ Brian Stann. The first frame saw Cantwell get the better of the previously undefeated “All-American” in a kickboxing match that turned absolutely frantic about 90 seconds in. There was a scary moment for Cantwell at the end of round one as he slipped to the ground and started taking heavy shots from above by Stann, but he was able to get to his feet as the horn sounded. Stann started the second round by kicking Cantwell dead in the nuts, but the challenger recovered with more sharp striking, eventually staggering Stann with a left hook and turning out his lights with a right hook.

In the night’s main event, Carlos Condit showed why he’s considered one of the best welterweights in the world, but not before former middleweight and Pancrase/DEEP/K-1 Hero’s vet Hiromitsu Miura gave him one of the toughest fights of his career. The first round started with impressive standup from both men, until Miura took the champ down with a dramatic judo throw. When Condit got up, he was sweeped to the ground, then judo tossed again after he found his footing. Condit rallied, putting Miura to the mat with a huge punch then attacking from top position. Miura escaped after a failed armbar attempt from Condit, and put Condit down again with yet another judo throw as the bell rang.

Condit pushed the pace in the second round, throwing strikes from above after a slip by Miura. Most of the round featured Condit controlling Miura from the top, eventually scoring the mount then nearly securing an armbar when Miura rolled to escape. Condit closed out the round smothering Miura on the ground and throwing punches into his body.

Round three started with Condit stuffing a judo throw attempt by jumping on Miura’s back, then going for a guillotine attempt from the top. Condit scrambled to the mount and dropped some elbows into Miura’s grill, but Miura managed to reverse the position and began whaling on Condit. Condit got to his feet and wound up on top of Miura again, abusing him right back. Miura turtled up, and the fight looked close to finished, but the ref let it continue, and the third horn sounded as Condit threatened a rear-naked choke.

In the fourth and final round, Miura landed a nasty series of power punches and took Condit down. Condit briefly wound up on top, but Miura regained control. After a kneebar attempt from Condit didn’t pan out, the fighters were stood up, where they both threw wild haymakers until Condit brought Miura to the mat. Condit scored the mount, but was reversed by Miura, who began teeing off on Condit’s head. It looked like Condit was done for, but Condit was able to slip out, land a glancing knee strike to Miura’s chin that buckled the challenger’s legs, then threw punches into the side of Miura’s head until the fight was called at the 4:43 mark of round 4.

Full results are below.

Carlos Condit def. Hiromitsu Miura via TKO, 4:43 of round 4
Steve Cantwell def. Brian Stann via TKO, 4:01 of round 2
Jamie Varner def. Marcus Hicks via TKO, 2:08 of round 1
Brian Bowles def. Damacio Page via submission (guillotine choke), 3:30 of round 1
Josh Grispi def. Micah Miller via TKO, 0:50, of round 1
Brock Larson def. Carlo Prater via KO, 0:37 of round 1
Blas Avena def. Dave Terrel via TKO, 1:07 of round 1
Shane Roller def. Todd Moore via submission (guillotine choke), 3:00 of round 1
Mike Budnik def. Greg McIntyre via submission (triangle choke), 3:21 of round 3
Scott Jorgensen def. Kenji Osawa via unanimous decision

Cagepotato Comments

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Bootylam!- August 4, 2008 at 5:57 pm
Best overall group of fights this year, you think? Kept jumping up out my seat yelling "OH SHIT! How's he still standing?!" Stann got owned. Varner is the shit! Go Phoenix!
Reid- August 3, 2008 at 10:17 pm
Yeah, I even read that post when it was posted. I just spaced. Thanks and sorry for the baseless rant.
bfowlkes- August 3, 2008 at 9:28 pm

First sentence, first paragraph. Even links to the fight card.
Reid- August 3, 2008 at 9:09 pm
Dang, how did I not hear about this event in advance?!!! I'm so ticked that I missed it. And I wasn't doing jack squat last night either.

CP, I rely on you to at least mention televised or PPV events before they happen since I check this site out several times a day, but I don't remember seeing a thing. Was there a single post about this event before it happened??
T Money- August 3, 2008 at 5:55 pm
Judo is an underrated Martial Art but guys like Machida, Fedor, and Miura can use it very effectively. Even GSP had that awesome hip toss into side control that would knock the wind out of anyone.
norremo- August 3, 2008 at 5:34 pm
This show was phenomenal... all great fights and everyone went all out.

This definitely washed the bad taste out of my mouth that EliteXc left.

Great matchmaking with even matches (contrast that to EliteXc bullshit)
Blackleg- August 3, 2008 at 5:32 pm
GG Condit, hell of a fight - now if we can just convince him to drop that silly-ass mean-mugging he'd be golden.

Don't hate on the CP, Whitefolks. I missed this fucker too and I knew it was coming. :D
lol- August 3, 2008 at 4:21 pm
how come wec cant get a bigger area
Mr.WhiteFolks- August 3, 2008 at 3:16 pm
F*ck CP
You guys need to give a better heads up on events. For those of us who rely on the local watering hole to watch fights.
Just sayin
CWR- August 3, 2008 at 2:45 pm
Truly an outstanding night of action... One of the most exciting shows I have ever seen. Condit-Miura was incredible.
mbuster- August 3, 2008 at 2:41 pm
How about at the beginning of the telecast when some tech guy's head pops into view, Frank Mir's eyes got real big for a half-second, and get's thrown off-track. That shit was funny. I like Frank Mir as an analyst, but I'm glad he didn't do the post-fight interviews.
Polish- August 3, 2008 at 2:31 pm
Great show by the WEC, and in HD. Insane fights, great night.
Old, Bald and Irish- August 3, 2008 at 2:05 pm
These WEC matches have been great. Last night was no exception. Brock Larson looked great.

Overall, I thought this was a much better show than EliteXC's effort last Saturday night. There doesn't seem to be a lack of talent in the WEC.

Although, I loved that Jake Shields fight last Saturday.