(Photo courtesy of MMA Weekly; gif courtesy of the UG.)
Former WEC featherweight champ Urijah Faber was able to score a victory over Jens Pulver for the second time last night at WEC 38 — and in 23 minutes and 26 seconds less than it took in their first meeting last June. Their co-headlining bout started fast and physical, with Pulver tossing Faber to the ground after a high kick attempt. But it wasn’t long before Faber drilled a vicious left hook to Lil’ Evil’s ribs, doubling over the former UFC champ and backing him up. Faber seized the opportunity and fired off punches until Pulver hit the ground, then followed Pulver to the mat and set up a fight-ending choke. The win earned the California Kid a $7,500 Submission of the Night bonus.
Jamie Varner and Donald Cerrone also got some extra cash for the evening’s Fight of the Night, in which Varner defended his lightweight title and gave Cowboy the first loss of his career. Though Cerrone was the aggressor for most of the fight, and won many of the striking exchanges — thanks in large part to the long reach of his left high kick — Varner was able to take the challenger down at will, and inflicted major damage with his ground-and-pound. In the middle of round three, a punch from Varner opened a cut near Cerrone’s left eye that clearly inhibited his vision; his right eye was already swelling shut from previous abuse.
In the fifth round, Cerrone scored a successful takedown of his own, but made the mistake of bouncing a knee strike off Varner’s head while the champ was still kneeling. The action was immediately halted, and was never restarted, as a seemingly agonized Varner told doctors that he couldn’t see, and shouted "fuck!" more times than I’ve ever heard on basic cable. The fight went to the scorecards, where two judges saw it for Varner, and one judge (possibly blind himself) called it for Cerrone. The crowd booed Varner; distraught about how the fight ended, he told the fans "fuckin’ boo me, I’m better than that," and promised Cerrone a rematch as soon as he was cleared by the athletic commission.